Apr 232017
 

Poetry is a bouquet, and just as a bouquet of flowers may be filled with colors, shapes, and scents, so to is a poem a blend of words, rhythms, and sounds. This will be evident May 5-7th when the 9th annual Massachusetts Poetry Festival welcomes many of America’s most admired poets to a celebration of Massachusetts’ lively contemporary poetry scene in historic downtown Salem, MA

The Mass Poetry Festival offers nearly 100 poetry readings and workshops, a small press and literary fair, panels, poetry slams, and open-air readings. Panel topics range broadly from The State of Poetry, poetry and gender, poetry and aging, book publishing, and children’s poetry.

Of special note, on Friday, May 5, MPF will host a “Student Day of Poetry” in which 300 high school students from across the Commonwealth study with acclaimed poets and instructors to discover their own unique voice.

Throughout the weekend, you are also invited to absorb the thoughts and expressions of acclaimed poets such as: Pulitzer-prize winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate Louise Glück, Guggenheim fellow Eileen Myles, Kazim Ali, Andrea Cohen, Cornelius Eady and Rough Magic, Ross Gay, Rigoberto González, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Emily Pettit, Tom Sleigh, and Dara Wier.

For a full breakdown of the schedule go to the MPF site.

As example of the diversity:

Friday from 1:15- 2:15pm at Old Town Hall (second floor) 32 Derby Square, a relatively new genre of music known as Post Rock will be combined with poetry and in so doing create “Post Rock Poetry.” Grounded in 1980’s and 90’s indie rock music, it is primarily instrumental, guitar, base, drums, and keyboard, with few lyrics. Typically, post rock pieces are lengthy and may contain, “… repetitive build ups of timbre, dynamics and texture.” (Wikipedia, 9/11/2016.) Because Post Rock seldom has lyrics, it lends itself to the creation of Post Rock Poetry that can explore the quest for a peace, understanding, and rising above hostilities and misfortune. In short, it rings with hope.

Then Friday evening, two of the finest poets writing today— the award-winning Ross Gay and Aimee Nezhukumatathil— will present from 7:30–9 p.m. in the Atrium of the Peabody Essex Museum.

Saturday afternoon will feature a musical performance by Cornelius Eady and his band Rough Magic, blending poetry and music at the Peabody Essex Museum. Headline poets Andrea Cohen, Tom Sleigh, Kazim Ali, and Rigoberto González will read throughout the day at the Peabody Essex Museum, celebrating the diversity and common threads among us all.

Saturday evening will feature award-winning poet and novelist Eileen Myles, 7:30–9 p.m. at The Bridge at 211. After her reading, she will be interviewed by WBUR’s celebrated host Christopher Lydon. Eileen Myles demonstrates the extraordinary possibilities of poetry to reveal the personal and political experiences of American life.

Venues

  • Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex Street
  • Hawthorne Hotel, 18 Washington Square
  • Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square
  • Museum Place Mall, 1 E India Square Mall, New Liberty Charter School, Rooms 1-4 (on second floor)
  • The Bridge at 211 (Universalist Unitarian Church), 211 Bridge St
  • Howling Wolf, 76 Lafayette Street

From the beginning, the goals of Mass Poetry have been to “support poets and poetry in Massachusetts, to build new audiences for poetry, and to make poetry more accessible for those who need it most—often those who have the least access to it.” By bringing it to the streets and venues in Salem Ma, accessible to residents and visitors, the poetic bouquet of words, rhythms, and sounds can be enjoyed by so many more. You are invited to be among them.

Admission is $20, and $7 for students & seniors; an additional $10 service fee is charged for all workshops.

For additional info on The Massachusetts Poetry Festival, contact January Gill O’Neil at january@masspoetry.org.

(Photo courtesy of Creative Salem)

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Mar 252017
 

Mayor Kimberly Driscoll of Salem MA has proclaimed March 26, 2017 as Salem Women’s History Day to go along with other nationwide events this month to honor the achievements of women, past, present and future. In keeping with that proclamation, there are events to inform, educate and entertain the community and visitors. Among them on Sunday are:

House of Seven Gables

The House of the Seven Gables will commemorate Salem Women’s History Day with a special women’s history tour and two lectures with speakers from the Partnership of Historic Bostons.

Women’s History Tour of The Gables—Free for Salem residents and members; regular admission applies to all others. (12:30 – 1:15 pm)

The Hidden Domestic Lives of Puritan Women: When you read the spiritual narratives of 17th-century Puritan women, it’s remarkable to realize that they are very like men’s narratives: completely focused on the search for grace. Women’s narratives mention family as rarely and perfunctorily as men’s narratives do. These were women raising children and creating homesteads in new colonial settlements, where the domestic labor was unceasing. How did these women live both as independent spiritual seekers–the first American individuals–and as wives and mothers? Free. (1:30 – 2:30 pm)

Katharine Gibbs: Trailblazing Woman in Business: Katharine Gibbs’ secretarial schools provided educational opportunities for women beginning in the early twentieth century and helped to change the face of the American office. Learn about this fascinating woman and the changing roles of women and work. (2:30 – 3:30 pm)

Women’s History Tour of The Gables—Free for Salem residents and members; Regular admission applies to all others. (3:30 – 3:45pm)

All events are available on a first come, first served basis. Registration is not required. Space is limited. For more information email groups@7gables.org, or call 978-744-0991 ext. 152.

Phillips House

You are invited to be the guests of Phillips House staff for a day of special guided tours focusing on the role of women who specifically lived at 34 Chestnut Street through the years. How their lives differed and had similarities is a fascinating time travel trip.

The tour is free of charge for Historic New England members and Salem residents.There is a nominal fee of $5 for nonmembers.

Tours are available on the half-hour. Registration is not required. Please call 978-744-0440 for more information.

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Feb 162017
 

Valentine’s Day may be a once & done holiday elsewhere, but in Salem it can be a year round experience, and that is not just our opinion. The National Main Street organization annually selects the “Most Romantic Main Streets” from among its nationwide membership and for 2017, Salem Ma and Salem Main Streets made the Top Five!

Emily Wallrath Schmidt, Associate Manager of Communication of National Main Street Center explains “Communities submit a questionnaire about their Main Street’s ‘scene’ (architecture/landscape), dining/lodging options, and popular places for dates, along with 5 photos.”

“We always look for Main Streets that have interesting local businesses or special event to highlight! We loved Salem’s So Sweet Festival, as well as the LGBT and age-friendly initiatives—the photos submitted also captured a sense of romance downtown,” she adds.

Not to mention participating merchants offering sweet deals during the festival and of course the option to explore our cool ice sculptures makes for a great second Valentine date!

Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Manager comments, “I personally think Salem is such a romantic city, and I think a lot of our residents and regular visitors recognize that.”

Why else would so many people look forward to holding and attending weddings throughout the year here?

“From the historic beauty and stroll-ability of the city design, to the natural beauty of our surroundings, the endless community activities every day of the week, to dining options for every palate…it’s really the perfect setting for any love story,” concludes Kylie.

That’s the goal, Schmidt states, “Main Street organizations address all the critical factors that impact quality of life downtown, and align resources to make a difference– enhancing the social, economic, cultural, and environmental sustainability of a community.”

So, February 14th or June 14th or even during October, we, at Salem Main Streets strive to make our city and especially downtown district an anytime destination for fun and romance.

And thanks for the award! We love it!

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Jan 032017
 

Understandably, we’ve taken a little break. It’s been a busy last few months in Salem Ma. Halloween season was filled with creatures and creativity. That was followed by the Winter Holiday season, culminating with our double New Year’s Eve party extravaganza of LAUNCH and LAUNCH… Light It Up! And we could not have done any of these projects without a great showing of community support in the form of volunteers.

In February, it will be Salem’s So Sweet. In March, it will be the Salem Film Fest. In June, it will be the Salem Arts Festival. And so on. Whether these are Salem Main Street events or not, volunteers drive the projects from start to finish.

And that’s not just in Salem.

The annual “Volunteering and Civic Life in America” report, released by the Corporation for National & Community Service and the National Conference on Citizenship, substantiates that service to others is a priority for millions of Americans.

In fact for 2013 the report found that 62.6 million adults volunteered through an organization. They put in almost 7.7 billion hours which translated to around $173 billion, based on an estimate of the average value of a volunteer hour.

Time well spent.

And we just wanted to take this moment to thank you all again for giving of your time and experience to projects that benefit the Salem Ma community.

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Dec 262016
 

What is better than one great New Year’s Eve party? Two!!! In conjunction with the City of Salem and Creative Salem that is what you are going to get to bid farewell to 2016 and say a big hello to 2017 with LAUNCH! and LAUNCH… Light It Up!

“When we organized LAUNCH! for the first time a few years ago, it was immediately clear that there was a strong community desire to come together on New Year’s Eve,” states Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets’ Executive Director.

“This event has always been family-focused and kid-friendly, which is fantastic, but there was an opportunity to do more to serve the adults in our community. The City approached Creative Salem to develop a concept, and we’ve been working closely together to program and connect the two events.”

“We were very excited to create a new concept event featuring local creative organizations coming together to create a truly unique and wholly Salem happening that could also support the amazing family event that Kylie and Salem Main Streets have run and we have supported since its inception” states John Andrews, owner of Creative Salem.

Launch!

The early portion of the evening (4-6pm, Old Town Hall) will be the traditional LAUNCH! event. This event is free to all and family-friendly, with a $5 suggested donation to help support Salem Main Streets’ “Holiday Happenings” initiatives, including the Holiday Tree and the wreaths and ribbons around the downtown. Family programming will include hat making, photo booth, kids’ silent disco, interactive art exhibit with Phil Wyman, and more! There will be an early countdown just before 6 pm.

Volunteers are needed for a variety of jobs:

  • Set up (2 to 4pm): Volunteers should ideally be able to lift up to 25 pounds.
  • Greeters (4 to 6 pm): Greet people at the door and collect optional donations.
  • Craft activity support (4 to 6 pm): Help activity leaders as needed.
  • Face painters (4 to 6 pm): We’re not looking for high levels of artistic talent – ability to paint hearts, stars, and “Happy 2017!” is sufficient.  We’ll provide the paint and brushes.
  • Break down (5:45 to 7pm): Volunteers should ideally be able to lift up to 25 pounds.

Launch… Light It Up

Come back at 9 pm for LAUNCH…LIGHT IT UP, new this year, as Creative Salem and Retonica transform Old Town Hall into a Black Light Dance Hall! This 21+ event will be $20 per person with a cash bar, live performance by local group Dandrew, sounds by DJ Seth, arcade games courtesy of Bit Bar, hat making with Grace & Diggs, plus a photo booth, food by Bambolina, interactive pop up art exhibit, and a special countdown at midnight. Tickets are available at https://creative-salem.ticketleap.com/launch-light-it-up-nye-salem/

About Salem Main Streets

Salem Main Streets’ mission is the continued revitalization of downtown Salem as a vibrant, year-round, retail, dining and cultural destination through business retention, recruitment, and the promotion of the downtown district.  SMS produces and supports numerous community events and initiatives throughout the year, including the Salem Farmers’ Market, Salem Arts Festival, Salem’s So Sweet, and the October Information Booth.  SMS operates thanks to the generosity and partnership of the City of Salem and Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, the Salem Chamber of Commerce, Destination Salem, and many other local business sponsors and community volunteers.

About Creative Salem

Creative Salem is an organization of like-minded creative individuals with the mission of ensuring creativity and the arts are a relevant part of daily community and small business life, and operates through the support of its partners and members. Creative Salem celebrates the city of Salem as a hub of creativity, and is dedicated to promoting collaboration, facilitating quality artistic events, and providing contemporary tools for local creative professionals to find and connect with new audiences while encouraging them to apply their skills to help solve challenges facing the community.

For more information about these events, contact Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Executive Director, at (978)744-0004 or kylie@salemmainstreets.org, or visit http://salemmainstreets.org/

 

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