Jul 192017
 

We’re a little over halfway through our spotlight of the Pedestrian Mall businesses. So far we’ve hit Red Line Cafe, Trolley Depot, Emporium 32, New England Dog Biscuit Company, Aroma Sanctum, Village Tavern, Modern Millie, Wicked Good Books, Village Silversmith, Pamplemousse, Polonus, Bewitched, Omen, and FreakyElegant.  We thought we knew already knew a lot about these local storefronts, but we have been learning SO MUCH this week!

Have we missed your favorite “best kept secret” on the Pedestrian Mall? We still have more to share, but we want to hear from you!

If you haven’t been following along, here’s what we’ve learned so far during our #pedmallspotlight:

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Jul 192017
 

 

Whether you have artistic talent or not, you’re invited to take part in a very interesting project-based workshop that will be conducted for 6 weeks on Salem’s Artists’ Row during the Thursday Farmers’ Market from 3 to 7 pm.

Mayor Kim Driscoll and the Public Art Commission have launched the Artist in Residence: Pilot Program at Artists’ Row with Claudia Paraschiv, (architect and owner of Studioful – Architecture, Community Art, and Neighborhood Design, and founder of the Salem Public Space Project).

Paraschiv explains, “The purpose of The Public Art Salon is to create beautiful, participatory, resident-led projects on an ongoing basis to inspire local communities. Practically, we make friends and create projects in public space that connect local people and places. People come together to design and build community-driven projects, cultivate local talent, and build productive relationships.”

For example, on a previous such project in Dorchester, she worked with the community to build a 50-foot bench over the course of 15 weeks. It is equipped with sounds activated when you sit, sections with indentations for flowers, and even a chess-board ready for play while waiting for the bus. That was the driving need for the bench as the existing bus shelter and bench at that time were tucked away, out of the bus driver’s sight, causing for many a missed passenger.

Why Do It During The Farmers’ Market?

The Artists’ Row tenants chose to hold it during the Farmers’ Market to draw the market crowds onto the Row. Paraschiv is hosting the Salon between Boston Woodturning and Ceramics by Sibel. Salons are held outdoors for maximum visibility and accessibility. Additionally, Farmers’ Markets are a great place to incubate new types of civic practice as well as new business ventures.

Paraschiv added “I hope participants will enjoy expressing themselves through their creations, and feel a sense of pride and ownership at having contributed to a collective public art piece. I also hope participants will learn new skills from crafts to what plants are best for pollinators, and how policy and legislation affects pollinators. Finally, I hope people will feel a sense of joy, wonder, and community.”

The Public Art Salon is a free, drop-in friendly event open to all age and skill levels. Kids are absolutely invited, however, it is very much an activity for all ages since residents help build tables, as well as craft artistic surfaces, and more.

Salem Farmers’ Markets are in session Thursdays now through October, from 3-7 pm in Derby Square.

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Jun 132017
 

Bridget Bishop and a few of her friends stop by the Salem Farmers’ Market

Is Bridget Bishop still relevant, over 300 years since her infamous witch trial? We would say so, considering that the interactive play, Cry Innocent, chronicling that trial is now celebrating its 25th anniversary of entertaining, educating, and engaging tourists & residents alike in Salem. To mark the event, an activity-filled weekend is planned for June 16-18 (what would an event be in Salem if it wasn’t a weekend festival?).

Kristina Wacome Stevick, President and Artistic Director, History Alive, Inc. which has produced the play since its inception, explains, “There are a lot of activities lined up to celebrate the anniversary, from stagecraft workshops and readings of new work, to a community vintage dance, to a night of Moth-style storytelling, to a big, fancy party. We wanted to celebrate the talents and current work of generations of performers, have a way to say thank you to the City of Salem and to Salem business and non-profits, to reminisce and help people know what we envision for the future.”

That “big, fancy party” she refers to involves a meal, specialty cocktails, awards, comedy, vision-casting, and live music & dancing at Ames Memorial Hall, Saturday, June 17th. Doors open at 6:30pm for cocktails and “mingling.” Dinner (by Chive Sustainable Catering) and entertainment at 7pm. Hosted by Erik Rodenhiser, the gla will feature stand-up by Will Martin, a docu-short by In The Car, storytelling awards presented by Mark Stevick, dance calling by Alex Edwards, and more.

For ticket information and the full schedule go to http://cryinnocentsalem.com/silverjubilee.

But, what has kept the play vibrant for 25 years? Let’s start with the introduction:

“The year is 1692. Bridget Bishop has been accused of witchcraft and YOU are on the Puritan jury. Hear the historical testimonies, cross-examine the witnesses and decide the verdict. Is Bridget Bishop capable of witchcraft? Play your part in history…”

And with those few words, the performers in the History Alive! troupe stepped out onto the streets of Salem to bring to life not only the trial but a living immersion into the mind set of people from the time period. Why did they say what they did? How could they think that way? Witches? Demons?

Wacome Stevick says, “I think History Alive’s–in particular Cry Innocent’s— longevity can, in part, be attributed to the variety involved. Because the audience takes on a role, every show is different. The actors also play multiple characters. This keeps a show that performs around 1,000 shows a year fresh for everybody. Also, we have wonderful people that are truly dedicated to learning as much and sharing as much as they can. They keep the show interesting for each other and themselves because they have a hunger to include new information.”

Speaking of information, we asked Kristina to share one of the most unusual elements of the play they have seen over the past 25 years.

“Meeting descendants of the accusers and the accused, who come to the show, hear the words their ancestors spoke and get to interact as a Puritan jury with the actors speaking those words and ideas is probably one of the most moving experiences of doing Cry Innocent,” she responded.

“Often descendants expect to be ashamed to admit that their ancestors brought testimony against Bridget Bishop– testimony that ultimately led to her execution. However, one of the main exercises of the show is to try to get into the heads of both the accused and the accusers in the time and the culture that THEY were living in. When that is done with the kind of open mindedness and humility that one should exercise when visiting any unfamiliar culture, descendants often walk away feeling more understanding and forgiving of their ancestors.

This doesn’t mean that executing accused witches wasn’t a horrible mistake, but that we come to the decision to send Bridget Bishop to trial (or not) with more empathy to all involved. Hopefully that understanding can lend some perspective to whatever our current concerns are. We’re always better entering a situation not assuming that we know everything about it and the people involved.”

Duration of Cry Innocent is 45 minutes. The outdoor arrest scene begins approximately 15 minutes prior. During the show, the audience may step into roles of Puritan jurors. Kids and adults alike question the accusers, examine property, read advice to the court and vote on the outcome.

For more information on Cry Innocent performances this season, check out the website.

(History Alive! after 23 years under Gordon College’s organizational umbrella became its own entity, History Alive, Inc., on August 1, 2014)

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May 172017
 

The Fleas are coming. The Fleas are coming. And that is a good thing for Salem as these are seven flea market dates that will take place in Derby Square & Artists’ Row this May-October!

You are invited to come on down to The Salem Flea and cruise the monthly markets which will feature vendors of vintage & up-cycled furniture & fashion. Walk among, touch, and ask questions about collectibles, antiques, architectural salvage; as well as jewelry, art, & handmade goods by local artisans.

That is what makes The Salem Flea so exciting and relevant. Local artisans will have the opportunity to “show their stuff” to you “their” local market of shoppers.

Consider it a win/win opportunity!

The current The Salem Flea vendor list (subject to change)

  • 8 By Design
  • 9 Wall Woodworking
  • Cruz Art Designs
  • The Chailfour Collection
  • The Cyprus Collection
  • Chick Art Works
  • Decades of Decor
  • Emma’s Wicked Attic
  • The Felt Fanatic
  • The House of Findings
  • Houseworking
  • The House of Champigny
  • Home Maker Collectibles
  • INplace
  • Little Shop of Karma
  • My Sweet Soap
  • Mayflower Vintage and Antiques
  • Moody Interiors
  • Nomad & Local
  • Notso Kitty
  • Prospect Hill Handmade
  • Restore Works
  • RM&Company
  • Salem Soapworks
  • We Have Issues

The Salem Flea is scheduled to take place, rain or shine, on May 20, June 17, July 15, Aug 19, Sept 16 in Derby Square with Halloween Markets in The Artists Row walkway October 14 and 28.

The Salem Flea is owned by RM & Company of Salem and produced in collaboration with the City of Salem

The market is free to attend and you can find more information at www.thesalemflea.com

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Mar 182017
 

Don’t believe everything you hear about “print is dead” or that “we are moving to a paperless society so nobody reads books anymore.” Americans check out more than 2 billion items each year from their public libraries; the average user takes out more than seven books a year (Libraries Are For Real Life website). So it is not surprising that one of SalemRecycles most popular projects is the Book Swap. Next one is set for Saturday, March 18 from 10am to 1pm in the Salem Senior Center at 5 Broad Street.

In addition to finding new books and media treasures, as well as recycling items for others to enjoy, participants will be able to ask questions about recycling, and reuse.

“We are excited to again host the semi-annual free book swap,” said SalemRecycles chair Beth Melillo. “We prevent tons of books from ending up in the trash, and everyone really enjoys the event.”

All ‘unswapped’ items will be reused or recycled. SalemRecycles will also once again have a reusable bag swap. Please bring any unwanted reusable cloth bags to donate to others.

About SalemRecycles

SalemRecycles is the City’s volunteer recycling committee which works to increase recycling and encourage positive recycling practices through educational outreach and special events.  Through the last thirteen Book Swaps, SalemRecycles has hosted over 6,500 participants, recycled an estimated 100,000 books, and avoided over 50 tons of incineration.

For more information about SalemRecycles or the Book Swap, please call (978)-619-5679 or visit www.salem.com/recycling or GreenSalem.com

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