Aug 202017
 

Do you wish to do some good for others in the community? If so, then you are part of the 62.8 million Americans who annually give of their time & skills volunteering. In our case, the community is Salem and we are Salem Main Streets in need of volunteers to help us staff the Visitors’ Info Booth during the upcoming Haunted Happenings Halloween season, which begins October 1st.

Yes, we know, it is still mid-August and summer is not over. But look at the calendar again from a staffing/training point of view. To be ready to go with scheduled volunteers by October 1st, we need to send out an invitation now.

“It’s hard to believe, but it’s already time to start planning for Haunted Happenings and the October Information Booth,” says Kylie Sullivan, executive director of Salem Main Streets.

A welcoming orientation will take place on Saturday, September 16 at 9:30 a.m. at the National Park Service Regional Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty Street, Salem, MA. Volunteers will be updated on new October events and there will be time for returning volunteers to share insights and information with those new to the program.

Kylie adds, “Our annual orientation will cover all the basics for new volunteers, and important updates and reminders for our returning ambassadors. Even if you have volunteered in the past, it is important to try to make this training!”

Registration will begin at 9:30 am, with the orientation starting promptly at 10 am. Please remember to bring your ID for the CORI process.

What if you’re neither a native nor a long term transplanted resident and don’t know exactly “where everything is?” You will. Between support from the people in the booth with you during your shifts, to the repeated questions (where are public bathrooms, where can I see something really scary, where did they burn the witches, where can I get a good burger or fish meal), you will.

Purely as a side note, volunteering has been known to help new people in a community make new friends who share common interests & values.

And if you speak more than one language, we clearly could use your help, as many Haunted Happenings attendees are from foreign lands.

For more information, contact Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director, Salem Main Streets at 978/744-0004 x115 or email at www.salemmainstreets.org

Share
Feb 122017
 

The conversation has begun. Are you a part of it? Do you want to be? Mayor Kim Driscoll, in her State of the City address last month, announced a community visioning process known as Imagine Salem. All Salem residents and community members are invited to join the Imagine Salem community conversation to prepare a road map to what they want the community to look like in 2026—the year that Salem celebrates its 400th anniversary.

The dialogue will be framed around housing, jobs, and transportation with themes of equity and inclusiveness woven throughout the topics. The vision will serve as a guide for future decisions.

“Salem has seen tremendous investment and growth over the past ten years,” said Mayor Driscoll. “New residents are joining longtime families in calling Salem home. Brownfields are being transformed, the waterfront is coming alive, and downtown has become a vibrant destination for the region. We’ve made important investments in our infrastructure, and our local economy is robust. Now the question is what kind of city do we want to be in ten years? How do we make sure our city is best positioned to continue our prosperity? From schools to housing and transportation to employment, let’s set some expectations for ourselves and then work to get them done.”

What can you do now?

  • Visit the website (www.imaginesalem.org).
  • Take a brief online survey.
  • Like Imagine Salem on Facebook.
  • Share a photo on Instagram.
  • Attend the citywide meeting on March 8 (6:30 PM Salem High School).
  • Come to a small get-together for coffee and conversation.

Those interested in doing more are invited to host a small group conversation. The conversation could be over a cup of coffee, at a book club, or a Sunday lunch with the family — however you typically meet with your friends, family, or social groups.

The Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) will provide you with the tools you need to facilitate a fun and engaging conversation about the future of Salem. Contact the DPCD (imaginesalem@salem.com, 978-619-5685) for more information.

“The people of Salem are what make this City great,” said Mayor Driscoll. “Our community’s vision should reflect their lives and experiences, and advance our collective hopes and dreams. I urge everyone to join the Imagine Salem conversation. I hope you will participate in as many ways as possible. Your contributions will help shape the vision for Salem’s future.”

Share
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.

Share
Aug 232016
 

Sam invitesReflections are how we “see” ourselves. A mirror, a pool of water, the eyes of a loved one. But how does a city such as Salem see its reflection? In the comments of visitors.

To test this point, we found this favorable review of Salem, as seen through the eyes of an Australian traveler. (Thanks to a posting on Destination Salem’s Facebook page back in June).

Linda Bentley from Sydney, Australia is a well-known traveler/reviewer with her own website The Packed Bag and it was interesting to observe the things she wanted to see and did see. Was it the historical, the hysteria, or the hysterical items that called to her?

The blog was simply called USA – Massachusetts: Salem

Potential long stay and short term day trip visitors can look at her blog as a summation of things to do and see in Salem the year round.

But we can use it as a mirror to determine if we are communicating what we want to the outside world. What do you think? Did she share an engaging, inviting, diverse “message”  about Salem, MA?

Share
Feb 282016
 

Define a Film Festival? Pictures, performers, people and passion. Now in its 9th year, the Salem Film Fest presents all that and more, running March 3-10. The “and more?” As in previous years, filmmakers are expected to be present for more than half of the screenings, providing audiences with a unique opportunity to learn more about the documentary filmmaking process.

 

Here is a full list of the films along with trailers.

What more could founders filmmaker Joe Cultrera (Hand of God), local businessman Paul Van Ness (CinemaSalem, Van Ness Creative), Executive Director of the Salem Chamber of Commerce Rinus Oosthoek and others from the community ask for? How about a growth rate of 15-25% each year?

SFFLogo_2016BIGRun and operated entirely by volunteers, the week-long festival has become not only a community-wide event, but also one of New England’s largest documentary film festivals, with screenings at CinemaSalem, the Peabody Essex Museum and the National Park Service Salem Visitor Center. Plus, there are filmmaker parties and music events held at venues throughout downtown.

Well-told stories with strong technical elements and interesting visual approaches are what you will find at the 2016 Salem Film Fest. Yes, you could say it is a big deal. We think so. Check out the entire schedule, then mark your calendars. And definitely come to Salem, see the world.

Share