Jun 022016


As Arts Festivals go, we think ours is a big deal. So much so that the Salem Arts Festival is not a one day experience but a 3-day extravaganza of culture, June 3-5th. What else would you call the intersection of over 80 artists and performers with a variety of art, music, dance, and theatre performances. The family-friendly festival also includes art-making for all ages, artisan vendors selling their creations, and a temporary public art installation.

And yes, something this big can’t be housed in one spot.

The Salem Arts Festival is spread out at a variety of venues in downtown Salem, with the primary focus on Old Town Hall, Derby Square, Front Street, and Artists’ Row. A Juried Art Show will be held in Old Town Hall throughout the festival, with an artisan street fair in the area around the building on Saturday and Sunday. Live performances this year will mostly be held outside (weather permitting) on Derby Square and Artists’ Row. The event is rain or shine, with a rain location for performances held upstairs at Old Town Hall and at 217 Essex Street (formerly “The Gathering”).

Full schedule and programs will be available on site during the festival, as well as the Festival website.

“I’m probably prouder of this event than any other Salem Main Streets initiative, because there’s been such tremendous collaboration between so many local groups and individuals to continue to improve and expand the festival every year.  I can’t wait to share the phenomenal energy and talent that will be on display this year,” says Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director of Salem Main Streets (SMS), the community non-profit organization which started the Festival.

The Salem Arts Festival kicks off with an opening reception at Salem’s Old Town Hall on Friday, June 3rd at 6pm.  The free event allows visitors to enjoy beautiful art work while being entertained by renowned local and regional performers North Shore Chamber Music, Gretchen and the Pickpockets, Siren of the Circle, and headliners Picante Soul.

In addition this year, Friday night will also serve as the grant reception for the Salem Cultural Council’s FY16 grantees.

One of the most anticipated events this year is “Move With Me”, a collaborative public art project led by artist and architect Claudia Paraschiv, featuring an installation of pinwheels over Front Street. During the past few months, community groups and locals of all ages and abilities have decorated several hundred individual pinwheels made of reclaimed sailcloth, drawing their own interpretations of traditional textile patterns from different cultures around the world.

This year, the Salem Arts Festival also celebrates the very first “Mural Slam” on Artists’ Row, organized by the City of Salem’s Public Art Commission and Public Art Planner Deborah Greel. Murals will be painted throughout the weekend by 12 selected artists and will be completed by the end of the festival. In addition, the Festival marks the return of vendors to Artists’ Row, with both new and returning tenants for the 2016 season.

The goal of the Salem Arts Festival is to promote all the arts in Salem and to provide the entire North Shore arts community with an opportunity to showcase their talents. The Festival is run in collaboration with Salem Main Streets by a team of dedicated volunteers, including representatives from Creative Salem, Salem State University, the Peabody Essex Museum, and many more.

Visitors interested in attending the Salem Arts Festival can find easy access to the downtown by public transportation or parking at one of the many downtown lots in the City. For more information, please visit www.salemartsfestival.com

SALEM303 Salem_Arts_Fest_Logo_Final

May 252016

Foli-WP-landscapeThere are many ways to experience other cultures. Literature. Food. Art. CinemaSalem brings us a unique look at the West African Mali tribe with FOLI: Rhythm of African Life for a live show this Thursday, May 26th at 8:30pm

Yes, LIVE.

It is part light show, part dance celebration, and part music extravaganza.

Paul Van Ness of CinemaSalem offered a behind the scenes look “I got to see it for myself at a late-night dress rehearsal, and it’s a spectacular show! It’s completely entertaining, even mesmerizing, but while you’re being entertained you’re learning about West African cultural history and about the connections and individuals who play a role in forming Malian communities.”

He further explains. “Over the course of the performance, you’re introduced to the dances which are used by people in Mali to observe and celebrate important passages over a lifetime, so by the end, you feel like you’ve just watched a movie.”

The stages (birth, growth, maturity, transition and transcendence) mark the progression of an African’s life from the birth of a person to the growth of an individual to the maturation of an adult to the selection of a family to a role in the community to a life remembered.

Directed and conceived by Gregory Coles, this event is presented by CinemaSalem and Creative Salem. Tickets are still available; seating for this special live performance event is on a reserved basis.

Apr 282016

The beautiful Atrium of the Peabody Essex Museum was the perfect setting for a night of chatting, dining, praising and even a bit of networking this Wednesday in Salem, MA as the 94th Annual Celebrate Salem Awards event took place.

Salem Awards Party Night

Thirty-six nominees! Six award categories. Businesses. Organizations. Individuals. And winners were decided upon by a very special jury —- you and your peers in the community.

What say you?

  • Businesswoman of the Year – Joanne Scott, Boys and Girls Club
  • Businessman of the Year – Rob Liani, Coffee Time Bake Shop
  • New Business – Sea Level Oyster Bar
  • Excellence in Retail – The Cheese Shop of Salem
  • Community Service – Plummer Home
  • Long-Term Achievement – National Park Service/Salem Maritime Historical Site

Congratulations to the winners, the nominees, and to the Salem Chamber of Commerce for continuing this tradition of letting our community “speak” about good business practices and appreciated customer service procedures by voting for the best of the best.

Apr 212016

Nexus: the central and most important point or place. That would be The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem this Thursday night from 6-9pm as the monthly open late party known as PEM/PM invites you to “Immerse yourself in the world of extravagance and trade as we explore Asia in Amsterdam: The Culture of Luxury in the Golden Age.” That is the current major exhibition at PEM.

PEM PM "Nexus"So, what do you do at a PEM/PM event? What don’t you do!

  • Dance to the latest house mixes by Boston’s DJ Melee
  • Create your own Delftware-inspired tile coasters
  • Play games that explore trade, luxury and global domination with Beverly’s board game cafe The Castle
  • Trade business cards and networking tips with Boston’s Society of Grownups

But that’s not all. There will also be an incredible Balinese Gamelan performance by Gamelan Galak Tika. Plus you will have the special opportunity to sample fair-trade Dutch chocolates from Tony’s Chocolonely and tea-infused cocktails with Jolie Tea Company.

PEM/PM events are always inclusive of the Salem community. You are invited to be entertained, educated and excited by what the Museum has to offer. Members and Salem residents (with ID) free, nonmembers $10 at the door.

As always, if you need a preview visual menu of the delights from which to sample, go no further – and we mean that, go no further – than Creative Salem website. John Andrews catches the spirit of the event through words and pictures for your consumption. Enjoy!

The Peabody Essex Museum is located at 161 Essex St, Salem. For more info call (978) 745-9500.


Apr 072016

Talk of the town this past week has been about fashion. Salem, the Witch city, a hot spot for fashion? Yes, it is. An evening of fashion, fun, dancing, and more takes place Friday, April 8 at 7pm in Old Town Hall, as a fundraiser for the upcoming Salem Arts Festival.

The popularity of the SAF Fashion Show Fundraiser is not just in the fashion but in the community input. The fabulous fashions come from local boutiques, including: Avalanche Company Store, The Boutique, Lifebridge’s Second Chance Thrift Shop, Modern Millie Vintage & Consignments, Ocean Chic Boutique & Waterbar, Peabody Essex Museum Shop, RJ Coins and Jewelry, and TBT Post.

Fashion ShowAnd even the make-up is contributed locally by awesome artists from Laura Lanes Skin Care, Rouge Cosmetics, and Radiance Lifestyle Salon.

But the local input doesn’t stop there.

If you’d like, you can actually start the evening earlier at 5 pm with art and a glass of prosecco at the opening of Ellen Hardy’s “French Toast” show at The Ugly Mug Diner.

Next at 6 pm, head over to The House of the Seven Gables for the opening of the Caroline Emmerton exhibit – AND if you bring your Fashion Show Fundraiser ticket with you, you can get a free drink!

Then, just before 7pm, head back back for the SAF Fashion Show Fundraiser at Old Town Hall.

It will be hosted by local comedian and Salem Comedy and Spirits Festival founder Mark Scalia.

You can dance the night away with DJ Noel Snow, with additional performers to be announced. Food, drink, and  raffle will make the evening complete.

In fact,  Bambolina, Ferreira Foods, Opus, and Jodi Bee Bakes will provide bite-size treats to sweeten up the night!

SAF Fashion Show Fundraiser has been generously sponsored by People’s United Bank. Special thanks to Salem Food Tours, Creative Salem, and the City of Salem in coordinating this event.

Old Town Hall is located at 32 Derby Square in Salem. For tickets order on-line, or call 978-744-0004, ask for Kylie Sullivan at Salem Main Streets.

Your support will help to keep the Salem Arts Festival growing and free for all!