Salem Celebrates the Fourth

Festivities include children’s events, a military flyover, Pops concert, and Fireworks.

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Mayor Kimberley Driscoll is pleased to announce that Salem will hold its Independence Day celebration at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site on Derby Wharf on Monday, July 4th.

“There’s no better place to celebrate Independence Day than in historic Salem,” said Mayor Driscoll. “Start off bright and early at Salem Common for the annual reading of the Declaration of Independence, spend the day visiting the City’s numerous historic sites and attractions, dine at one of dozens of remarkable restaurants, and end your day at historic Derby Wharf for all of the festivities.”

“This year we are very excited to have a flyover by the 104th Fighter Wing from Barnes Air National Guard Unit,” Mayor Driscoll added. The 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard is located in Westfield, Massachusetts and proudly claims the honor of being one of the oldest flying units within the Commonwealth. “As the birthplace of the National Guard, it is especially meaningful for Salem to have a flyover by the 104th.” Salem Common was the site of the first muster in 1637 and continues to host the annual National Guard muster to this day.

“Salem is fortunate to have such a generous business community that continues to support this celebration,” Mayor Driscoll commented. “I’d like to express a special thank you to our Skyrocket Sponsors: Footprint Power – Salem Harbor Station, Salem Five, Tropical Products, and Walmart, along with our Star Spangled Sponsors: Aggregate Industries, Tache Real Estate, Market Basket, Eastern Bank, and KV Associates.”

Free children’s activities begin at 5:00 p.m. with the opening of the Kids’ Space, where young ones can play games, win prizes and get their faces painted, all thanks to the generosity of the Meeting House Church in Salem and Walmart. Also, look for the MAGIC 106.7 street team along with the MGH Pediatrics tent on-site with lots of cool give-a-ways.

Food tents on site also open at 5:00 p.m. with hot dogs, french fries, fried dough, kettle corn, and other fair favorites.

Live entertainment on the Main Stage also begins at 5:00 p.m. Annie Brobst, the 2016 & 2017 New England Country Music Award’s Female Artist of the Year, will be performing with her band on main stage.

Opening Ceremonies begin at 7:15 p.m. when Mayor Driscoll and other local dignitaries will lead a parade down the wharf accompanied by the Salem Veterans Honor Guard and Salem Boy Scout troops. The National Anthem will be sung by Nadine Adisho, Leah Morgenstern, Danielle Gautier and Tyler Leger of Salem High School’s a cappella group Witch Pitch?.
Immediately following opening ceremonies Maestro Dirk Hillyer and his orchestra has another great program in store for us, including classic American folk songs and family-friendly musical numbers from Disney and the Wizard of Oz.

At 9:15 p.m., Salem ends its Independence Day celebration with a fireworks extravaganza, accompanied live by the Hillyer Festival Orchestra playing the 1812 Overture and other patriotic live music throughout the entire fireworks display.24-July_4_062

Part of the allure of this celebration is its setting. The first National Historic Site in the National Park System, Salem Maritime National Historic Site consists of nine acres of waterfront land and houses a dozen historic structures. These include the Custom House, where famed author Nathaniel Hawthorne worked, and Derby Wharf, which was used by America’s first millionaire, Salem merchant Elias Hasket Derby. Independence Day in Salem is filled with the history that helped make American the free nation it is today.

Please note the following information for those planning to attend the July 4th celebrations in Salem this weekend:

Be safe. To ensure a safe and fun celebration, the Salem Police Department will have enhanced security in place on July 4th. Guests are asked to carry any items in clear plastic bags and be prepared for possible bag checks.

Say something. If you see something, say something to uniformed police at the celebration. In addition to officers who will be moving throughout the area all evening, you can also always find officers at the public safety tent, which will be clearly identifiable on site. Concerns can also be called into the Salem Police at (978) 744-1212.

Derby Wharf access. Police will be monitoring access points into the Derby Wharf area throughout the afternoon and evening. Please plan for additional time to arrive at the wharf for the festivities.

Road closures. Derby Street from Herbert Street to Daniels Street, and Orange Street and Curtis Street at Essex Street, will all be closed to traffic on Saturday from 5:00 pm. until 11:00 p.m.

Avoid driving to Derby Wharf. Seek parking downtown in a lot (parkinginsalem.com), or at Museum Place Garage on New Liberty Street or the South Harbor Garage on Congress Street, which are available for parking at $5 for the day, with the proceeds helping to fund the July 4th celebration. There is overflow parking at Shetland Properties on Congress Street, or take the commuter rail or Salem Ferry (salemferry.com) to avoid anticipated traffic congestion. The last MBTA trains depart Salem station at 10:40 p.m. (southbound) and 10:51 p.m. (northbound).

Handicapped parking. There is limited handicap parking at Derby Wharf and in the Immaculate Conception parking lot on Hawthorne Boulevard, which is first-come first-serve, and there is a mobility impaired/wheelchair seating section reserved at the beginning of Derby Wharf, so attendees do not have to traverse the park’s terrain.

Don’t bring fireworks. Salem has adopted the maximum fines allowable for both the sale ($1,000 fine) and use ($200 fine) of fireworks. In addition, a dedicated police unit will be tasked with enforcing the laws prohibiting the private use of fireworks. Please help ensure a safe July 4th for all and leave the fireworks to the professionals.

Harbor access. Recreational boaters and other craft will be restricted from the area around Derby Wharf and the channel in Salem Harbor and the South River for much of the evening. Mariners can call the Harbormaster’s Office at 978-741-0098 or on VHF 16 for emergencies after hours or for more information.

For more information check salem.com or call Salem City Hall at 978-745-9595, ext. 5676.

Five Remarkable Women of Salem

March is Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating the women who have contributed to Salem’s history over the years.  This year, 2017, we live in a Salem that has a woman at the helm, Mayor Kim Driscoll; a woman in the State House, Senator Joan Lovely; a woman as the head of the Salem school district, Superintendent Margarita Ruiz; the first woman Chief of Police, Chief Mary Butler; and President Patricia Meservey is leading Salem State University into the future.  Salem is a community that nurtures and encourages strong women.

It is only fitting, as we make history going forward, that we acknowledge and celebrate the women in Salem’s past. This weekend, there will be programs at the House of the Seven Gables, Phillips House Museum, and more.

Five remarkable women have already been named here, and they are the women who are actively building Salem’s future.  Here are four women in Salem’s history whose stories we tell often:

Mary Spencer created the Gibralter, believed to be America’s first commercially produced candy, which is still sold at Ye Olde Pepper Companie.

Caroline Emmerton purchased the House of the Seven Gables, turned it into a museum, and use the profits from the museum to fund her Settlement House, which provided training for immigrant girls, boys, and adults.

Elizabeth Peabody opened the first Kindergarten in America.

Bessie Phillips establish the Stephen Philips Memorial Trust House as a museum to be enjoyed by all, which today is part of Historic New England and the only home on Chestnut Street that is open to the public.

The thirteen innocent women who were hanged during the Salem Witch Trials, accused of practicing witchcraft, are perhaps the inspiration for many of the bright and strong women who have led Salem ever since. We remember Bridget Bishop, Martha Carrier, Martha Corey, Mary Easty, Sarah Good, Dorcas Hoar, Elizabeth Howe, Susannah Martin, Rebecca Nurse, Alice Parker, Mary Parker, Ann Pudeator, Margaret Scott, and Sarah Wildes.

For more information on the historic women of Salem, explore the Salem Women’s History Trail.

Tour Bakers Island Light Station

Salem Harbor is home to five lighthouses, three of which are in Salem:  Derby Light is part of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Pickering Light is on Winter Island, and Bakers Light is on Bakers Island.  The other two lighthouses are Hospital Point in Beverly and Marblehead Light.  You can see all of the lighthouses from boat (Salem’s harbor tours are great for that), Pickering Light and Derby Light are accessible by foot, and beginning on July 1 you can tour Bakers Island Light Station on a guided tour provided by the Essex National Heritage Commission.

Bakers Island is a 60 acre island that is primarily occupied by a private summer colony.  The light station occupies 11 acres on the northern side of the island, and tours to Bakers Island Light will include a beach landing, tour around the base of the lighthouse, and return trip to Salem Wharf.  (Note: Tours to Bakers Island Light Station do not include other parts of the island, and tour participants are strictly prohibited from leaving the 11 acres of the light station.

Visit EssexHeritage.org for complete information on visiting Bakers Island Light Station, and click here to purchase tickets, which can also be purchased at the Salem Regional Visitor Center or at the dock.

Weather permitting, trips will go out at 11 am, 2pm, and 4:30 pm daily. Tickets cost $35 for adults, $32 for children. The Naumkeag holds no more than 17 passengers, so advance tickets are recommended. Access to Bakers Island is via a beach landing on a rocky beach, and passengers must be able to disembark, walk across the beach, and walk up a steep incline to get to the light station. People interested in taking the tour should read all restrictions and the FAQs answered by Essex Heritage prior to purchasing tickets.

Click here for the history of Bakers Island, as well as additional reading.

 

Four Ways to Set Sail in Salem Sound

Being on the water has its advantages: Cool summer breezes, beautiful sunrises, and harbor tours to name a few.  Here are four ways to find your sea legs in Salem this summer.
Schooner FAME & Hannah Salem
1.  Schooner FAME of  Salem.  Climb aboard this wooden boat, a replica of the 1812 privateer FAME , which sails out of Pickering Wharf daily May-October. Check their schedule for sunset cruises, summer camp (fun!), and their Rum & Revolution series.  SchoonerFAME.com

2.  Mahi Mahi Harbor Cruises will take you out on their repurposed lobster boat, the Finback, or the larger Hannah Glover. Offering Cocktail, Sunset, and Narrated Sightseeing Cruises all summer long, you may need to plan a longer visit to Salem.  MahiCruises.com

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3.  Sea Shuttle offers harbor tours aboard the 45′ catamaran, Endeavor. Leaving from Salem Willows, Sea  Shuttle offering daily harbor cruises, trips to Misery Island, and special Fireworks Cruises.  Kids will love the touch tank, which always has a different array of sea creatures that came up in local lobster traps.  Sea-Shuttle.com

4. Salem Ferry is the best way to travel between Salem and Boston. Leaving from Salem Wharf at Blaney Street, the high-speed catamaran will have you at Long Wharf in Boston (adjacent to the New England Aquarium) in 55 minutes.  SalemFerry.com

Photo Contest Pick of the Month

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Our “pick of the month” favorite photo for May was extremely competitive! Thanks to everyone who submitted pictures. Good luck in the year-end competition in December.

The winner is Veronica Adams’ photograph of Bridget Bishop’s stone at the Salem Witch Trials Memorial. Congratulations!

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Think you have a winning image of Salem? Submit it to our Photo Contest!

Bridget Bishop, Hanged, June 10, 1692

bridget_bishop_stone_salemHysteria, wrongly accused for a crime you didn’t commit, tried, and hanged; try and picture what life was like in Salem Village, 1692.  The people of Salem Village had to face an immeasurable number of elements that constantly worked against them: unpredictable weather with no protection against the bitter New England cold, performed back-breaking daily chores their farmland needed, and maintained the mindset of the Puritan religion: the fear that the devil exists and might very well walk among us.

The courts during that time functioned completely different than the ones we know today, and allowed the inclusion of spectral evidence.  Spectral evidence was when the witness would testify that the accused person’s spirit or spectral shape appeared to her/him in a dream at the time that their physical body was at another location.  It was because of this “evidence” that 19 people were hanged and one man was pressed to death during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.

The first person to be tried, found guilty, and hanged on June 10, was the innocent Bridget Bishop.  Bridget was known throughout the Salem area for her un-Puritan like behavior of flamboyant dress, tavern frequenting, and multiple marriages.  In an effort to avoid being hanged, Bridget admitted guilt and denounced her good name in the community.  She was found guilty by the testimonials of numerous townspeople (more than any other defendant) and was therefore executed on June 10, 1692.

– Margaret Kazan, Destination Salem

Spotlight on the Salem Witch Trials

The Trial of George JacobsWe commemorated the anniversary of the hanging of Bridget Bishop, the first victim of the Salem Witch Trials, on June 10.  The Witch House hosted an excellent lecture by historian Margo Burns as well as a brief ceremony at the Witch Trials Memorial.  Bridget Bishop was the first of twenty to be condemned and executed during the Salem witchcraft hysteria of 1692.

The Salem Witch Trials are a fascinating time in American history, and the stories of the victims and their accusers have withstood the test of time, holding the fascination of people from around the world.  Any great story changes and evolves as it is told and retold, and from time to time it is good to check back in with the facts.  There are many misconceptions of the Trials and the hysteria, as well as frequently asked questions, and the Salem Witchcraft Trials has inspired retellings in literature and film for centuries.

Here is our “top-ten” list of misconceptions, frequently asked questions, and favorite retellings.

It all happened in Danvers, not Salem.  The Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692 happened throughout the region, with accused and accusers coming from Salem, Ipswich, Gloucester, Andover, Methuen, and other communities.  Salem Village is now the town of Danvers, and some of the sites associated with the trials and hysteria are in Danvers.  Salem Town, modern day Salem, is where the trials actually took place, as well as the hangings and the pressing of Giles Corey.  The Salem Award Foundation has produced a Visitor’s Guide to 1692, which is available through Destination Salem, the Salem Regional Visitor Center, and several participating sites.

Gallows Hill is a soccer field today.  Maybe, but maybe not. There is definitely a soccer field up on a hill in a neighborhood that is called, “Gallows Hill.” That much is true. That said, the location of the gallows or hanging tree (we are not sure which was used) is not on any modern map.  We recommend people go to the Witch Trials Memorial, adjacent to the Old Burying Point, to remember the victims and consider the past.  Please treat the Memorial with respect when you visit, and note that the Witch Trials Memorial is closed between dusk and dawn.

The House of the Seven Gables was part of the Salem Witch Trials. The mansion does date back to 1668, so it was here during the trials, but the house itself does not have direct ties to the Witch Trials. The Turner family lived in the house in the 17th-century, and they made their fortune at sea.  Nathaniel Hawthorne’s great-great-grandfather was Judge John Hathorne, one of the “hanging judges” during the trials, and his involvement with the Witchcraft Hysteria drove Hawthorne to add the w to his name and write The House of the Seven Gables, which is fiction.

The victims really were witches. Doubtful.  It is equally doubtful that the accusers were witches.  The Salem Witchcraft Trials were a social hysteria that spun out of control.

The accused were “swum” to determine if they were a witch.  Not in Salem. The practice of swimming a witch was widespread in Europe, and it was used in Connecticut, but not in Salem.

Victims were burned at the stake.  Not in Salem.  Burning at the stake was punishment for heresy, a crime against the church, in Europe.  Witchcraft was a felony in the colonies, a crime against the government.

The Hysteria ended in October.  The Court of Oyer and Terminer was dissolved by Governor Phips in October, and a new Superior Court was convened to try the remaining witchcraft cases. The Superior Court condemned three additional people in January 1693, but Governor Phips pardoned them and all who were still imprisoned on the charge of witchcraft.  Not everyone was freed, however, as prisoners had to pay for their imprisonment before being released.

On stageThe Crucible, by Arthur Miller, is a remarkable play that is set in Salem in 1692. Miller wrote the story as allegory for the House on Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) that was having its own social witch hunt for communism in the 1950s.  The play is fiction, inspired by actual events and actual people.  Historian Margo Burns writes more in her essay, “Picky, Picky, Picky.”

On the big screen: Hocus Pocus is definitely fiction, but it sure is fun.  A bigger hit in DVD and on network television each October than it was in theatres when it was released in 1993, the story of the Sanderson sisters, starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimi is one of our favorites, and many of the locations where they filmed in Salem are still here, and were featured in the 2013 Guide to Salem Haunted Happenings.

In literature: The Heretic’s Daughter, by Kathleen Kent, is about Martha Carrier’s family. Told from the perspective of Martha’s daughter, Sarah, it is a wonderful work of fiction inspired by actual events.  Katherine Howe’s novel, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, is also an engaging work of historical fiction inspired by the events of 1692.

Resources and References:

The Salem Award Foundation gives the Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice annually and maintains the Witch Trials Memorial.

The Salem Witch Museum FAQ Page, Witch Trials Weekly, and Miscellany

Salem Witch Trials Documents Archive and Transcription Project, University of Virginia

17thc.us, Historian Margo Burns

Books:

Witch-Hunting in Seventeenth Century New England, David D. Hall

In the Devil’s Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692, Mary Beth Norton

The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-By-Day Chronicle of a Community under Siege, Marilynne K. Roach

Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt, Bernard Rosenthal

Salem Arts Festival This Weekend!

Salem Arts FestivalThe 8th annual Salem Arts Festival will be held June 3-5th.  The popular free event will feature over 80 artists and performers, and includes 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.

The 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 on Artists’ Row.  A basic schedule is included below. Full schedule and programs will be available on site during the festival, as well as the Festival website.

The Festival kicks off with an opening reception at Salem’s Old Town Hall on Friday, June 3rd at 6 p.m.  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.

Move with Me - Photo Credit Creative Salem

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. Over 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.

Volunteers interested in helping with the Festival are warmly welcomed and encouraged to contact Kylie Sullivan at kylie@salemmainstreets.org for more information.

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 SalemArtsFestival.com and follow the festival on Facebook.

The 2015 Salem Arts Festival. Photo credit Creative Salem

SALEM ARTS FESTIVAL 2016 SCHEDULE

Friday, June 3rd – Kickoff Reception

6:00 – 6:45 pm, Old Town Hall
North Shore Chamber Music

6:50 – 7:00 pm, Derby Square
Salem Cultural Council Grant Announcements

7:00 – 7:45 pm, Derby Square
Gretchen and the Pickpockets

7:50 – 8:00 pm, Derby Square
Siren of the Circle

8:00 – 9:00 pm, Derby Square
Picante Soul

Saturday, June 4th – 11:00 – 6:00

Juried Art Exhibit, Old Town Hall

Street Fair

Art-Making Activities, Front Street and Artists’ Row

11:00 – 11:45 am, Derby Square
Vermillion Strings

12:00 – 12:45 pm, Derby Square
ElectricAcidJazzCircus

12:15 – 12:45 pm, Artists’ Row
Meridian

12:45 – 1:15 pm, Artists’ Row
Strange Interlude

1:00 – 1:45 pm, Derby Square
Adrian DiMatteo

1:45 – 2:15 pm, Artists’ Row
Dave Bailin

2:00 – 2:45 pm, Derby Square
Greg Allen’s Fringe Religion

2:45 – 3:15 pm, Old Town Hall Upstairs
Katherine Fuller

2:45 – 3:15 pm, Artists’ Row
Julie Dougherty

3:15 – 4:00 pm, Derby Square
Sarah Messias & Hunter Burgamy

4:00 – 4:30 pm, Old Town Hall Upstairs
Aurora Borealis Dance Company

4:00 – 4:30 pm, Artists’ Row
Francis X. Norton

4:15 – 5:00 pm, Derby Square
Jalopy

5:00 – 5:30 pm, Artists’ Row
Amy Spillert

5:15 – 6:00 pm, Derby Square
The Tree House Charlatans

Sunday, June 5, 10:45 – 6:00

Juried Art Exhibit, Old Town Hall

Street Fair

Art-Making Activities, Front Street and Artists’ Row

10:45 – 11:30 am, Old Town Hall
Community Yoga Dance with Dale Lewinski

11:30 am to 12:15 pm, Derby Square
Christopher Noran

12:15 – 12:45 pm, Artists’ Row
Joey Phoenix

12:30 -1:15 pm, Derby Square
Matt Heaton & the Outside Toys

1:15 – 1:45 pm, Artists’ Row
Ashley Dawn

1:30 – 2:00 pm, Derby Square
Flamenco Boston

2:00 – 2:50 pm, Artists’ Row
Witch City Belly Dance

2:15 – 3:00 pm, Derby Square
Soft Cactus

3:00 – 3:30 pm, Artists’ Row
Thea Hopkins

3:00 – 3:30 pm, Old Town Hall Upstairs
Molly Rose Tupper

3:15 – 4:00 pm, Derby Square
Jazz Punishers

4:00 – 4:30 pm, Artists’ Row
Striving Artists Theatre Company

4:15 – 5:00 pm, Derby Square
Deep C Divers

4:30 – 5:30 pm, Artists’ Row
Plummer Home, On Point, & Salem YMCA Ensembles

5:15 – 6:00 pm, Derby Square
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The Work of Rodin Interpreted in Dance

101 Dancers

BoSoma Dance Company, 2016. Photo by Kathy Tarantola / Peabody Essex Museum.

The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) and BoSoma Dance Company present 101 days of modern gestural performance in the museum’s headlining exhibition, Rodin: Transforming Sculpture. Dancers will respond to sculptures by Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), including masterpieces such as “The Thinker,” “The Kiss” and “The Hand of God.” Performances will take place daily from 11 am to 4:30 pm for the entire run of the exhibition – May 14  through September 5, 2016.

Whether working in plaster, marble or bronze, Rodin captured the emotional and psychological complexities of the human experience in ways that few sculptors have achieved, before or since. Pairing sculptures with movement in the gallery will heighten the emotional experiences of the sculptures and allow for another entry point into considering aspects of the human form and how Rodin was inspired by the body.

BoSoma Dance Company of Peabody, Mass., will lead the daily gestural performances. Dancers will juxtapose human limbs, joints and muscular forms with sculpted body parts in performances woven into the exhibition.

ABOUT BOSOMA DANCE COMPANY

Founded in 2003, BoSoma is a modern dance company under the artistic direction and leadership of Katherine Hooper.  The company’s mission is to make dance captivating and accessible through dynamic performance and community education.

ABOUT THE PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM

Over the last 20 years, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) has distinguished itself as one of the fastest-growing art museums in North America. Founded in 1799, it is also the country’s oldest continuously operating museum. At its heart is a mission to enrich and transform people’s lives by broadening their perspectives, attitudes and knowledge of themselves and the wider world. PEM celebrates outstanding artistic and cultural creativity through exhibitions, programming and special events that emphasize cross-cultural connections, integrate past and present and underscore the vital importance of creative expression. The museum’s collection is among the finest of its kind boasting superlative works from around the globe and across time — including American art and architecture, Asian export art, photography, maritime art and history, Native American, Oceanic and African art. PEM’s campus affords a varied and unique visitor experience with hands-on creativity zones, interactive opportunities and performance spaces. Twenty-four noted historic structures grace PEM’s campus, including Yin Yu Tang, a 200-year-old Chinese house that is the only such example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States, and the Phillips Library, which holds one of the nation’s most important museum-based collections of rare books and manuscripts.

HOURS: Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am-5 pm, and the third Thursday of every month until 9 pm. Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

ADMISSION: Adults $18; seniors $15; students $10. Additional admission to Yin Yu Tang: $5. Members, youth 16 and under and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission and free admission to Yin Yu Tang.

INFO: Call 866‐745‐1876 or visit pem.org.

Photo Contest Pick of the Month for April

Essex Street Pedestrian Mall by Stephanie Travers

Congratulations to Stephanie Travers, whose image, “Essex Street Pedestrian Mall,” has been chosen as the Destination Salem Photo Contest “Pick of the Month” for April!

Essex Street Pedestrian Mall by Stephanie Travers

Essex Street Pedestrian Mall by Stephanie Travers

Do you have a great picture from your trip to Salem? Submit it to our photo contest! You’ll find the information at Salem.org/PhotoContest.

Live Entertainment at CinemaSalem gets [Expletive]

Sh*tfaced Shakespeare at CinemaSalem. Photo Credit: Creative Salem
Sh*tfaced Shakespeare at CinemaSalem. Photo Credit: Creative Salem

I laughed so hard I cried. Seriously.

That was my mantra for days after seeing “Sh*tfaced Shakespeare” at CinemaSalem last month.  Granted, my expectations were not high.  I did not realize that I was holding a ticket to an international phenomenon (okay, maybe not phenomenon, but you get where I’m going with this).  What began in London has spread it’s iambic pentameter wings over to Somerville, and now we are lucky enough to have it in Salem not once, but twice.

If you aren’t doing anything on Thursday, May 5, you should get tickets. You should go.

I smiled so hard my cheeks hurt.

Here’s the premise: A small cast sets out to perform an abridged version of a Shakespeare classic, in this case it will be A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and one of their members is drunk. Bombed. Smashed.  The theatrical experience begins with the narrator showing the audience all of the empty, or half-empty, bottles that have been consumed.  The chosen player is different for each performance, so, in theory, no two performances are the same.

It really was funny, and such a fun take on Shakespeare. Read more about it on CreativeSalem.com.

This is one performance in a new series of live entertainment on Thursday nights at CinemaSalem, so if Shakespeare under the influence isn’t for you, please check out their full calendar.  There are several musical and comedic options on the calendar, including You Have Died of Dysentery, which looks as intriguing as Shakespeare.

“Mortified” joins the Mass Poetry Festival

Mass Poetry Festival in Salem, MA Photo: Creative Salem

Would you stand up in a crowded room and read allowed, into a microphone presumably, from your adolescent journal?  That is what people will be doing during Mortified, a new addition to the 8th annual Massachusetts Poetry Festival, which returns to Salem this weekend, April 29 – May 1.

Admission is $20 and includes readings throughout the weekend, admission to the Small Press Fair, Headline Events, and the Slam on Saturday night (as well as Mortified on Friday night).  Some of the events do have a capacity limit, so check the schedule for details and be sure to sign up for events that you don’t want to miss (at least three events are already considered full as this post is being written, so please check the website).

Mass Poetry Festival in Salem MA April 29 - May 1, 2016

Headliners this year include Sandra Beasley, Charles Simic, Mark Doty, Marie Howe, and Ocean Vuong.

For complete information, and to register online, visitMassPoetry.org and follow the festival on Facebook.

Salem.org