2019 Salem Arts Festival returns to downtown Salem!

Images by Creative Collective

On June 7th – 9th, the 11th annual Salem Arts Festival will present a free celebration of arts, culture, creativity, and community! This popular family-friendly event features over 200 artists and performers and includes a variety of art, music, dance, and theatre performances. Public activities include four performance areas, onsite art-making for all ages, local artisans and makers selling their creations, a juried art exhibition, and a temporary eco-friendly public art installation on Artists’ Row. This year’s festival is sponsored by Peabody Essex Museum.

Moonrise Fae at Salem Arts Festival
Moonrise Fae at Salem Arts Festival

A joint project of Salem Main Streets and Creative Collective, the Festival takes place in the heart of Salem at a variety of indoor and outdoor venues. The annual Juried Art Gallery will be held in Old Town Hall throughout the festival weekend, with an artisan street fair in the surrounding Pedestrian Mall on Saturday and Sunday. Live performances will take place (weather permitting) on Derby Square and Front Street.  A temporary public art project, Roots on the Row, constructed of foraged plant material by local artist Maia Mattson, will be installed on Artists Row for the festival. This project is sponsored by Phil Richard Insurance and Coon’s Cards and Gifts.

The festival is rain or shine; in the event of inclement weather, performances will be moved into Old Town Hall and Front Street Coffeehouse.  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 and for the full festival schedule, performer information and listings of street fair vendors please visitwww.salemartsfestival.com.

“It’s hard to believe how far this festival has come in the past 10 years. So much conscious work and collaboration has been done across organizations and disciplines over the years to create a one-of-a-kind event, truly unique to Salem,” says Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director of Salem Main Streets (SMS), the community nonprofit that founded the Festival. In partnership with SMS is Creative Collective LLC, a locally based ‘creative forward’ business program that provides opportunities and resources to those that live, work and play in the creative industries. Founder and CCO John Andrews says, “Partnering on the festival made so much sense to the Collective. As we watch the growth of the creative economy and learn more every day how important support of the arts and culture are to healthy, safe, and vibrant communities, we are honored to be playing a critical role in the festival that not only boosts the local economy, but also supports hundreds of performers, artisans, and makers that make their living in the underserved and undervalued creative industries.”

Mural Slam at Salem Arts Festival
Mural Slam

The Festival kicks off with an opening reception at Salem’s Old Town Hall on Friday, June 7th at 7 p.m., sponsored by the Salem Waterfront Hotel. The free event allows visitors to enjoy beautiful art work in the juried gallery while being entertained by renowned local and regional performers, including Liz Bills, Aidan Scrimgeour, and LadyCap. On Saturday, June 8, the Arts Festival combines forces with the Salem Jazz & Soul Festival’s monthly Berklee Summer Series, this month featuring the Staccioli & Gresino Collective on Derby Square from 5 to 7 p.m., sponsored by Mercy Tavern. The festival will continue into Saturday evening this year, thanks to the support of Salem Five Bank.

In addition to the festival proper, the City of Salem comes alive with multiple other complimentary happenings in tandem with the festival, including the annual Mural Slam on the backside of Artists’ Row supported by The City of Salem Public Art Commission and Finz Seafood and Grill.

A special thanks to over 40 additional local businesses that supported the 2019 Festival through financial support, including social media sponsors Goldberg Properties and the William Goldberg family,  the Massachusetts Cultural Council for a partial grant, and by the gracious support of our other creative partners, including Octocog Marketing and Design, Scarlet Letter Press, and Retonica Event Lighting. A full list of supporters can be found on the festival website.

We are actively seeking volunteers! Volunteers interested in helping with the Festival are warmly welcomed and encouraged to contact Kylie Sullivan atkylie@salemmainstreets.org for more information or sign up at salemartsfestival.com/call-for-volunteers.

About the Organizers

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. The Creative Collective connects creativity, community, commerce, and opportunity through a series of social engagements, traditional and non-traditional marketing efforts, advocacy, events, workshops, and resources.

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