Salem Public Art Commission announces Merry & Bright

Free family-friendly events Old Town Hall & Derby Square to spread holiday cheer

Looking to activate public spaces in the month of December, the Salem Public Art Commission has collaborated with local artist and art organizations to bring forward “Merry & Bright”, a series of family friendly performances that are being offered FREE to the Salem community.

On November 25 at 7:30 pmHistory Alive, Inc. will kick off this holiday series by caroling their way from the holiday tree lighting in Lappin Park down to Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, where the interactive parlor reading of their new show ‘TIS THE SEASON, will be performed. Running a little under an hour, guests will be invited to read the script and sing along as they enjoy some holiday punch and even a cookie decorating activity.

Following this kickoff event, The Petticoat Pages will perform a one woman show of “A Christmas Carol” at Old Town Hall on December 14 at 2 pm and December 16 at 7 pm.  “Although the title contains the word, ‘Christmas’, we want to make sure everyone feels welcome, regardless of their personal beliefs,” says Jennifer Emerson, founder of Petticoat Pages. Throughout the performance, members of the audience will be invited to participate as helpers. The show on Dec. 14th is schedule on a Salem Public School Early Release Day to encourage student participation but both shows are open to everyone. For younger audience members, iPads and sketchbooks are encouraged to be brought along, so that they can draw or write what they think throughout the show, adding another level of interaction to the performance. This show is suitable for all ages and free to the public, though in the spirit of the reformed Scrooge, donations of non-perishable food items are encouraged. Bring a can good and join the fun!

On December 17th from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm, instrumental carolers will be performing around Derby Square and the surrounding areas. Onlookers will see a mix of local middle school bands and a professional brass quartet as they fill the air with familiar holiday tunes.

December 18th from 10 am to 5 pm, “Merry & Bright” will wrap up with the Winter Solstice Healing Market and Mini-Festival. Arranged by ChagallPAC, the market will take place on the first floor and will host a variety of vendors with stocking stuffers and gifts galore, including some vendors whose proceeds will go to support recovery efforts in the Ukraine. As part of this market, Public Artist in Residence, Maia Mattson will also host a free wreath making workshop (while supplies last), the Boy Scouts will have wreaths for sale.

In tandem with the market, the second floor of Old Town Hall will be activated with three solstice healing performances and a workshop, which are being offered to the public for free. Lisa Kawski will begin this series from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm with Sound Healing for the Soul. Following that, My Lady on Fire Sound Healing, featuring Jason Felitto will continue the healing journey from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm with his performance. From 3:00 to 5:00 pm, Kim Kesslak will close out the day with a Healing with Stones workshop.

For more information about these programs and more, please view the public calendar: https://www.salemma.gov/old-town-hall/pages/calendar-events

These activities are sponsored by the Salem Public Art Commission.

For more information about the Public Art Commission please visit: www.salemma.gov/public-art-commission

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