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The Salem Arts Festival promotes the arts in downtown Salem through a collaborative festival for residents and visitors providing opportunities to highlight the existing artist community and encourage general community participation in the arts. The festival is celebrating 13 years and draws over 7,000 visitors in a typical year. The festival is looking for art and performance for the sophisticated art patron as well as for the art novice, including interactive events for children. It will engage participants of diverse backgrounds and ages by reaching out to current art patrons, local students, and the community at large.
Art will heal us and help us recover from the challenges we have and continue to face. Arts and Culture are an integral part of day-to-day life in Salem, and this annual festival has become a source of pride and revenue for hundreds of creative professionals and a major economic boost to the local community with over 7,000 attendees annually. Through the COVID crisis the creative community has stepped up to help us get through a lot of challenges and we want to find ways that we can support the creative community and contribute to the wellness of our City with the Festival as a platform and as an event.
This year, the festival committee is working closely with the City of Salem and the local Board of Health to establish a hybrid event that will offer hope and vibrancy in person and “virtually”.
(Artists will be creating the murals either at their homes for an install after the festival or socially distanced around town, weather permitting)
We are spreading out around town this year, there will be no main stage to prevent crowds and gathering. This will give you the perfect opportunity to explore the Downtown and be entertained! We are committed to continue compensating all performers.
Community Art Project
Every year we choose a community art project that allows the community to have an active part in the festival. This year artist Linda Mullen will be creating “Together” which will provide an opportunity to reflect on the last year; what we have lost, what we are grateful for, what we have learned. Together, we will create a large installation piece consisting of white flowers that will be hung on a pre-constructed frame. We invite you to participate and hope that this process will be a ritual for reflection and healing.
Street Fair Vendors
In an effort to keep people safe and allow for distancing we will be featuring vendors on Derby Square, Charlotte Forten Park and the Salem Common. Explore all the nooks and don’t forget to pop into the local stores as so many of them also feature local artisans!
Art Around Town and focus on small business
Rather than a centralized gallery, smaller galleries and shows featuring local artists will be present in businesses and storefronts throughout the Downtown. The Salem Arts Association is programming their first Salem Art Walk, where artwork by SAA artists will be featured in storefront windows around down. We are working with local photographer Susanne Bothe to highlight the humans behind the local businesses we know and love. These gorgeous portraits will be on display during the festival. Multiple community partners are working on their own initiatives for the weekend of the Festival, so keep your eyes peeled for art everywhere!
The latest information can be found at salemartsfestival.com
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