The City of Salem enlisted Creative Collective to create a collaborative event with Salem State University to help dedicate Charlotte Forten Park in Salem.
The city of Salem dedicated and named Charlotte Forten Park at 289 Derby St. in Salem, MA on September 20, 2019. The park has been under development for two years, the result of long placemaking discussions between the City of Salem, Salem Main Streets, the Salem Public Space Making Project – led by Claudia Paraschiv, Creative Collective, and other city leaders and officials.
Charlotte Forten Park was designed through a community-based process by landscape designers Clara Batchelor and Megan Tomkins of CBA Landscape Architects. Construction of the park was possible thanks to a grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
The City of Salem voted to name the 25,000 sq. ft. park after Charlotte Forten Grimké, an African-American anti-slavery activist, poet, and educator who became the first African-American hired to teach white students in a Salem Public School, Eppes Grammar School.
Creative Collective produced this event in partnership with the City of Salem and Salem State University to produce a kick off event that included a live musical performance by History Alive, multiple Salem State performers including song, poetry and spoken word. In addition, local group The Fly Kidz performed as did local singer and dancer Greg Coles. In addition Claudia Paraschiv from Salem Public Space Project created an interactive Public Art Piece and the initiative also launched a public fund to create a future permanent public art piece.