December 30, 2019

A Year in Storytelling with Creative North Shore

by Felicia Cheney

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2019 has been an important year for art, culture, and creativity. Creative North Shore has chosen to tell stories that highlight standout leaders, important movements, and fun events.

Here are some of your (and our) favorite posts of the year, highlighting some of the best people, ideas, and events to come out of 2019.

Alternative Voices

Alternative Voices series highlighting unique leaders with fresh perspectives who are doing great work North of Boston.

Marquis Victor of Elevated Thought

Art as a Form of Liberation – Marquis Victor of Elevated Thought

Marquis Victor, the Founding Executive Director of Elevated Thought in Lawrence, is a poet, photographer, designer, educator, businessperson, and visionary. 

Reshaping Museum Representation in Lynn with Doneeca Thurston

At 29, Doneeca Thurston is not only the youngest director but also the first person of color to head operations at Lynn Museum/Lynn Arts. The position was formerly filled by Drew Russo, who became the city of Lynn’s personnel director in April of this year…

Social Interventionist Cedric VISE1 Douglas: Strengthening Community Through Street Art

Cedric VISE1 (Virtually Intercepting Society’s Emotions) Douglas is a Boston-based Social Intervention Artist who uses his art to help people become more aware of what’s going on around them. His work has been featured on the streets and in galleries in New England as well as various spots around the world…

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Read more Alternative Voices

Creative Economy

Creativity Economy 101: What it is, Who is involved, and Why it Matters.

Everyone Plays a Part in the Creative Economy

Community Building in the creative economy isn’t just the work of artists or politicians or creative-centered businesses. It’s the work of everyone…

Eforall Lynn

It Takes a Village to Raise a Small Business

Entrepreneurs are the people who have new, bold, and often unshakable ideas. These ideas keep them up at night and inspire them to do all sorts of things – some riskier than others – to bring them about. In turn, these ideas have the capacity to take over their entire lives, for better or worse…

Why You Should Support Small Business in Your Community

Supporting local small business is incredibly important for so many reasons: it feeds back into the region, strengthens environmental initiatives and sustainability, and makes the whole community healthier. Plus, shopping local means that you get the added benefit of having an experience or buying items that you may just not be able to find anywhere else. 

Arts and Cultural Advocacy

The Arts and Culture Advocacy Series features voices in the community who are actively working to promote arts and culture as an essential and valuable part of business, community, and daily life. 

Miranda Aisling

“Creativity is an innate human skill. Some people develop it and others suppress it, but everyone has it. When every person is encouraged to reconnect with their innate creativity, our society as a whole flourishes. We become better members of our community, better keepers of our planet, better participants in our relationships, and more intentional about our own lives.”

Kate Luchini

“As the notion of what constitutes ‘arts and culture’ expands, it has become even more inclusive.  Creative storefronts, tattoo parlors, pocket parks, cyphers, tape art installations – there are so many examples of creativity that enliven our environment and enrich our lives and it’s only getting more interesting.”

January O’Neil

“Art in all forms is a form of communication. It’s a way of processing the day-to-day. With every poem, painting, expressive dance, or musical composition, that expression helps us see the world from a different perspective. Art fosters empathy, which seems in short supply these days.”

Read more from the Arts and Cultural Advocacy Series.

Entertainment and Community

Movers and Shakers doing cool things and creating cool spaces in and around the North Shore.

The Worlds of Interactive and Immersive Collide in Game Theatre

When you go to the theatre, you expect to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. If the show is done well, your emotions will get pulled along with the story and by the performances occurring on stage. When you leave, you’ll feel like you had an experience, but you’ll know that nothing you could’ve done – apart from committing the taboo of causing a disturbance in the venue – would’ve changed the outcome of the story…

You Can’t Keep a Good Open Mic Down

The Triumphant Return of the Son of the Gulu Gulu Open Mic Shindig brings performers of all types back through the café doors to share their talents with anybody willing to pay attention…

Artists Inspire One Another to Take Action

As a teenager, Cedric Douglas was arrested for painting the pavement of a run-down Quincy basketball court. To police, it was vandalism. But Douglas thought he was beautifying the cracked, abandoned space…

Creative Identities

Rising creatives making their mark on culture and the creative economy.

Love, Grief, and Ornithology in Joey Gould’s The Acute Avian Heart

When spending time observing birds, it’s important to be quiet, still, and patient – skills useful for reading and writing poetry. Birds are often used as metaphors for disparate ideas like freedom, chaos, beauty, and even the macabre. There’s a bird for every occasion, every state of being, and every emotion. For Joey Gould, they are also for inspiration…

Corinne Reid Hunters Call

Five Montserrat Alumni Making Their Mark on the North Shore Creative Community

Many students study art because they want to hone their craft and become experts in their chosen medium(s). Many of them also go into this field with the hopes that they will come out of it years later with the skills needed to be successful working artists…

Dancing on Air with Aerialist Molly Baechtold

A Boston-based performer and teacher of aerial arts, Molly appears to dance on the very air as she lifts herself high off the ground for her performances. Her movements are so fluid and effortless that anyone who watches her could be tricked into thinking she was born to it, that she has been blessed by dragons and ancient winged creatures, and that her path to the high places has been bird-like and breezy…

Read more from Creative Identities.

The Write Space

The Write Space is a monthly Q&A series from Creative Collective covering a local writer and a North Shore space(s) s/he associates with writing.  Questions? Contact:

Sara Johnson Allen

I was raised (mostly) in North Carolina. I completed my MFA in Creative Writing at Emerson College in 2005 and am now an Associate Professor of Communication at Endicott College in Beverly. When I am not grading papers or chasing after my 11, 9, and 5-year-old, I like to write about ‘place’ and how it shapes us…

Annemarie Riley Guertin

Annemarie Riley Guertin is a newly minted, international author. Her debut picture book How the Finch Got His Colors flew onto shelves in March 2018. Her second book, Why Evergreens Keep Their Leaves released on September 1, 2019 (Familius, 2019)…

Jen Malone

Jen Malone is the author of over a dozen middle grade and young adult titles including The Arrival of Someday (HarperCollins), The Sleepover (Simon & Schuster), Wanderlost (HarperCollins), and Follow Your Art (Dreamworks Animation/Penguin Random House)…

Read more from The Write Space.

Eat Drink Northshore

Food writing featuring North of Boston hot spots compiled by Eat Drink Northshore.


Bambolina boasts a custom Pizza oven that was Created by Craftsman Mario Acunto just outside the city of Naples in Italy. The restaurant was practically built around this oven, and here’s so much history and tradition tied to this magnificent piece of equipment…

Sea Level Escape

Who doesn’t love Newburyport in the summer? From Plum Island to the quaint shopping in downtown, and all the local specialty restaurants. Newburyport has so much to offer. Phil and I recently found ourselves here with some close friends…

Click to read more from Eat Drink Northshore.

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Creative North Shore is a FREE program. We are dedicated to keeping you up to date on the latest arts and culture events, cultural news and creative happenings on the North Shore, and we need your help to not create a paywall for content. Thank you for reading, and if you’d like to support our efforts directly, considering joining the Collective Club (and win free stuff!)sign up for a recurring contribution in any amount, or If you would like to see your events and Information show up here please consider becoming an individual or corporate business member.