May 6, 2023

Join the Celebration: 15th Anniversary of Salem Arts Festival in 2023

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The Salem Arts Festival invites the community to participate in the festival’s 15th year, running June 2 through June 4, 2023. Over 8,000 people regularly attend the family-friendly festival, transforming downtown Salem, MA, into an opportunity for the arts community to showcase a wide range of talents. The festival includes a gallery of juried artists’ work in Old Town Hall, outdoor stage venues for performance and dance, an artist and artisan street fair, a collaborative public art project, the hugely popular Mural Slam, and much more! Special thanks to this year’s returning title sponsor, the Peabody Essex Museum, for their continued support.

“The Arts Festival has become such an important community event over the years because our community IS the focus,” said Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director of Salem Main Streets, co-organizer of the Salem Arts Festival. “We have such an incredible breadth and depth of creativity within our Salem community and the surrounding area, and we take our commitment to create a platform to elevate that very seriously.”

The Salem Arts Festival is especially pleased to announce that the festival, initially run solely as a project of Salem Main Streets, will continue to run in collaboration with the Creative Collective. Creative Collective is a business program that facilitates the sustainability of creative industries, small businesses, and economic development. The program aims to support the development of the creative workforce and support underserved entrepreneurs and creators.. John Andrews, founder of the Collective states, “The whole team at the Collective understands the transformative power of art and its ability to bring communities together and drive the local economy. The Salem Arts Festival is more than just a celebration of art; it symbolizes our city’s rich history, local creators, and cultural diversity. By supporting this festival, we are investing in the creative workforce and local artists while preserving the unique character of Salem.”

A juried visual arts gallery will be selected by an on-site review process again this year, to be held the weekend before the festival, May 26 through May 28. Artists interested in the gallery should complete an Intent to Apply online at in order to receive the most up-to-date information about the gallery process. Selections have already been made for performers, street fair vendors, and the annual mural slam.

For the 9th year, a community-built public art installation will be included as part of the festival. This year’s project is titled “For the Record” and is led by student artist Alexia Coleman and public artists Linda Mullen and Claudia Paraschiv. “For the Record” prompts community members to reflect on their relationships and memories related to food, and asks them to record those thoughts and stories visually on upcycled vinyl records. Multiple community art-making workshops will be held throughout the spring, then hundreds of individually decorated records will be unified into one cohesive installation for the weekend of the festival.  This year’s project is sponsored by the City of Salem Public Arts Commission, Coon’s Card & Gift Shop, and other local businesses. More information is available at

Salem Main Streets, the Creative Collective, and a collaboration of Salem organizations organize the Salem Arts Festival. This festival is supported in part by the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem Five, The Salem Rainbow Stroll, a grant through the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and by tourism dollars through Destination Salem. The festival relies heavily on the support of over 100 volunteers! Find out how to join our volunteer crew at

For more information about the Salem Arts Festival, please see or contact Kylie Sullivan at or (978)744-0004 (x115).


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 technical assistance and small business support that happened in tandem with a series of social engagements, traditional and non-traditional marketing efforts, advocacy, events, and workshops.