November 11, 2021

#NonprofitNovember: Essex Heritage

by joeyphoenix

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#NonprofitNovember is highlighting Creative Collective’s nonprofit Business Members in a series of featured interviews. These short features will grant some insight into how these nonprofits have grown and developed through the years and how they plan to use what they’ve learned to further their respective missions in 2022. 

This Holiday season, follow the hashtag #NonprofitNovember to learn more about the nonprofit organizations in the communities, and discover how to support their ongoing efforts in a meaningful way. 

Interviewee: Cheri Grishin, Marketing & Engagement Manager

What’s something you are proud of / something you achieved this year as an organization?

One of our great accomplishments this year was the development of our Teaching Hidden Histories workshops. In the summer of 2020, North Andover High School teacher Brian Sheehy was approached by his students to demand an explanation as to why they were not being taught much of the history behind current events and racial tensions. This was the catalyst for a Spring 2021workshop series organized by Essex Heritage called “Teaching Hidden Histories,” funded through the National Park Foundation. 

Teaching Hidden Histories – Workshop 4 – Saturday, November 20th @ 9:00am | Essex Heritage

“Change-makers in the face of nativism: The Lawrence Strike of 1919 and the push to ‘Americanize’ the workforce”
Join us virtually on November 20 for our fourth educator workshop exploring the “Hidden Histories” of Essex County. In this session, we will examine how the labor movement of the early 20th century in Lawrence and its context of aggressive nativism helps us understand the lingering impulse to “Americanize” newcomers and de-value “essential workers.” What role does civics education play in the past and present as we define what it means to be an American? How do change-makers and members of the immigrant community in our region grapple with these issues today?

More information at

Working with Mr. Sheehy, scholars, and community activists, Essex Heritage offered three popular online workshops designed to support educators in teaching lesser known local histories of traditionally marginalized groups within the Essex National Heritage Area. The workshops focused on immigration history; local Black experience in the 18th and early 19th centuries; and Indigenous histories. We explored  how these local stories illuminate larger relevant issues of structural exclusion and  resistance in the past and in today’s world, and modelled ideas for curriculum development. The workshops also gave educators a chance to talk to each other about these issues, and to hear from students themselves. We designed accompanying websites to provide access to many compiled resources on these topics, available HERE. Recordings of the workshops are available HERE.

Our next workshop will take place on November 20, 2021. At this fourth workshop in the series, we will be exploring labor activism, nativism and civic education, using the 1919 strike in Lawrence as a window into this relevant history. More info HERE.

Tell us a time that you saw your vision in action?

It’s hard to select just one, but anytime we are able to see teachers from our Park for Every Classroom professional development program implementing impactful place-based service learning projects with their students, or when we see a local non-profit able to fund an important preservation project, we are seeing our vision in action. We love being able to connect our partners to resources that help set them up for success.

What’s something you would like your followers to know about your organization that they may not already know? Or, what is something that is unique about your organization?

Sometimes it’s hard to articulate exactly what Essex Heritage is/does, but essentially the organization is a nonprofit commission here to help promote and preserve the unique aspects of the federally designated Essex National Heritage Area (Essex County). This includes helping organizations in the region through partnership grants, education programs, and public programming. We receive some federal funding for this and are required to match it dollar for dollar, which we far exceed each year through donations and volunteer time. This helps the federal money go much further and create a greater impact in the communities where it is needed. And FUN FACT! Essex Heritage only owns one property: historic Bakers Island Light Station; we offer public tours to the island each summer.

Who is your organization for?

Our organization is for the entire Essex National Heritage Area. By promoting initiatives from the ground up, and helping to identify needs where they exist in the local communities, the quality of life is enhanced for everyone who lives, works, and visits the area.

Where can people find out more about your organization and support its ongoing efforts?

You can find out more by emailing me:; at our website: (new website coming Spring 2022!); and on our socials: @EssexHeritage (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube).

Creative Collective’s 2021 #StayLocal Campaign

Initiative encourages community to shop small and support local small businesses this November and December

It’s time for #StayLocal2021 – follow the hashtag for the best of local eats, drinks, experiences, and shopping North of Boston.

The approaching Holiday season is putting people in the shopping, eating, and drinking mood as small businesses across the North Shore are gearing up for the busiest time of the year. Following up the successful 2020 #StayLocal campaign, Creative Collective is launching #StayLocal2021, encouraging individuals to shop and support small this upcoming holiday season. Learn more.