May 17, 2022

Salem Arts Festival celebrates “connections” in 2022

by cns2020

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SALEM, Mass. – Kicking off the summer season, Salem Main Streets and Creative Collective present two weeks of public art activities throughout the historic downtown area beginning Sunday, May 22. Arts organizations around Salem from the Peabody Essex Museum to the more intimate art galleries are hosting vibrant indoor and outdoor art programming that celebrates the spring and summer festival season.
“We thought it was important to amplify all the art events that take place throughout Salem. Not only are arts and culture critical as major economic drivers in our community, but they also create a connection between people that is essential for overall well-being and confidence,” said John Andrews, Founder of Creative Collective. “Salem Arts Festival, along with so many other events in Salem, brings people together and reminds us that we are all in this together. This connection between residents, visitors, and the business community is part of what makes Salem so special.”

Salem Art Days
Sunday, May 22 through Thursday, June 2
New this year, Salem Art Days will take place from Sunday, May 22 through Thursday, June 2. This initiative will bridge the two festivals with art events throughout Salem. This includes a Dominican Faceless Dolls exhibition at the Salem Armory Regional Visitor Center and painting and sketching among floral arrangements inspired by painting artists like Childe Hassam, Gustave Courbet, and Michele Felice Cornè at the Salem Athenaeum. 

PEM Prize Festival
Sunday, May 22, Noon to 6 p.m.
On Sunday, May 22, Peabody Essex Museum will host the PEM Prize Festival. This free interdisciplinary event includes musicians, artists, and public activities inside the museum and outside along Essex Street, running the length from Hawthorne Boulevard to Central Street in true festival form. There will also be food trucks, a beer garden, and vendors along the street, in Armory Park, and on the Axelrod Walkway.
Salem Arts Festival
Friday, June 3 through Sunday, June 5
The biggest art collaboration of the year in Salem, the Salem Arts Festival takes place in the heart of Salem at a variety of indoor and outdoor venues. The annual Juried Art Gallery will be held in Old Town Hall throughout the festival weekend, with an artisan street fair in the surrounding areas of the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall and Front Street on Saturday and Sunday. Live performances and pop-up dance stages will take place (weather permitting) on Derby Square, Front Street, and Artists’ Row. A temporary public art project called Lifelines — with works of art constructed using up-cycled materials by local artist Linda Mullen and assembled by community participants — will be installed on Artists’ Row for the festival.
This year’s festival kicks off with an opening reception at Salem’s Old Town Hall on Friday, June 3 at 6 p.m. The free event allows visitors to enjoy beautiful artwork in the juried gallery while being entertained by renowned local and regional performers. On the evening of Saturday, June 4, the festival combines forces with the Salem Jazz & Soul Festival’s monthly First Saturday Concert Series, to present an evening celebration with music and community on Charlotte Forten Park (289 Derby Street).
In addition to the festival proper, the City of Salem comes alive with multiple other complimentary happenings in tandem with the festival. This includes the annual Mural Slam on the backside of Artists’ Row, led by The City of Salem Public Art Commission, and features live painting of 12 temporary murals by local artists. 
The Salem Arts Festival is rain or shine; in the event of inclement weather, performances will be moved into Old Town Hall. Visitors interested in attending the Salem Arts Festival can find easy access to the downtown by public transportation or parking at one of the many downtown lots in the City. For more information and for the full festival schedule, performer information and listings of street fair vendors, please visit  
Special thank you to our sponsors
This program is made possible through the American Rescue Plan Act and U.S. Economic Development Administration funds provided by the City of Salem.
Destination Salem
Peabody Essex Museum
Salem Five
Massachusetts Cultural Council and Salem Cultural Council
Salem Art Days sponsors – Mainvest, Coon’s Card & Gift Shop, WinnCompanies

About Salem, Massachusetts
Salem is a destination recognized around the world for its rich history, which includes the tragic Salem Witch Trials of 1692, the glorious maritime era that left its indelible mark on Salem through architecture, museums, and artifacts, and for its month-long celebration of Halloween. Today, approximately 1.8 million people visit Salem annually, generating nearly $140 million in tourism spending and supporting 1,000 jobs.

About Destination Salem
As the destination marketing organization for the City of Salem, Destination Salem cooperatively markets Salem as one of Massachusetts’ best destinations for families, couples, domestic, and international travelers who are seeking an authentic New England experience, cultural enrichment, American history, fine dining, unique shopping and fun. For more information, visit
1) Salem Arts Festival, Ritmos Academy dancer, Courtesy of Creative Collective.
2) Dominican Faceless Dolls exhibition at the Salem Armory Regional Visitor Center
3) Salem Arts Festival, Lindsey Cline from Siren of the Circle, Courtesy of Creative Collective.

High-resolution images and interviews are available upon request.

Media Contacts:
Kristen Levesque,
Mary Keith,