December 14, 2021

Top 10 Stories from 2021

by joeyphoenix

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This was a beautiful and inspiring year for the creative community. You helped us tell so many stories, create incredible events and pieces of art, and taught us so much about how to better support you as allies and advocates. Your interactions and engagement with our stories this year drove what was important to us, and we’re excited to go back through 2021 and celebrate the stories that you all loved this year.

10. QTBIPOC Representation in Action with Assigned Female at Birth

Published February 22, 2021

Lyralen Kaye (they/them/fey), the founder of Another Country Productions and the engine behind Assigned Female at Birth, is a gender-fluid, pansexual queer artist and jack of all things. As a multicultural arts activist, award-winning writer and solo performer, professional actor, and story and poetry slam winner with 30 years of experience in the arts, there isn’t much they can’t do. 

And even in the midst of a global pandemic, they’ve continued to write and produce work like Assigned Female at Birth that’s representational and challenging of the norm, and they “don’t give a fuck” if anyone has a problem with it”…Continue Reading

9. Building Nests for Survivors

Published July 22, 2021

Image by Debbie Baxter

Five collaborators from across the country are creating a sacred experience for survivors – an experience centered around an unusual space where people can step inside, be at peace, and shed some of their burden in a safe way. The space? A handmade human-sized nest made of intentionally gathered twigs, branches, and floral materials…Continue Reading

8. Hannah Cranton Reminds Us That It’s Ok to Not Be Ok with “Cards”

Published January 8th, 2021

New York-based Hannah Cranton (she/her) is a singer-songwriter and aspiring stop motion animator with deep North Shore roots. Not only was she raised here, but she is a former member of the bossa nova band, Clay Ventre and the Bond Girls and the eccentric rock band, Black Dog Brother

In late 2020, she released the music video for “Cards,” the title track to her 2019 EP produced by Katie Buchanan, and the song is giving us permission to feel our feelings. 

All of them…Continue Reading

7. Essex Art Center’s New Executive Director to Go L.I.V.E. with Community Programming

Published March 12, 2021

Image by Peter Morse

Lawrence-based Essex Art Center (EAC) named multimedia artist, poet, arts administrator, and Indiana native Monica Manoski (she/her/hers) as Executive Director in January of this year. Manoski has big plans for the center’s immediate future, including physical updates for EAC’s exterior and galleries, creating dynamic online and in-person programming, and establishing a clear community focus. 

“We want to make our classes, exhibitions, and events more reflective of our community,” Manoski said. “When we reopen later this summer, we plan to do so with a block party and art exhibition that showcases area artists”…Continue Reading.

6. 5 Ways to Shop Small, Support Local Artists at This Year’s Lydia Pinkham Open Studios

Published November 16, 2021

“Open Studios is a special glimpse into how the artist works, peek behind the curtain of the art you have on your wall, you’re able to see from the artist’s perspective,” said Meg Nichols (she/her/hers), owner and artist behind studios next door to Digs Enamels in Room 314C. 

Meg is a hand lettering artist, designer, muralist, and traditional sign painter available for commission. For this year’s open studios, her first in the building, Meg plans to demo her hand lettering and gold leaf glass gilding in addition to selling stickers and prints of her work…Continue Reading

5. Dark Arts Market, Death Café to Return in Daughters of Darkness 2021 Virtual Festival

Published on April 12th, 2021

Daughters of Darkness Planchette Pins from Die With Your Boots On Salem

One of the things those in fringe, alternative, and dark cultures count on throughout the year is the ability to gather in person and celebrate their uniqueness, their weirdness. For those familiar with con culture, Daughters of Darkness also prides itself on creating a safe space for people within the dark arts and weird culture to gather and celebrate all of the things that they create, experience, and enjoy…Continue Reading.

4. Spice Boys: 5 Crazy Ass Moments from David Lynch’s DUNE that we forgive but must never forget

Published on September 7th, 2021

David Lynch’s Cameo in DUNE (1984)

Who knows what the rest of this year holds, but it appears one thing is certain: a new version of Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi classic Dune will be hitting whatever screens you’re comfortable watching at some point in 2021 (currently slated for October 22). If the trailers are any indication, we’re all in for some slick, predestined, spice-dusted escapism. 

There have been a number of adaptations of Dune: the 2000 tv mini-series on the Sci-Fi Channel (and its 2003 sequel), the bedeviled mid-70s Jodorowsky vaporware fever dream (great documentary on this one), and, of course, David Lynch’s 1984 infamous, Hindenburg-esque take on the novel…Continue Reading

3. shareHerStory – Salem Arts Association Welcomes New Director and Artist in Residence

Published March 4, 2021

Salem Arts Association Welcomes New Director and Artist in Residence

Salem Arts Association has welcomed Heather Stewart (she/her/hers) as President and Sara Ashodian (she/her/hers) as Artist in Residence in 2021. The first exhibition of the year will feature Ashodian’s work alongside the work of Paul Nathan (he/him/his), who formerly called the space on Derby Street his gallery home…Continue Reading.

2. Salem Art Gallery: Not Just for Satanists

Published July 7th, 2021

Now at the curatorial helm of the Salem Art Gallery at The Satanic Temple (TST) Headquarters in Salem, MA,  Head Curator Nathan Emm (he/him/his) has big plans for the space. 

“Although this is the de facto headquarters for the Satanic Temple, its main function is as an art gallery, a community space, and a library,” Emm said. “The Temple has done an incredible job with global outreach, but there’s really a lot of opportunity to integrate the gallery and the space itself into our local community”…Continue Reading.

1. Two New Salem Coffee Shops to Spread Warmth, Good Vibes this Winter

Published January 5th, 2021

It’s a cold January morning, your hands are freezing, and you’re trying to wake up. What do you do? An easy option is to pick up a delicious cup of coffee (or tea/tisane) that can chase the morning cobwebs away and warm your hands in the process. 

And lucky for you, you won’t have to walk quite as far this winter because two new coffee shops are opening in Salem. While they each have their own particular flavors and vibes, they are both dedicated to building community and providing spaces for Salem residents and visitors alike to get a great cup of something warm and delicious…Continue Reading.

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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.