Archive for the ‘Behind the Scenes’ Category:
Date: October 3, 2013
Time: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
For reservations email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or call: 978.744.1692
Where: Salem Witch Museum
19 ½ Washington Square North
Salem, MA 01970
In Six Women of Salem: The Untold Story of the Accused and their Accusers in the Salem Witch Trials, author and historian, Marilynne K. Roach chronicles the lives of six specific women involved in the witch hunt who represent the accusers, the accused, or both, and uses their unique stories to illuminate the larger crisis of the trials. Roach works to reconstruct the events of the trials, bringing to life this representative group of women, and examines the entire experience of the Salem Witch Trials through the eyes of those who lived through the hysteria and delivers a historically intimate narrative that gives readers a front row seat to this desperate and dangerous time in history.
Marilynne K. Roach works as both a historian and illustrator. Her illustrations, how-to articles, and travel pieces have been featured in the Boston Globe. She’s lectured to groups ranging in age from kindergarteners to senior citizens, and is the author of the classic The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege.
Last year Kemal Argon, a contributor to Huffington Post, wondered What Can The Salem Witch Museum Teach American Muslims? . Yet this spring after the Boston Marathon bombing a few of our staff, reeling with the aftermath of the horrific events so close to home and family, expressed apprehension about discussing religious, cultural, sexual, gender and racial tolerance in our second exhibit.
Fear + Trigger = Scapegoat
Our second exhibit Witches Evolving Perceptions looks at the evolution of folklore and stereotypes that lead to scapegoating, especially of those accused of witchcraft in Essex County 1692. The formula for a witch hunt fits to explain other scapegoating events, for example the McCarthy hearings in the United States in the 1950’s.
Trigger: Dr. Griggs
Scapegoats: 150 Townspeople
Fear: Imperial Japan
Trigger: Pearl Harbor
Scapegoats: 100,000 +/- Japanese Americans put in internment camps
Trigger: HUAC / Senator Joseph McCarthy
Scapegoats: Blacklisted citizens
Scapegoats: Gay community
There are many other examples of witch hunting in the United States and elsewhere in the world throughout history. Using the formula, it could be said that the treatment of law abiding Muslim-Americans as terrorists in a post-9/11 environment certainly follows.
When the Boston Marathon bombing occurred this spring, one unforeseen result was that tourists visiting the city were rerouted elsewhere, including to Salem; the Salem Witch Museum hosted several unscheduled tour groups, even as the Boston police were chasing down the suspects, and most people in the area were single-minded in their concern. It was a surreal day where citizens of the metro Boston area were unified in prayer of sorts, while political and social tensions were escalating.
A couple members of our staff struggled with discussing tolerance in our second exhibit that day. While there were those who felt that Muslims as a whole should not be allowed to immigrate to the United States, others believed that this was the precisely the time to hold fast to our commitment to teach the lessons of intolerance.
To address the conflict, staff members researched various media for a broad sample of opinions on the subject of Muslims in America: some pro, some con. We realized that this complicated issue brought to mind the very real conflict between our moral ideals and our naturally occurring human fears and prejudices. Today as much as in 1692.
We found the research and following discussions somewhat unsatisfying, as none of the opinions expressed were coming from the very people whose presence in our midst we were examining. Museum director, Tina Jordan, reached out to our Education Director Emerita, Alison D’Amario, to help us get a more personal view of the issue. Alison has taught English at the Immigrant Learning Center, Malden, MA through which she’s been afforded a genuine familiarity with – unedited by mass media – the daily lives and stories of people, including Muslims, who have decided to live in the United States.
. . . . . to be continued. . . . .
In part II, we’ll recap a moving evening of discussion on the topic of the treatment of Muslims in the Boston area after the fateful marathon bombing of this spring.
We have the privilege of working closely with historian Marilynne Roach on many projects. She answers nuanced questions about the Salem witch trials, helping our staff interpret the underpinnings of the events, and is a perpetual inspiration in understanding what can be learned from Essex County’s 1692 experience.
If you don’t yet own a copy of The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-By-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege, now is your chance to get one of 20 remaining signed copies of the book.
In our shop or online, while supplies last!
If you follow our blog you know how much we love local arts and artisans. We do our part to sustain North Shore crafters by providing marketing and financial support to the creative community and by carrying their work in our museum store. We proudly sponsor events like the Salem Film Fest, Mass Poetry Festival, and Salem Literary Fest just to name a few.
When visitors from distant places come to Salem, naturally they want to take a bit of their individual experience back home with them. Local art is not only a means for our neighbors to live creative, compassionate lives, but items traveling back to visitors’ homelands spreads our culture and shares the flavor of our area. So when an artisan like Marblehead resident Dorothy Arthur of Dot’s Pots infuses a beautiful piece of functional art with architectural essence – such as her lanterns of prominent windows – the connection between place and the visitor is steeped even stronger.
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From MAA newsletter :
The Marblehead Arts Association- Call for Works
Fine Art of Craft
March 16 – April 21
To see craft is to enter a world of wonderful things which can be challenging, beautiful, sometimes useful, tactile, artistic and extraordinary – and to understand and enjoy the care which has gone into their making. Contemporary craft is about making hand crafted objects of art and ensures the highest standard of workmanship exhibiting a working knowledge of tools and materials.
The Marblehead Arts Association (MAA) is presenting “Fine Art of Craft”, an exhibit from March 16-April 21. This juried exhibit invites both MAA and non-MAA artisans in the general categories of ceramics/pottery; fiber/textile; metalwork/silversmith; woodwork/furniture and glass and the creative overlap or blending of these mediums. Jurying is based on creativity of design, quality of materials and attention to detail in overall workmanship and presentation.
For information and submission: www.marbleheadarts.org
After two relatively snow-free winters we were due for a doozy. And Nemo delivered.
State and city governments made the call early on Thursday to keep people off roads Friday and through the weekend while cleanup crews dealt with, not multiple inches but, multiple feet in some areas. Here at the Salem Witch Museum we opened for part of the day Friday, closing for the safety of our staff and visitors through to Sunday. Folks must have had cabin fever because we had a number more visitors than usual once we reopened. The bad news is that Salem’s So Sweet ice sculptures couldn’t be delivered as planned; the good news is that we’re essentially rescheduling the festivities to this upcoming weekend.
Driving through labyrinths of snowbanks makes travel still slow going, and finding parking can take even more time. For the next day or so it’s probably a good idea to give ourselves a head start if we need to be somewhere. Which is fine, because it’ll give us a chance to enjoy the beauty of the season.
Thanks to Salem Witch Wiles for this photo:
We’re open year-round. But even we need to close the doors for a few days while we paint and clean carpets. Here’s a list of our January hours:
Tuesday 1/1/13 Closed – New Year’s Day
Wednesday 1/2/13 Open 10am – 5pm
Thursday 1/3/13 Open 10am – 5pm
Friday 1/4/13 Open 10am – 5pm
Saturday 1/5/13 Open 10am – 5pm
Sunday 1/6/13 Open 10am – 5pm
Monday 1/7/13 Closed for Annual Spruce-up
Tuesday 1/8/13 Closed for Annual Spruce-up
Wednesday 1/9/13 Closed for Annual Spruce-up
Thursday 1/10/13 Closed for Annual Spruce-up
Friday 1/11/13 Closed for Annual Spruce-up
Saturday 1/12/13 Open 10am – 5pm
Sunday 1/13/13 Open 10am – 5pm
Monday 1/14/13 Closed for Annual Spruce-up
Tuesday 1/15/13 Closed for Annual Spruce-up
Wednesday 1/16/13 Closed for Annual Spruce-up
Thursday 1/17/13 Closed for Annual Spruce-up
Friday 1/18/13 Open 10am – 5pm
Saturday 1/19/13 Open 10am – 5pm
Sunday 1/20/13 Open 10am – 5pm
Monday 1/21/13 Open 10am – 5pm
Tuesday 1/22/13 Open 10am – 5pm
Wednesday 1/23/13 Open 10am – 5pm
Thursday 1/24/13 Open 10am – 5pm
Friday 1/25/13 Open 10am – 5pm
Saturday 1/26/13 Open 10am – 5pm
Sunday 1/27/13 Open 10am – 5pm
Open daily 10am – 5pm
During the last months of each year our visitation shifts from October crowds to January trickles. Our staff gladly take the quieter winters to catch up on pleasure reading, so we decided to host a book club or two this season.
The only rule for the book club was simply that we weren’t going to cover anything we’d “normally” read (i.e. Salem witch trials related.)
Our first selection for the Salem Witch Museum Breakfast (Book) Club comes from Floor Manager Jay Menice. A section of Gloucester, Massachusetts has been a fascination for him since Elyssa East published Dogtown: Death and Enchantment in a New England Ghost Town, a non-fiction examination of the mysterious history surrounding this some-say-enchanted place and a brutal crime set there.
Those of us who appreciate local authors have certainly encountered at least one title by Anita Diamant (the Red Tent, Good Harbor, et.al.), so we’re balancing the book club medley by including a work of historical fiction. The Last Days of Dogtown portrays life in this early American mythical community of witches, widows, orphans and spinsters.
In mid-January we’ll host a continental breakfast and book club discussion comparing and contrasting these two renditions of Dogtown. If you’d like to join us, please email Stacy at email@example.com for further details.
If you saw the Google Doodle today you know it’s the 200th anniversary of Brothers Grimm. In the fabric of our being we carry the lessons from Grimm’s fairy tales told to us since a young age. In our exhibit Witches: Evolving Perceptions we look at Hansel & Gretel’s hag archetype. Small wonder we’re afraid of witches, it’s said they eat children!
What is your favorite Grimm’s Fairy Tale?
Tips for an enjoyable visit to Salem in October
1. Check out Destination Salem’s online visitors’ brochure to help plan your trip. You’ll find a helpful walking map of the downtown and waterfront area listing major attractions, shopping, restaurants and activities. It also lists parking options and road closures (for parades) where applicable. You can pick up the print version of the Destination Salem Guide & Map once you’re here at the Salem Witch Museum, at the National Park Visitor Center, or many other places throughout the city.
2. Arrive as early as possible. The Salem Witch Museum opens every day at 10:00am. The earlier you arrive to purchase tickets, the more likely your preferred tour time will be available.
3. Be flexible. It is possible – and especially as we near Halloween very likely – for certain presentation times to be sold out. Be prepared to opt for a different tour time. Our presentations begin promptly at :00 and :30 of each hour. Presentations last approximately one hour.
4. Anticipate lines or wait-times just about everywhere in downtown Salem the nearer we get to Halloween. And, if there isn’t a line or wait, just be pleasantly surprised!
5. Expect there to be some traffic the closer we get to Halloween. Directions can be downloaded here, and it’s always possible to map out alternate routes into Salem, ie. Route 1A, Route 107 , Route 127.
Salem Witch Museum Hours for October, 2012
Day Date Open Close
Mon 1-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Tue 2-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Wed 3-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Thu 4-Oct 10:00am 8:00pm
Fri 5-Oct 10:00am 10:00pm
Sat 6-Oct 10:00am 10:00pm
Sun 7-Oct 10:00am 8:00pm
Mon 8-Oct 10:00am 7:00pm
Tue 9-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Wed 10-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Thu 11-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Fri 12-Oct 10:00am 10:00pm
Sat 13-Oct 10:00am 10:00pm
Sun 14-Oct 10:00am 7:00pm
Mon 15-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Tue 16-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Wed 17-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Thu 18-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Fri 19-Oct 10:00am 10:00pm
Sat 20-Oct 10:00am 10:00pm
Sun 21-Oct 10:00am 7:00pm
Mon 22-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Tue 23-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Wed 24-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Thu 25-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Fri 26-Oct 10:00am 12:00am
Sat 27-Oct 10:00am 12:00am
Sun 28-Oct 10:00am 7:00pm
Mon 29-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Tue 30-Oct 10:00am 5:00pm
Wed 31-Oct 10:00am 12:00am
The family of our own Will Parr is extending their hospitality on a very personal level by hosting a “Homestay” student in coordination with the Salem-Ota Club.
For more information about our sister city check out the City of Salem website:
The Salem Witch Museum offers our main presentation translated into Japanese as well as 7 other languages.