Tag Archives: Gloucester City Hall

Stephanie Benenson HARBOR VOICES light show #GloucesterMA | immigration, conversation & acts of generosity manifest as public art

Stephanie Benenson, artist studio, discussing 2017 Harbor Lights 20171122_091510

Stephanie Benenson, artist studio, discussing Harbor Lights, GIF 1122091429

from a studio visit with Stephanie Benenson Nov 2017

You can join in Stephanie Benenson’s fascinating big vision, Harbor Voices, a public art and cultural piece that’s made from light, sound and community participation. Part of the project is a  large-scale and temporary LIVE light & sound installation which will happen on ten minute loops from 4-8pm on Friday December 8th, and Saturday December 9th, one of many featured events for the 2017 Middle Street Walk. Harbor Voices will be held inside the Kyrouz Auditorium in City Hall , 9 Dale Avenue, Gloucester, MA.

Come experience a sweeping ocean of sound, stories and light, drawn by the voices and acts of generosity of neighbors and friends.

Benenson, a Rockport native and North Shore based fine artist, received a prestigious and competitive RISD grant to create Harbor Voices. Benenson collected over 100 stories in eight languages of recent and ancestral immigration to Cape Ann. For the past year she led (and continues to lead) practical and creative storytelling sessions and workshops at area schools like Veteran’s Memorial and Gloucester High School,  as well as community organizations and centers such as Sandy Bay Historical Society. Students talked with Benenson about “their ancestors* and families bringing cultural heritage to Cape Ann.” She said that kids mentioned “family members that started businesses here (like Jalapenos, Sclafanis, and other cultural destinations on Cape Ann)…and how meangingful that was to them…and people that they had deep respect and admiration for…” They discussed “family recipes, music, food and how immigration historically has made American art and culture come alive.”  Mayor Romeo Theken was the first story collected. Other Cape Ann storytellers outside of the schools and non profit partners include: Jean Testaverde (Portuguese fishing ancestry), Ingrid Swan (Swedith quarrying ancestry), Heather Lovett (descendent of Roger Babson), Sal Zerilli (Awesome Gloucester and Rockport), Jan Bell, Buddy Woods, Susannah Natti (Finnish and descendent of Folly Cove designer), Rich Francis (GHS teacher), and Celestino Basille (GHS teacher).

Depending upon age and preference, stories were written, recorded, or drawn. All were mixed into materials and audio that will choreograph connections directly into the light installation, and an enlarging community. At first, Benenson thought the light might guide any audio. Instead voices continue to guide the light.

Every story and act of generosity is linked to the installation and transformed into light.

Blurring the lines between public art and social sculpture, LIVE happening and virtual action, Harbor Voices emblematically presents stories, shared connections and actions. Participants of all ages are encouraged to interact with the project www.harborvoices.com and its installation– to bathe so to speak in a community of vibrancy and waves of interconnectedness and support.  Benenson adds that from 4-6PM during the two days of this installation iteration, “children will be offered a small flashlight to engage with this artwork, allowing them a tangible moment to consider their part in this interconnected network of community and local history by creating their own beam of light.” Also, before the installation opens to the public, one hundred Gloucester High School students –including some who have already added into the piece– will come to City Hall to experience Harbor Voices.

Benenson’s promotion for Harbor Voices launched in September. Leveraging attention for this remarkably ambitious project is an essential component as more involvement means more impact. Straight away it fostered community and brought opportunities. For example, Benenson spoke about the project and shared audio of the stories with Rose Baker seniors, Gloucester Rotary and the Cape Ann Museum’s Red Cottage Society. Someone from Beverly has already underwrittten  support for a class at Veteran’s Memorial Elementary School. She spoke about the project with Joey as part of GMG podcast #253

As a third generation Cape Ann artist, Benenson is especially excited to “create art and conversations around our cultural heritage and our contributions to the vibrant mix of people that live on Cape Ann.”

See more pictures and read more about the artist

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2017 Essex Trails & Sails People’s Choice Award winners announced

Emily Levin from Essex National Heritage shares the results of September Trails & Sails People’s Choice Awards. The top five include a repeat winner from Gloucester, MA.

Levin also has some professional news. After nine years, she’ll be moving from Essex National Heritage to Historic New England. Congratulations on your new job!

Emilyl Levin formerly Essex National Heritage then Historic New England IMG_20170405_183134.jpg

About Essex National Heritage

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The Essex National Heritage Trails & Sails 2017 “People’s Choice Awards”

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Last chance: FREE & FUN Essex Trails & Sails Friday thru Sunday only

Essex National Heritage Trails & Sails 

is Essex National Heritage’s Essex County pep rally-  annual back to back weekends packed with 150+ FREE, fun, and family friendly events. Here’s the working list of the 2017 Trails & Sails events in Gloucester September 22-24th. Don’t forget to sign in! The count helps your favorite organization and locale, and you might win a prize like $150 from Dick’s Sporting Goods. 

2017 Essex National Heritage Trails and Sails #TrailsAndSails

 

2nd of two annual weekends is big in Gloucester this year

GLOUCESTER GUIDE

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LAST NIGHT’S SUNSET WAS A SHOW STOPPER!

Last night’s show stopping sunset over Gloucester City Hall and skyline.

A Lobster Trap tree mini buoy from Cape Ann Art Haven goes to the State House

More public art and heart-

Thanks to Janice Lufkin-Shea, Pauline Bresnahan, Hannah Morris, David Brooks Cape Ann Art Haven, Senator Tarr and others,  Gloucester and its lobster trap tree and traditions  have a place in the Massachusetts Senate President’s Office. Here are photos of Senator Bruce Tarr with Stan Rosenberg, the 93rd President of the Massachusetts Senate, in the Senate President’s Office. First two photos from inside the State House were from Senator Tarr.

David Brooks writes that he hopes the buoy will be a permanent ornament, “but I’m not sure how long it will last. Its made of a small plastic net buoy and plaster. We made it as an Art Haven team and tried to make it look like a kid did it so it fit the character of the tree.” Perhaps a bronze version may be commissioned from Cape Ann Art Haven one day.

There were special ornaments to discover on the tree in City Hall, too, in the rotunda outside the Office of the Mayor.

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Building in Gloucester, MSBA School Committee consolidation update, and MAPC City Housing forum

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Three meetings with some items in common were held at the same time this past Wednesday, October 26, 2016: the standing School Committee meeting (including updates on new building) which include members Mayor Romeo Theken and Councilor Favazza; the Housing Building/Production Plan Public Forum #2 at City Hall which includes Councilor Lundberg; and a Forum to Focus on Building in the City held at the Magnolia library and community center with 3 Councilors LeBlanc, Orlando and Nolan.

Cape Ann TV filmed the first two.  (I will add them into the post.)

 

School Committee Meeting

“We’re on a path right now.”  “Nobody said we can’t pay.”   “We’re in Phase II of a 3-phase plan. We may need to convince the community to vote for a debt exclusion to pay for it.”

The MSBA toured East Gloucester Elementary School earlier in the week to corroborate the condition related to the School Committee Statement of Interest to consolidate East Gloucester Elementary and Veterans Memorial. The School Committee relayed that the community is united in expressing a need for new schools, moving forward and not changing course. The MSBA ascertains the community’s readiness and ability to pay. Gloucester is still in the running for MSBA aid. The pool of applicants was whittled down to 30 from 89 and sometime December or January, Gloucester will learn if MSBA accepts the plan, rejects it or places it on hold. “Up, down, maybe the plan is for the East Gloucester/Veterans only.”

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Housing Production Forum at City Hall (I’ll add links to the presentation and feedback from the Magnolia forum):

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Citizens waiting in line to vote just after 6pm

Gloucester photos from Zuiderdam cruise guest Larry Stock!

Thank you for sharing your perspective, Larry! The collage of 8 photos is followed by the ‘read more’ link for closer inspection of each of his terrific shots. His photographs document highlights from his visit including City Hall, climbing the tower, the murals, and a Cape Pond Ice tour. The September 24th visit was a full day into night port of call, and coincided with Essex National Heritage Trails & Sails. The welcome volunteers had prepared a list of things to do on that fun and busy Saturday. By 1:30PM, over 1200 Holland America passengers and crew had come through Cruiseport on this second September visit. (That clicker count does not include the package tours booked in advance.)

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RACE WITH THE SCHOONER ADVENTURE ON MARTHA’S VINEYARD!

race-and-parade-win-2016-9070-586x315Join Schooner Adventure in Martha’s Vineyard September 16 & 17 for the 28th Annual Pat West Gaff Rig and Schooner Race on Saturday, September 17th! This annual race benefits the island non-profit program, Sail Martha’s Vineyard. Adventure will be docked at Tisbury Wharf in Vineyard Haven Harbor from Thursday through Sunday hosting several dockside and sailing events.

To purchase tickets and read more, visit the Adventure’s website here.schooner-adventure-sunset-gloucester-harbor-2-copyright-kim-smithschooner-adventure-sunset-gloucester-harbor-copyright-kim-smithRecent snapshots of the Schooner Adventure docked at the Jodrey State Fish Pier

Art museums in Massachusetts are closer than they appear. Gloucester, Google maps and upcoming exhibitions

 

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Last week I was in the Amherst area to meet with clients at a museum. I added on a couple of exhibitions that I knew were closing before I’d be back in that area. I have to map out shows or I miss them.

If you do an online search for ‘art museums in Massachusetts’ or ‘best of’ museum inquiries there are several helpful lists that pop up. The New England Museum Association for one has stepped up their digital presence for their membership directory. Still, must-see institutions on the North Shore and Cape Ann are rarely high lighted, buried deeply, and frequently absent from compilation lists ( see omissions at Artcyclopedia, Massvacation, Tripadvisor, visit Massachusetts, art-collecting, etc.)

Here’s a link to Massachusetts Art Museums created in Google maps. Part 2 Massachusetts 2016 fall/winter museum exhibition guide coming!

Upcoming show trends include: illuminated manuscripts, citizenship, art of picture books, and vintage and contemporary photography.

 

 

 

RASING THE RAINBOW FLAG AT CITY HALL FOR #PRIDE MONTH!

Rainbow flag raising Gloucester Mayor Romeo Theken copyright Kim SmithRainbow flag raising City Hall Gloucester MA -1 copyright Kim SmithContinuing in the City’s tradition of supporting diversity, liberty, and freedom for all, Gloucester is celebrating Pride Month throughout June, beginning with today’s flag raising ceremony. Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken was joined by House Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante, Senator Bruce Tarr, City Councilors Melissa Cox and Sean Nolan, a representative from Representative Seth Moulton’s office, and many people from the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.

The flag was donated by Gloucester resident Alasandra McClellan.

Rainbow Flag Gloucester MA copyright Kim Smith copy

Raising the rainbow flag over City Hall with @sefi62 #pride #gaypride @northshorepride

A post shared by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

LEADEN DECEMBER SKIES :)

How fortunate we are to be experiencing a delightfully warm El Nino December although many regions in the rest of the country are not faring as well as we in the Northeast. Thinking about where we were almost to the date a year ago at this time…see the end of this post.
GLOUCESTER HARBOR CITY HALL DECEMBER 2015

GLOUCESTER HARBOR ROCKY NECK DECEMBER 2015Rocky Neck

GLOUCESTER HARBOR OUR LADY DECEMBER 2015Our Lady of Good Voyage

Photographing from the same location last year at this time, Smith’s Cove, December 18, 2014 ~

LOBSTER TRAPS SMITHS COVE EAST GLOUCESTER ©Kim Smith 2014SMITHS COVE EAST GLOUCESTER ©Kim Smith 2014Pirate’s Lane Smith’s Cove East Gloucester

DUCKWORTH'S BISTROT EAST GLOUCESTER ©Kim Smith 2014Duckworth’s Bistrot December 2014

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