Tag Archives: Sawyer Free Library

Author Wayne Soini Talks about Abraham Lincoln at Sawyer Library

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————REMINDER————

When: Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Where: Sawyer Free Library, Gloucester, MA
Subject: A brief talk with Questions and Answers on “Researching and Writing about Abraham Lincoln in 2017”
(None of my books on sale that night but I will gladly sign copies if people bought copies on Amazon.)
Author of DEEP SNOW, HIGH WATERS and FULL HEART (Young Man Lincoln Trilogy)…
Free and Open to the Public.

 

Oil painting of Abraham Lincoln by artist and sculptor Richard R. Miller

What if…a section of Dogtown brush was cleared away? If you missed Chris Leahy at Sawyer Free Library last week come to a summit by Essex County Greenbelt & Mass Audubon at Cape Ann Museum March 4

“This Saturday morning forum is offered in collaboration with Essex County Greenbelt, Friends of Dogtown, Lanesville Community Center and Mass Audubon and held at Cape Ann Museum. The forum will be moderated by Ed Becker, President of the Essex County Greenbelt Association.”

Register here

UPDATE: Cape Ann TV is scheduled to film the event!

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Edward Hopper Cape Ann Pasture watercolor drawing (ca.1928) was gifted to Yale University in 1930

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East Gloucester Atwood’s Gallery on the Moors as seen on the left in 1921–open vistas at that time

 

Chris Leahy gave a presentation at Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library on February 23, 2017: Dogtown- the Biography of a Landscape: 750 Million Years Ago to the Present
A photographic history through slides presented by the Gloucester Lyceum and the Friends of the Library. Mary Weissblum opened the program.

Chris broadly covered the history of the local landscape from an ecological bent with a bias to birds and blueberry picking, naturally. New England is a patchwork of forested landscapes. He stressed the evolution of bio diversity and succession phenomenon when the earth and climate change. “Nature takes a lot of courses.” He focused on Dogtown, “a very special place”, and possible merits of land stewardship geared at fostering greater biodiversity. Perhaps some of the core acres could be coaxed to grasslands as when parts of Gloucester were described as moors? Characteristic wildlife, butterflies, and birds no longer present may swing back.  There were many philosophical takeaways and tips: he recommends visiting the dioramas “Changes in New England Landscape” display at Harvard Forest HQ in Petersham.

“Isolation of islands is a main driver of evolution”

“Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Worcester has the highest concentration* of native butterflies in all of Massachusetts because of secondary habitats.”  *of Mass Audubon’s c.40,000 acres of wildlife sanctuaries statewide. “The fact that Brook Meadow Brook is in greater Worcester, rather than a forested wilderness, underscores the value of secondary habitats.”

“1830– roughly the time of Thoreau (1817-1862)– was the maximum period of clearing thus the heyday for grasslands…As farmsteads were abandoned, stages of forests return.”

Below are photos from February 23, 2017. I added some images of art inspired by Dogtown. I also pulled out a photograph by Frank L Cox, David Cox’s father, of Gallery on the Moors  (then) compared with a photo of mine from 2011 to illustrate how the picturesque description wasn’t isolated to Dogtown.

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Edward Hopper, Cape Ann Granite, 1928, oil on canvas can we get this painting into the Cape Ann Museum collection?

dogtown-cape-ann-massachuestts-by-louise-upton-brumback-o-c-vose-galleryLouise Upton Brumback (1867-1929), Dogtown- Cape Ann, 1920 oil on canvas

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Author Wayne Soini Talks about Abraham Lincoln at Sawyer Library

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When: Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Where: Sawyer Free Library, Gloucester, MA
Subject: A brief talk with Questions and Answers on “Researching and Writing about Abraham Lincoln in 2017”
(None of my books on sale that night but I will gladly sign copies if people bought copies on Amazon.)
Author of DEEP SNOW, HIGH WATERS and FULL HEART (Young Man Lincoln Trilogy)…
Free and Open to the Public.

 

 

 

Oil painting of Abraham Lincoln by artist and sculptor Richard R. Miller

New Libraries of Massachusetts MBLC poster includes preservation examples and combos. Zoom in!

Direct and zoomable link to the “New Libraries of Massachusetts” excellent poster (PDF), created by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) and covering projects completed up to 2012. Many are historic combos and a few bypass parking compliance (Boston Public Library).

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Late last night, Ray Lamont filed a story for the Gloucester Daily Times about January 11 library building meeting.

gdt-headline-jpgI’ll add links to the Q&A from last week and last night  if they’re available. Identifying an architect of the preliminary plans and building architect are part of filing intent. And the FAQ spells out: Eligibility: …Applicants must have local approval to apply for, accept, and expend grant funds as well as approval for the proposed preliminary design. 

See more information about the Massachusetts Public Library Building Program in the video they produced, and Sawyer Free showed last week at the corporators meeting.

 

 

Sawyer Free at a crossroads: building plan meetings tomorrow January 11 at 4:00pm and 6:30pm

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Sawyer Free Building Committee is meeting at 4pm January 11, 2017 to discuss schematic design, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC grant opportunities), and ready another presentation. At 6:30pm they’ll give a second public presentation with the building team. (Today’s Gloucester Daily Times article by Ray Lamont has more information: Commish Questions: Library board presenting proposal at community forum Wednesday night) Below are photographs from the January 4th meeting for coporators and other invited guests. The library’s building committee and the new building team gave a presentation and fielded comments and questions. Attendees expressed both support and dismay. Like the schools, it’s a big topic.  There are similarities: seeking a matching state grant, steep building compliance requirements, same project manager as West Parish and architects as West Parish. Questions and concerns can be directed to a communications consultant engaged by the library who will help to connect you with answers. There was a scrumptious catering spread from Willow Rest. I liked the artisan flatbread school of fish display. Melissa and the Willow Rest team are so creative.

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The current North Shore Magazine gives a shout out to Beverly Library for being rather library-ish, “unlike a lot of libraries, it’s quiet.” Plus more interior photographs of the Boston Public Library.

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Boston Public Library passing through Daniel Chester French doors

 

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Longfellow among the 30 Boston notable mosaics

 

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Louis Saint-Gaudens twin lions, honoring Civil War veterans; grand stairs, ceiling, windows, partial peek at Puves de Chavennes murals

Balancing and balance

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Prior post: Proposed building plans. Plus universal access, consolidated archives and digitization

The 4 Cape Ann public libraries announce the Cape Ann Reads jury panel

See the 2016 Cape Ann Reads selection panel  

After a year of monthly programming by the libraries and community partners, the Cape Ann Reads original picture book contest is in full swing and has moved into the jury processing stage. The contest is hosted by the 4 public libraries of Cape Ann. They will publish the first edition printing for one book from entries that were submitted by December 15, 2016. The jury selection panel includes representatives from each of the public libraries: Justine Vitale Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library; Carol Bender, Children’s and Teen Librarian,  Rockport Public Library; Kate Strong Stadt, Head of Youth Services, Manchester-By-The-Sea Public Library; Anne Cowman, Young Adult Librarian, Manchester-By-The-Sea Public Library; and April Wanner, Assistant Librarian at the TOHP Burnham Library, Essex. Joining these talented library participants are three artists and award winning children’s picture book authors and illustrators: Pat Lowery Collins; Giles Laroche; and Anna Vojtech.  Bob Ritchie proprietor of Dogtown Book Shop will provide another crucial area of book world expertise.  Cape Ann Reads is grateful for their time and considerable talents to help the participants and the process. A second jury of children will select their favorites and is chaired by Liza Browning from the Cape Ann Museum, a Cape Ann Reads partner.

About the Cape Ann creates for Cape Ann Reads Children’s Picture Book Contest:
The 4 public libraries hosted a one of a kind call for entry seeking new and original children’s picture books showcasing local artists and writers. 

Cape Ann residents of all ages, students attending school on Cape Ann, and people who work on Cape Ann were invited to create part or all of a picture book for consideration to be published, and to submit their entries by December 15th, 2016. A first edition printing of one of these submissions will be published in 2017 by the 4 public libraries and with the support of various sponsors. The copyright is timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of a Caldecott award for the children’s book, “Little House”, by Virginia Lee Burton, eminent Gloucester artist, author and illustrator.

Proposed building plans Sawyer Free Library, City Hall…Whoa! In the news plus the 1973 appeal led by Joseph Garland, universal access, and archives

“No finer place for sure, downtown.”

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“Fate of historic buildings uncertain” Gloucester Daily Times, Ray Lamont, Jan 3 2017

Seeing double? Yes, you’re supposed to. The Sawyer Free Library addition was designed to mirror Cape Ann Museum as a balanced and nuanced architectural symmetry in deference to City Hall, and catalyst for a graceful center.

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Cape Ann Museum, December 2017

Sawyer Free Library has announced a public meeting January 11th for discussions of a new building. (See the flyer at the end of this post.)

City Hall may have some upcoming construction on the Dale Avenue side as well.

Both projects are largely in the name of accessibility of a physical nature. Can they be cost effective, worthy of our history and culture, protect our significant buildings, and address current and future needs? The following are some of the issues, local coverage, links to resources, and archival material for your interest.

HANDICAP PARKING SPACES BY CITY HALL- Do we have enough?

Although there are several new handicap parking spaces along Dale Avenue by City Hall, carving out the landscape on the left for more spots is in the cards because of grant money. Why? Several people told me that Dale Avenue parking spaces are hazardous for anyone exiting on the street. Although I do not want to minimize any pressing needs, I still ask, “Really?” Have we become so car dependent we would rather a thoroughfare here than the elegant streetscape we have (once a tree lined walk from the train station.) I was also told that it will increase visitation counts. It is an unfair advantage that historic sites with access to more funding (Monticello, Smithsonian, Colonial Williamsburg, and more) are better equipped to face these seemingly no-win situations. But there are creative retrofitting options for Gloucester, too.  Universal design is about balance, not chasing funding sources at the expense of preservation and beauty, nor backwards planning.

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Dale Avenue c.1910

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City Hall, December 2017

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The site of possible razing and paving

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NEW LIBRARY 2016. And 1973.

Before the current 2015-16 library outreach, the library hosted extensive visioning sessions throughout 2013. I went to a couple, and I was invited to take part in a focus group (on schools and the library.)  A completely new library and jettisoning of the historic Saunders library building was not an expressed community value. What were some common discussion points? A strategy for digitization of historic archives and newspapers, more staff, more hours of operation (Sundays), better bathrooms, parking issues, air conditioning, electrical work, maintenance, security, maximizing technology/ content access with schools, ditto Cape Ann TV, and attendance (see this great video from Lisa Smith by kids for kids ) were some goals that were mentioned.

So it was a surprise to see the unveiling of new architectural renderings that did not showcase the Saunders house. It’s like the White House not featuring the White House. I think the Saunders house should be key and central to any building overhaul, not tossed aside. Providing universal access should preserve the intended awe factors if there are any, FOR EVERYBODY–such as the architectural details, proportion, welcoming entrance and unique heritage of a historic building. In this proposal, with Saunders severed there is zero physical access to the main event. What a missed opportunity. And for a library. What do you think?

Today’s paper mentioned that the Saunders house could be used for other purposes instead of the library. Why can’t that be the case and the library maintain its #1 asset? The downtown cultural district (which is not going forward in the same capacity) and other organizations could use the library meeting spaces. Do we really need to conjure up another stand alone endeavor?

Back in 1973, the Trustees of the Library began a fund drive for the new library addition; the city of Gloucester paid 2/3. As the Library’s General Chairman, Joe Garland led that campaign. Not surprising, the text of the brochure is a good read! The architect was Donald F. Monnell. (In 1971 Monnell was quoted in the papers speaking about the attributes of Central Grammar.  One likes him more and more.) The population served was 27,000–nearly what it is today.

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Awesome design  on this 1973 brochure for the fundraising campaign for the Sawyer Free library– led by the Joe Garland (cover). See photos of complete pamphlet

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See “Preserving our Civic Center,” great letter to the editor by Prudence Fish, Gloucester Daily Times, December 23, 2016

Working together

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2016 Planning term and movement- “Scaling Up”

A quip about the concept of Scaling UP that I remember from a conference this past September at Peabody Essex Museum and hosted by Essex National Heritage was to “think about the farm not just a barn”; in this case a downtown, or an entire city and region. I like thinking this way in general–architecture and planning, art, and schools. But this conference pushed me to add overlays beyond my areas of expertise or focus like wildlife and waterways. Gloucester, Cape Ann, Massachusetts–there’s so much! Mayor Romeo Theken is committed to working together and feels that planning is important and broad. One example, see Gloucester Daily Times Dec 19, 2016 Officials: City to Prioritize Its (competing) Needs 

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City Looks to Prioritize its Needs, Gloucester Daily Times, Ray Lamont, Dec. 19, 2016

There are several looming questions, evaluations, and decisions.

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Every era has choices. The prior library expansion plans began well before 1972. Possibilities swirled as they do now. (Back then, Central Grammar was also in the news, may or may not have been razed, and possible uses favored senior housing, commercial development, an annex to City Hall, and a courthouse police station.) Today there are competing building needs and uses floated for properties as diverse as: the Cape Ann YMCA on Middle Street, the post office on Dale, the Gloucester Fire Department, police headquarters, St. Ann’s, and the elementary schools–and that’s just to name a few. Let’s celebrate enviable architectural strengths, and not fuss with buildings that should be venerated, unless it’s to help them be accessible and healthy. Let’s get the balance right.

HISTORY MAKING PLEA- Archives for all

The prohibitive costs of best practice historic preservation (ADA compliant, temperature and humidity controls, security, sustainability, in house scanning/OCR/audio transcription, etc) is impossible for all the worthy collections in town, and pits them as foes when vying for funds. Let’s flip that impediment on its head and make Gloucester a model for the state.  Its treasures would be available worldwide if they were truly accessible –digitized.Two words may help accomplish this goal and free up cash for individual operations: shared overhead. It’s one hope I continue to stress–the need to share necessary resources for a state-of-the-art research and warehouse repository. This universal hub should be large enough to encompass any holdings not on view. There could be a smaller downtown central site combined with a larger off site location, such as at Blackburn. The list of sharing institutions could include and is by no means exhaustive: our municipal archives that date back to 1642; Cape Ann Museum; Sawyer Free Library; North Shore Art Association; Beauport; Hammond Castle; the Legion; Amvets and other social clubs; Sargent House; several places of worship; Gloucester Daily Times; Annisquam historical building collections; Lanesville; Magnolia’s historic collections; artists/writers estates; Veterans office; our schools; Isabel Babson Memorial Library, and perhaps businesses such as Cape Pond Ice and Gortons. The library plans don’t appear to retrofit their site(s) for this goal.

If incentives and policy supported neighborhood character over less generic construction collages51

that would be wonderful.  It’s not just Gloucester.

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Read more

John Prybot climbed City Hall tower. Have you?

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On special days throughout the year like Middle Street Walk, the generous Gloucester City Hall Restoration Committee volunteers provide City Hall Tower tours. The weather for Saturday’s Middle Street Walk was sunny, but blustery and chilly. Joe Rosa greeted visitors. Maggie Rosa and Steve Dexter from Carroll Steel Insurance bundled up and stayed up just so guests could climb for sweeping panoramas.

John Prybot, Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free librarian, was kind enough to grab these photos. The angle and brightness of the sun favored a photographic vista in one direction:  over and beyond the Sawyer Free library and Temple Ahavat Achim to the harbor and Stage Fort Park. You can see Middle Street steeples, the fire station, the lovely John and Dorothy Rando Memorial Garden and amphitheater, and the graceful balance of open space between the library, Central Grammar, and City hall. The library buildings and the temple architecture stand out and fit in.

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Fine artist and award winning children’s book illustrator and author ANNA VOJTECH @Sawyer Free November 26

Don’t miss Anna Vojtech‘s special program for Cape Ann Reads from Sawyer Free children’s services. “Informative and casual master class about how to work with publishers and what do to for preparing and sending your children’s books to publishers.”

 

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Don’t miss a chance to publish: still 1 week to register for Cape Ann Reads picture book contest! Plus a shout out to artist volunteers!

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Entry forms are rolling in! 

Applicants have until December 15th to upload a book submission,

but they need to register by November 15th or they won’t be eligible for the contest.

Shout out to local artists John Bassett, Bonnie Sylvester and Alexia Parker. Last week we reached out to local media including the Gloucester Daily Times, Cape Ann Beacon, Cape Ann Chamber newsletter, This Week on Rocky Neck and Good Morning Gloucester to help us broadcast the contest and/or seeking volunteer artists. Artists (and writers!) generously stepped forward with intriguing and generous offers! Scroll down to read more about three of the artist volunteers that responded to this recent public appeal. At this time we have more volunteers than requests. Amazing and inspiring!

Glass sculptor, artist John Bassett www.basglas.com, was the first to reach out with a generous and flexible offer. His website links to pages of glorious works.

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His offer was quickly followed by Bonnie Sylvester’s thoughtful reasoning: “As an artist and early childhood educator, I would love to add my name to the mix of local volunteer artists that writers may consider. I think it will be a lot of fun to work this way.”  Sylvester works in a wide range of material including mixed media, acrylic, and watercolor. “I believe exceptional picture books are a marriage of story and picture. It’s so important to see the creativity in the author’s vision.”  She has a master’s degree in early education and is a docent at Cape Ann Museum.

Alexia Parker wanted to volunteer after she was urged by a couple of her friends and fans: “I had couple of friends and coworkers who saw it in the Gloucester Daily Times and contacted me. I grew up in Essex…I also work…in Essex. As far as my art goes, I have just recently been exploring avenues to get my name out there a little. Illustrating childrens’ books has been a dream of mine since I was a child, so I thought this could be a fun way to try it out.” She included this stunning collage as an example.

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Stay tuned for more exciting news:

The Jury panel will be announced this week!

There will be a second jury panel made up of children. If you know a Cape Ann K-5th grader who likes to read or be read to, and would be excited to be part of the kids jury panel, let your library know! Names will be pulled out of a hat. For more information contact Capeannreads2016@gmail.com.

Cape Ann Reads children’s picture book contest is open to Cape Ann residents of ALL ages, students attending school on Cape Ann and people who work on Cape Ann. One winning book will be published by Cape Ann Reads in 2017, a first-edition printing prize valued up to $10,000. Additional honors will be announced.

Sponsor opportunities:

The 4 Cape Ann libraries and many regional partners have coordinated a calendar of wonderful events throughout 2016. Additional sponsors and support are sought and welcome! After the registration deadline, the contest organizers will announce additional specific prize categories.

 

 

Volunteer Artists and Illustrators Sought

There are a few local writers who would welcome help from local artists to complete their book submission into Cape Ann Creates for Cape Ann Reads Children’s Picture Book Contest! Please email capeannreads2016@gmail.com

For more information about registration and the guidelines, see this dynamite flyer designed by Valerie Marino at Sawyer Free Library. Thanks to Cape Ann Chamber At-A-Glance weekly newsletter and Rocky Neck’s This Week on Rocky Neck- Art Opportunities for helping to get the word out!car-deadlines-register-now

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Cape Ann Reads 2016 Children’s Picture Book Contest is now open! Grand prize valued up to $10,000

One new book. Four communities. Everyone reads!

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Find out more about this public call for entry: your book could be the one published by the 4 Cape Ann Libraries  SUBMIT YOUR BOOK

NEFA at New England Libraries Conference and in Ipswich: meet up Oct 17 calling all artists, creative orgs and biz

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Representatives from the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) will be in Massachusetts on the North Shore from Oct 16 – 18 participating and presenting at the annual New England Libraries Conference which will be held in Danvers.

NEFA developed an indexed website for the creative economy called Creative Ground. You may have seen it; there are a couple of Gloucester entries in there.

The directory is free and simple and is for all New England artists, cultural non-profits, and creative businesses.

During this upcoming MA road trip, NEFA offered to give another presentation in our area about CreativeGround. Kerrie Bates in Ipswich stepped up and invited Gloucester and Essex National Heritage to help spread the word to the North Shore. The directory is free. The event is free. Learn more:

Details & registration: NEFA Creative Ground | Mon. Oct.17 @ 7pm Ipswich Town Hall

Speaking of directories–I love the look and talent in the Young Artists Directory at the Hive for artists all media ages 18 up and under 30. they could be in both directories 

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How to save for Topsfield Fair: buy discounted ride tickets, don’t forget your kids’ Library Read & Win rewards, note active military and senior discounts

 

FREE admission for all active military on Tuesday October 4th, 2016.

Senior Citizens discounted entry on Monday October 3rd, 2016.

You can purchase advance discounted tickets from Topsfield Fair on line or at the fairgrounds. Ace Hardware in Gloucester has discounted admission and ride tickets for sale. Discounted admission tickets are also for sale at the Gloucester Daily TimesAnd Groupon.  Thank you Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library for participating in the Topsfield Fair Read&Win summer reading prize packet incentive which contains free entry, 2 rides and 1 yummy meal!

The 2016 Topsfield fair opens September 30th and closes October 10. Discounted ticket sales are limited and stop September 26.

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Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library one of many that partners with Topsfield Fair Read & Win — great kids reward packet for their summer reading

 

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.

 

 

 

August Cape Ann Reads: Picture book on Rockport’s Illumination Night dazzles

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This captivating story walk installation within the gentle park outside the Rockport Public Library was enchanting on Rockport’s Illumination night.  Along with countdowns to kindergarten and story time, celebrate children’s picture books this month with Cape Ann Reads events!

Gloucester: August 17th (WED) 1:00-2:00 PM CAPE ANN READS writers workshop for all ages led by Amanda Cook of the Gloucester Writers Center (free)

Essex:  August 18th (THURS) 1:00PM. Does your boat float? (free)

Essex: Teen Activity August 22nd (MON) 6:00PM (free)

Gloucester: August 27 2:30pm (SAT) Mark your live event calendar! Just 12 more days until  legendary children’s book creator Ed Emberley will be at Cape Ann Community Cinema & Stage! Caldecott winner! Published more than 100 books! North Shore artist! 

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Gloucester’s clean harbor: H2O no no’s are in the past

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Did you read about Cape Cod’s Big Water Drinking Problem in the Boston Globe magazine this past weekend, the cover story? Oy, complicated.

There’s still time to register for the annual Celebrate the Clean Harbor Swim which will be held at Niles Beach Saturday morning. Swim or raise a toast–there is so much to celebrate.

Swim to celebrate Gloucester’s clean water

Swim to celebrate the moments people help*

Swim to celebrate a history of ongoing conservation

Swim to celebrate the guys on the DPW crews

Before it was Celebrate the Clean Harbor it was… clean it.

Thirteen year old Elinor Doty swam a mile and a half in 29 minutes, ahead of 16 other swimmers in 1979. The race was in tribute to John McPhee, head of Gloucester Sea Scouts. “We tried to get swimmers who knew John McPhee,” said race organizer Jim Doty, Elinor’s father. “I’d like to make it an annual event if I can swing it…”

“Rounding out the field of 17, was 68 year old Sara Robbins, who was surprised by an unexpected visitor during the middle of the race. “The grey harbor seal popped up beside me to show me a two-pound flounder that he had caught,” said Robbins, who has been training a half mile each day for the past two weeks. “I’m not too fast but I get there.” She said she used the side stroke during the whole course.”

Doty came in first place again in 1980 when the swim morphed into the ideal kick off event for Cape Ann’s Year of the Coast. Because of water quality, several parents wouldn’t let their children participate. “And only two are from the Cape Ann YMCA, James Doty notes, which usually supplies more contestants.

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1979

 

Water pollution was rarely mentioned if at all before the Cape Ann Year of the Coast, an undeniable avalanche tipping point. One 1980 article has a picture of Sarah Fraser Robbins, Sarah Evans and Chandler Evans. The 8 year old was ceremoniously passed from boat to boat and then dropped in so three generations could swim across the finish line. In 1981 organizers reminded people that they didn’t need to complete the swim, they could jump in and swim across the finish line in support. I wonder if that tradition was maintained?

1980 swimmers besides the Evans clan and Doty–Gloucester residents, unless otherwise stated: David Hayden (2nd place), Karen Hartley of Dorchester (3rd place), Andy O’Brien of Rockport, Barry Hallett Jr, Darrell Hallett (swam part way alongside his brother), Kay Rubin, Polly Doty of Dedham, Jack Crowley of South Weymouth, Carl Blumenthanl, Chris Lovgren of Gloucester, Stan Luniewicz, Bill Jebb representing Sea Tec, Steve Haskell Sea Tec, Sharon Kishida Sea Tec, Earl Kishida Sea Tec, Jan Childs, Chris Sanders of Rockport, Chris Vonalt of Rockport, and Sam Rugh.

Councilor Carolyn O’Connor led a brief awards ceremony. I love the quip recorded in Laura Meades 1980 sports report Hardy Swimmers Keep Heads High“As they went on, the swimmers shouted encouragement to one another and checked their progress.  “What’s ahead of us?” asked Steve Haskell of SeaTec Inc, a diving firm. “A couple of 8-year olds,” replied SeaTec’s owner, Bill Jebb, swimming beside Haskell.”

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1980

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1980

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I hope DPW feels proud that their work protected us, Gloucester’s famous harbor, our legacy.

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Before the waste water treatment facility was built in 1984, untreated waste (sanitary, storm water, industrial, you name it) was discharged directly into the inner and outer harbor. Gloucester was not alone. Rockport, Essex, Beverly- there were many North Shore stories. I wish I knew the name of every person that did the necessary retrofitting and water treatment labor. They dug up roads, laid pipe, cleaned up messes, dealt with outfalls, extended sewer lines, requested a decontamination shower and changing area (1978) so they wouldn’t have to wash up at home, engineered, mapped, and monitored what was necessary to bring us from a crisis by 1980–and lawsuit– to where we are now in 2016. DPW continues to address storm water pollution, also mandated, and will make next year’s compliance deadline. (Gloucester is not unduly impaired by industrial waste like some other communities that will feel the pinch.) Thanks to Larry Durkin, Environmental Engineer, DPW, and Senator Tarr’s office for pouncing on MBTA’s pesticide spraying.

To paraphrase the famous George M Cohan quote: My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my brother thanks you, andI will add that my children thank you, future generations thank you, wildlife thanks you, businesses thank you, truly all of Gloucester thanks you!

**I grabbed material for this post from GDT headlines thanks to   Sawyer Free Library. Newspapers on microfilm are available in the Reference Department. I am not alone in dreaming of the day when Gloucester archives, Gloucester Daily Times, and other essential research are digitized, but I tend to repeat this ongoing plea.

*It’s not one person, event or decade that stands out. There’s an incredible timeline of care. Who would you add? part 2

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