SALEM, Mass.–The Peabody Essex Museum and the City of Salem have teamed up to raise funds for the tsunami relief effort, building on Salem’s historical ties to the Banda Aceh region of Sumatra, Indonesia, that go back more than 200 years. A special event has been organized for Sunday, April 10, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the museum. A full program of art and cultural events is planned, including performances by Tamara and the Shadow Theatre of Java, the renowned shadow puppet master, live gamelan music (Indonesian instrumental ensemble), and hands-on workshops for children and families in the museum’s East India Marine Hall. Members of city council, mayor Stanley J. Usovicz, and three former mayors of Salem — Neil J. Harrington, Anthony V. Salvo, and Jean A. Levesque — will be on hand for the event. Teachers and students from area schools, including Bates, Saltonstall, Salem High School, Nathaniel Bowditch, and Horace Mann, will also take part.

Salem News, Century Bank and the Salem Chamber of Commerce have graciously lent support to this community fundraising event.

All visitors will be charged a $10 entrance fee ($5 for children), with all proceeds from museum admissions going to UNICEF in support of aid to Banda Aceh, one of the hardest hit cities in Sumatra. Additional donations welcome.

In addition to raising funds for victims of the tsunami, the event will honor the historical ties between the city and Sumatra.

“The connection between Salem and Sumatra dates back to the early 1800s; it’s only natural that we would help our longtime friends in their time of need,” says Salem City Council President, Michael Bencal.

A human figure from Banda Aceh is on the Salem city seal, a reference to the extensive and lucrative spice trade established between Salem merchants and northern Sumatra.

"Our history is so much a part of our everyday life here in Salem,” says Mayor Stanley Usovicz. “Our residents feel a connection to the people of Sumatra and Banda Aceh because of the legacy of the pepper trade that built the city around us today. The Peabody Essex Museum is such an icon of Salem, and a steward of our past and current history, that partnering with them brings together art and culture, history and people, to make this a meaningful and educational effort."

The museum has art collections from New England and around the world, including from the period when Salem was a major port for trade in Sumatran pepper. Pepper was one of the first commodities of trade that linked Europe and Asia.

“It is especially rewarding to partner with the city on this fundraising project,” says Peabody Essex Museum Director Dan Monroe. “We have all seen the heartbreaking images of the devastation caused by the tsunami. We were looking for a way to contribute to the aid effort that also celebrates Indonesia’s art and culture. This event is a wonderful way to achieve both those goals.”

Salem News, Century Bank and the Salem Chamber of Commerce have graciously lent support to this fundraising event.

Program of Events

Please note: all events are on a first come, first served basis

Shadow puppet play from Java by Tamara, Morse Auditorium
10:20 to 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
3:30 to 4 p.m.: behind the "screens"

Music and dance from Bali, Atrium
12:30 to 1 p.m.; 1:30 to 2 p.m.; 4:30 to 5 p.m.

Drop-in art activities, East India Marine Hall
3 to 5 p.m.

Performance schedule

10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Morse Auditorium
TAMARA and the Shadow Theatre of Java presents Wayang Kulit, a shadow puppet play from Java

12:30 to 1 p.m., Atrium
Welcome Dance and Kijang Dance presented by Ari Candrawati Saptanyana, Nasha Lubis, and Kadek Bagus Saptanyana
Gamelan music by I Nyoman Saptanyana

1 to 1:20 p.m., Atrium
Welcoming remarks by city leaders and community representatives

1:30 to 2 p.m., Atrium
Introduction and narration by Tamara
Live gamelan music by I Nyoman Saptanyana
Baris Dance, Centrawasih, and Paradise Peacock Dance from Bali with recorded music; Danced by Putu Bagus Saptanyana, Ari Candrawati Saptanyana and Nasha Lubis

2:30 to 3:30 p.m., Morse Auditorium
TAMARA and the Shadow Theatre of Java presents Wayang Kulit, a shadow puppet play from Java

3 to 5 p.m., East India Marine Hall
Drop-in art activities: Shadow puppets

3:30 to 4 p.m., Morse Auditorium
TAMARA and the Shadow Theatre of Java
A behind the “screen” demonstration - see how it works!

4:30 to 5 p.m., Atrium
Live gamelan music by I Nyoman Saptanyana
Centrawasih, Paradise Peacock Dance from Bali, Baris Dance, and
Kijang Mas Dance
Danced by Ari Chandrawati Saptanyana and Nasha Lubis, Putu Bagus Saptanyana and Kadek Bagus Saptanyana


Tamara was born in Cimahi, West Java, of Dutch and Indonesian parents. It was on her family's rubber plantation that she first watched an all-night wayang performance. This experience proved to be a great force in her artistic development, and thus began her lifelong devotion to that art, which has culminated in the multi-media production: Tamara and the Shadow Theatre of Java.

Tamara has worked as an actress and lived in Holland, Switzerland, Curacao, and France, before settling in New York. Her unique one-woman show of Javanese shadow theatre has been presented around the world. She has lectured and performed at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Asia Society and the American Museum of Natural History in New York, as well as at universities, colleges, museums and international festivals throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.


PR Contacts:

April Swieconek  -  Director of Public Relations  -  978-745-9500 X3109  -

Whitney Van Dyke  -  Director of Communications  -  978-542-1828  -

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