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      In-person event

      Free Admission: Celebrate PEM Prize Opening Day and the Salem Arts Fest

      Free Admission: Celebrate the PEM Prize Opening and Salem Arts Fest

      Know before you go

      In-person event
      Location: Main Atrium and along Essex Street in front of the museum


      As part of the Salem Arts Festival, museum admission is free for all visitors on June 8.

      Celebrate culture, creativity and community at PEM Prize Opening Day and the 16th annual Salem Arts Festival on Saturday, June 8!

      At PEM, this event will celebrate the reveal of the finished Jingle sculptures by PEM Prize Awardee Marie Watt (Seneca Nation), created especially for PEM and built with the community. These sparkling large-scale works sing to us from the liminal space between sky and earth.

      As part of this family-friendly event, you will have the opportunity to dance with the finished jingle sculptures and activate them through movement. Hear from Marie Watt about her work and inspiration, see a Jingle Dance performance by world champion dancer Acosia Red Elk (Umatilla Nation) and enjoy a themed brunch in the Atrium Café.

      Outside the museum and throughout the downtown area, the Salem Arts Festival offers art making, dance performances, live music and more. Don’t miss the live mural slam on Artists’ Row!

      Arts and culture are an integral part of day-to-day life in Salem, and this annual festival has become a source of pride and inspiration for the city. Join us as we support and celebrate the creative community in Salem.

      PEM is proud to partner with Salem Main Streets and the Creative Collective.

      The PEM Prize recognizes artists whose work explores the catalytic relationship between creativity and civic engagement. The museum has commissioned these works to honor Marie Watt, an interdisciplinary artist and PEM Prize recipient whose work draws together aspects of history, community engagement and Indigenous teachings.


      Brunch in the Atrium Café
      10 am–12 pm

      Interconnectedness Scavenger Hunt

      10 am–4 pm

      Pick up an all-ages clue sheet at our table in the Main Atrium and search for objects around the museum!

      Once the museum closes, we encourage you to visit the Salem Arts Festival. Festival events run until 6 pm.

      You can also check out our drop-in nature weaving activity on Essex Street, outside the museum’s Main Entrance.

      Jingle Sculpture Activation

      10–11 am, 2–4 pm | Main Atrium

      Help us bring this artwork to life! Together with the artist, Marie Watt (Seneca Nation), we welcome all of our visitors to touch the co-created sculpture and activate the jingles’ sound through embrace.

      Jingle Dance Performance

      11 am | Armory Park, across the street from PEM’s Main Entrance
      1 pm | Main Atrium

      Watch a Jingle Dance performed by ten-time world championship jingle dancer Acosia Red Elk (member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla, Cayuse and Walla Walla, and Nez Perce and Colville).

      Poetry Reading by The Thursday Poets

      12-1 pm | Morse Auditorium Alcove

      The Salem-based Thursday Poets share original works of ekphrasis – poetry that vividly describes a work of art – based on their experience with the jingle sculptures. Look for more of their poetry readings throughout downtown Salem during the arts festival.

      About our collaborators

      Marie Watt (Seneca Nation)
      Marie Watt (Seneca Nation)

      Marie Watt (Seneca Nation) creates interdisciplinary work that draws from history, biography, Haudenosaunee proto-feminism and Indigenous teachings. Through her collaborative practice, she instigates multigenerational and cross-disciplinary conversations that create a lens for understanding connectedness to place, one another and the universe.

      The Thursday Poets
      The Thursday Poets

      The Thursday Poets are a collective of professional poets based in Salem, Massachusetts. They create, promote, celebrate and support poetry efforts North of Boston and beyond through readings, gatherings, workshops, publications and advocacy.

      Acosia Red Elk
      Acosia Red Elk

      Acosia Red Elk is an Enrolled Member of the Umatilla Tribe, Northeastern Oregon. She is a ten-time World Champion Jingle Dancer, snowboarder, glass artist, cultural teacher and wellness advocate. Besides her dance performances, she is known for public speaking and storytelling, Indigenizing fitness, teaching yoga from a tribal lens and teaching Powwow Dance to tribal youth across Turtle Island.

      Acosia travels the world performing and sharing cultural knowledge, movement and meditation. She is passionate about sharing the practice of yoga and universal movement as a way to heal from historical and intergenerational trauma. She is the creator of Powwow/Yoga, a fusion practice that braids together Tribal Dancing and yoga for a well-rounded workout with an Indigenous approach to wellness. Acosia leads classes with a seven-generation approach, teaching us that everything that we do should be done with a sustainable mindset to protect what is sacred.

      Acosia is an advocate for health and wellness and encourages all people on Earth to recognize the Indigenous knowledge within them so that they can continue to build bridges and protect Earth’s resources for future generations and beyond.

      Lifting the Sky and the PEM Prize Opening were made possible by the following sponsors:

      Benefactor Sponsors
      Artful Jaunts

      Artful Jaunts logo

      FORM Creative Services

      Form logo

      Gourmet Caterers

      Gourmet Caterers logo

      Patron sponsors
      Brown Brothers Harriman
      Connolly Brothers, Inc.
      Fiduciary Trust Company
      Peak Event Series
      Port Lighting
      VAK Jewelers

      Supporter sponsors
      Building Technologies, Inc.
      HUB International New England
      Montserrat College of Art
      Thom Solo

      In Kind Donors
      Mandarin Oriental, Boston
      Yolanda Cellucci
      Bonhams Skinner
      Erin and Andrew Heiskell

      Jingle Dance performances by Acosia Red Elk are supported in part by the Lowell Institute.

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