Press \\ Press Release

PEM & Essex County Learning Community Partner to Honor Public School Employees

Released May 25, 2022

Museum to Offer Free Admittance and Salem Businesses to Extend Special Discount Offers

March 9, 2021 — The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) and the Essex County Learning Community (ECLC) announce the launch of “Ring the Bells for Public School Employees,” an initiative designed to express heartfelt appreciation to all school employees in the 15 school districts in Essex County that are ECLC members. ECLC is a professional development network that helps educators support students with learning disabilities and those who have experienced trauma—as well as students who have been marginalized or minoritized because of structural inequities based on race, culture, income, language, or gender. The ECLC is funded by the Peter and Elizabeth Tower Foundation, with additional funding from the Essex County Community Foundation.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, we regularly celebrated our healthcare workers and first responders for their tireless efforts to keep our communities safe. As the school year winds down, we believe it is time to also appreciate the many hundreds of school employees across Essex County who have, for the last two and half years, served as first responders to thousands of students and their families,” said Jane Feinberg, Founder and Director of the ECLC.

The initiative has two parts. First, a free admissions ticket to PEM will be given to each school employee, who may visit the museum with their families any Friday from 10 am to 7 pm between the end of May and the end of August. Second, participating public school employees will receive discounts at a variety of area stores, restaurants, and services in Salem, thanks to the promotional efforts of the City of Salem, Destination Salem, and the Salem Chamber of Commerce—and the generosity of business owners in Salem.

"PEM is eager to welcome the dedicated and hard working public school employees of Essex County to the museum where we hope they will feel inspired and uplifted by the creativity of artists from around the globe and across time,” said Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, PEM’s Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Executive Director and CEO.

Over the last 20 years, PEM has distinguished itself as one of the fastest-growing art museums in North America. Founded in 1799, it is also the country’s oldest continuously operating museum. At its heart is a mission to enrich and transform people's lives by broadening their perspectives, attitudes, and knowledge of themselves and the wider world. PEM celebrates outstanding artistic and cultural creativity through exhibitions, programming, and community and virtual events that emphasize cross-cultural connections, integrate past and present, and underscore the vital importance of creative expression.

The 15 ECLC districts include Amesbury, Andover, Beverly, Danvers, Gloucester, Hamilton-Wenham, Haverhill, Lynn, Manchester-Essex, Peabody, Rockport, Salem, Saugus, Swampscott, and Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School (ENSATS).

Media Contacts:

Whitney Van Dyke | Director of Marketing & Communications | | 978-542-1828

Jane Feinberg | Director Essex County Learning Community |