Press \\ Press Release

PEM launches #WeArePEM campaign

Released April 28, 2020

PEM launches #WeArePEM fundraising campaign, donates memberships to caregivers at North Shore Medical Center. Membership donation program to honor COVID-19 heroes across the region

SALEM, MA — Today, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), launches the #WeArePEM fundraising campaign to help ensure that the nation’s oldest continuously operating museum continues to thrive and be of service to the community. To express gratitude and demonstrate its belief in the consoling and uplifting power of art, for every contribution made to the #WeArePEM campaign, the museum will donate a membership to dedicated caregivers at North Shore Medical Center. As participation in the program grows, the museum will expand its reach to honor COVID-19 heroes across the region.

“The Peabody Essex Museum was founded in 1799 with a dual purpose of being both a benevolent society and a museum celebrating art and culture from around the world. During this time of upheaval, the #WeArePEM campaign reanimates our founding mission,” says Brian Kennedy, PEM’s Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Director and CEO. “The COVID-19 crisis has taken a heavy toll on all of our lives, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. More than ever, museums provide uplift and inspiration, reminding us of our shared humanity and creative potential. We hope that the community will support PEM and that PEM can continue to support the community for generations to come.”

“We are so grateful to the PEM for thinking of our team at this extraordinary time,” says Laura Fleming of NSMC. “As lead institutions in this region, NSMC and the museum have a long history of collaboration to enhance the quality of life in our community. It is so gratifying to see their support and care.”

The museum is currently closed to the public and will reopen once public health guidance allows and safety protocols are in place. All purchased and donated memberships will activate upon the reopening of the museum. To learn more about the #WeArePEM campaign, please visit:

“Hope Anchors The Soul” as seen in the windows of PEM’s founding structure, East India Marine Hall. Photo by Paige Besse/PEM.

Over the last 20 years, the Peabody Essex Museum (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 special events that emphasize cross-cultural connections, integrate past and present and underscore the vital importance of creative expression. The museum's collection includes superlative works from around the globe and across time including American art and architecture, Asian export art, photography, maritime art and history, Native American, Oceanic, and African art, as well as one of the nation’s most important museum-based collections of rare books and manuscripts. PEM's campus provides a varied and unique visitor experience with hands-on creativity zones, interactive opportunities and performance spaces. Twenty-two noted historic structures grace PEM’s campus, including Yin Yu Tang, a 200-year-old Chinese house that is the only example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States. INFO: Call 866-745-1876 or visit

Whitney Van Dyke | Director of Communications | | 617-259-6722