Mayor’s 2016 Year End Review & Thank You

Dear Gloucester Residents,

As 2016 winds down, I want to pause to express my gratitude to everyone for all that you have done to help move Gloucester forward.  Many believe that this year was tougher than other years, but I want to reflect on the positive and look ahead with renewed hope as we enter 2017.

To start the year, our administration and the new City Council were sworn in and we committed ourselves to working together on behalf of all Gloucester residents.  We are lucky to have so many dedicated public officials who are willing to roll up their sleeves and work hard on the issues that we face as a community.

I want to thank all City Councilors, city employees, board and commission members, volunteers, organizers, members of the business community and everyone else who has helped to build on the progress that we have made.  No one person can achieve as much as we did and will continue to achieve by working together.  I couldn’t be more proud of everyone’s efforts.

We have put our fiscal house in order by adopting financial policies that will pay benefits for years to come.  For the first time in many years, all City departments lived within their operational budgets allocated by the City Council and we are well on our way to doing that for a second straight year.  This is a critical first step in building a financially healthy City. As a result of our financial policies adopted for free cash and our work with the school department, school committee and MSBA, we are now better positioned to fund capital improvements to our schools like the roof at the high school.

In my short time as Mayor, we have been committed to economic growth in the City.  We will continue to work to expand our commercial industrial base and upgrading our technological services within the City.  At the same time, we worked to repair our coastal seawalls, establish co-working spaces for entrepreneurs, improve visiting areas like Stage Fort Park, continue our cultural heritage in the arts, attend the Seafood Show to promote Gloucester Fresh Seafood including designing the logo which led to a relationship with 99 Restaurants to sell local fish, work alongside Representative Ferrante, Senator Tarr and our federal delegations to secure funds including a new roof at the State Fish Pier, and so much more.

The City welcomed new changes in the Mayor’s Office to help with constituent services, as well as new staff leadership across many City departments, including Harbormaster, Community Development, Tourism, Communications, Police, Human Resources, and, for the first time in a long while, Fisheries Commission Director. I believe our team is stronger than ever as a result of these changes and I am confident that we will continue to provide the best services to all Gloucester residents.

From our seniors to our students, from Ward 1 to Ward 5, for those just moving here to those who have had generations living here, please know that our administration will continue to provide the best results by working with everyone and building toward a strong collective future.  While we respect our culture and heritage for 2017 and well beyond, we must continue to listen to one another and find ways to deepen our contributions, however large or small, to help every citizen.

As I have said many times, my door is always open and I welcome your input and guidance.

I am sure that 2017 will usher in many challenges for us as a community but I know through everyone’s hard work and what we have accomplished in 2016 that we will be successful.  Thank you and I hope you and your family have a happy and healthy New Year!  Let’s keep moving Gloucester forward… together.


Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken


Backyard Growers kicks off its 2017 workshop schedule with a Two Part Fermentation Workshop!


Our 2017 workshop calendar is now LIVE! We’re kicking off our monthly workshop series with a Fermented Food workshop presented by partner Pigeon Cove Ferments.  Fermented foods have been receiving a lot of attention in health food circles lately, and they deserve it! Come learn how to turn your surplus garden veggies into these healthy and tasty ferments in our two-part workshop on January 11th and 18th at 6pm! Tickets are limited and you don’t want to miss this!

Follow the links below to reserve your spot!!

Part One    |   Part Two

And don’t forget to check out the 20+ other workshops we have on the line up from how to start indoor seeds, to raising chickens, to soil fertility. We look forward to seeing you there!

Sawyer Free Library week of January 1,2017


The Library will be open Saturday December 31 (New Year’s Eve) regular hours!(8:30am-5:00pm).   Come in and get some books, magazines, music, and movies  for the long weekend!                                                                                                                                         The library will be closed Monday January 2 in observance of New Year’s Day.

Artist Series #4:


Save the date:


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 WHEN: MONDAY, JANUARY 16, 2017, 1:30-5:30pm

 WHERE: THE HISTORIC 1806 GLOUCESTER MEETINGHOUSE (Unitarian Universalist Church), corner of Church & Middle Street, accessible side entrance at 10 Church Street


1:30 Mary Ellen Lepionka, Cape Ann Algonquians’ first encounter with Samuel de Champlain

2:30 Lise Breen, history of early African-Americans and slavery in Gloucester

3:30 GWC Fish Tales, first-hand stories about injustice and hope

4:30 Mayor Sefatia Romeo-Theken, summation on cultural diversity

5:00 Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers the ‘I Have a Dream Speech’ on the CAC&S big screen

5:30 Closing, tolling of the Meetinghouse Paul Revere bell for freedom

WHAT’S SPECIAL?  A rare opportunity to gather in community to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King, learn about past and present-day persons of diverse colors, cultures and identities on Cape Ann, and to rededicate ourselves to the American creed that all persons are created equal.

COST:  FREE with voluntary donations, all welcome.  Refreshments will be available.


ABOUT THE GMFThe mission of the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation is to preserve the 1806 landmark, Gloucester’s last-surviving historic Meetinghouse, as a civic hub, entertainment venue and community center. 

 RELATED MORNING EVENT:  The Unitarian Universalist Society of Rockport holds its annual Peace March commemorating the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. in which members and friends gather at 9:30 am for sign making, followed by a march through downtown Rockport at 10:00 am, and gather after the march for hot cider and goodies, followed by a short worship service.  For more information see:

Artist Talk and Reception with Nathan Benn at the Cape Ann Museum

Saturday, January 7

1:00 p.m.

“Oak Leaves, Potatoes, and Kodachrome: The story of color at National Geographic”

Photographer Nathan Benn will discuss his take on the evolution of color photography over the course of his twenty year career with National Geographic. Benn’s book, Kodachrome Memory: American Pictures 1972-1990, is available for sale in the Museum’s shop. A book signing will follow his talk.

nathan benn

Franklyn E. Goucher, an Essex clammer, digging at "Castle" sand flat, 1978.
He has dug clams here for 53 years. Photograph by Nathan Benn.

This program is free for CAM members or with Museum admission. Space is limited; reservations required. Reservations can be made by calling 978-283-0455 x10, emailing or online at Eventbrite.

Offered in conjunction with Kodachrome Memory, on view through February 19.

This program is accessible.

Many ways to give back this season with Backyard Growers!


Peggy and her family in their garden.JPG

Embrace the spirit of giving back after the holiday season, and support Backyard Growers for another year of gardening!

If spring can’t come soon enough, consider our Give-a-Garden/Get-a-Garden program and start planning for warmer days! By joining this program, you’ll provide a garden and seeds for a low-income family in Gloucester. And you’ll receive your own backyard garden bed to grow vegetables all summer long!

Already a seasoned gardener? Share your knowledge and skills through our mentor program. As a mentor, you will provide support for new gardeners, help out at our workshops, and enjoy hands-on garden time at community plots!

For more information on our programs or to get involved, email



3 Part Drawing Workshop with Gabrielle Barzaghi

Every Thursday,   February 2, 2017 — February 16, 2017

10:00 a.m. — 12:15 p.m.

Participants will brush up on their drawing skills in this three session drawing workshop with visual artist Gabrielle Barzaghi. Drawing from still life and in the galleries, you will practice basic drawing skills such as visual measuring, line, value, composition and perspective. The class structure will remain flexible to allow for each individual’s drawing ability.

Gabrielle Barzaghi is a visual artist. She is a former Senior Lecturer in Art and Design at Suffolk University. She is a resident of Gloucester, MA.

Barzaghi, Catbriers
Gabrielle Barzaghi, Catbriers, pastel, 2012.

Workshop Schedule:

Session One will meet in the activity room. Basic observational drawing techniques will be covered by showing examples, demonstration, and practice.

Session Two will involve drawing in the galleries from sculptural forms focusing on structural line, value, and volume.

Session Three will include compositional analysis and the study and copying of a masterwork in the Museum’s collection.

This program is $85 CAM members/ $100 non-members. Materials included. Space is limited; reservations are required. For more information please contact Tickets can be purchased by calling 978-283-0455 x10 or online at Eventbrite.

January = Free Cape Ann Museum admission for Cape Ann Residents

The Cape Ann Museum tells multiple stories, all relating to a single remarkable place and during the month of January all Cape Ann residents (Rockport, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea and Essex) are welcome to enjoy its galleries for free. If you’ve never been to the Cape Ann Museum, now is the time. Its collections represent your history—the people, the industries and especially the art and culture. We invite you to explore!

Image: Folly Cove Designers gallery; CAM docents in the Capt. Elias Davis House (1804); Families in the Museum’s Activity Center; Jeff Weaver, From Governor’s Hill, oil on canvas.

In addition to its permanent collections, the Museum offers a rotating schedule of special exhibitions throughout the year as well as related programs and events for adults and families. This is a wonderful opportunity to visit (or revisit) the current special exhibition, Voicing the Woods: Jeremy Adams, Instrument Maker and the newly opened exhibition Kodachrome Memory: Nathan Benn’s North Shore, 1978. Voicing the Woods showcases the prodigious skills and artistry of Jeremy Adams, one of the most gifted musical instrument makers in New England. Kodachrome Memory, features more than thirty photographs taken in and around Cape Ann in 1978 by photographer Nathan Benn while on assignment on Boston’s North Shore for National Geographic Magazine.

Top image: Franklyn E. Goucher, an Essex clammer, digging at “Castle” sand flat, 1978. Photograph by Nathan Benn. Bottom image: Voicing the Woods: Jeremy Adams, Instrument Maker exhibition.

In addition to free admission, the Museum has lined up a full schedule of programming for visitors to enjoy. Visit for full descriptions. The Cape Ann Museum is located at 27 Pleasant Street in Gloucester. Open 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sundays.