Sawyer Free Library’s “Poetry Without Paper” Contest taking submissions through April 30th

Each spring, hundreds of young students throughout Gloucester are inspired to express themselves through poetry and prose thanks to the annual Poetry Without Paper Contest sponsored by the Sawyer Free Library.

Organized by Sawyer Free Library‘s Children’s Librarian Christy Rosso and acclaimed poet and former Gloucester Poet Laureate John Ronan, the contest is an opportunity for local school children of all ages to showcase their writing and creativity in a supportive environment and win top prizes.

With the competition in full swing culminating on the last day of National Poetry Month, April 30, children and teens who live in Gloucester or attend Gloucester schools are encouraged to submit 1-3 original poems on any theme to the Library. Participants can choose to set their poems to video, images, and or music. Each poem may be no longer than 30 lines, be the student’s own work, and previously unpublished.

Winners will be chosen from each age group: high school, middle school, and elementary school. First-place winners in all categories receive $100 Cape Ann gift certificates, second-place winners received $50 gift certificate, and third-place winners receive a poetry book. All winning poets receive a certificate, present their poems at a Spring awards ceremony and receive an invitation to appear on 1623 Studio’s production, The Writer’s Block with John Ronan. All winning work will also be published online by the Library.

The poems must be submitted through the Library website at SawyerFreeLibrary.org by April 30. For questions, contact the Children’s Librarian at crosso@sawyerfreelibrary.org.

Sawyer Free Library's “Poetry without Paper” Marks its 18th Anniversary
2019 Poetry Without Paper Winners

Sawyer Free Library and Wellspring House Launch “Gloucester Connection” Website

The SAWYER FREE LIBRARY and WELLSPRING HOUSE are pleased to announce the launch of GLOUCESTER CONNECTION. This innovative multi-lingual website (gloucesterconnection.org) connects the greater community to Gloucester’s vast social services for education, health care, housing, and much more. The new free-to-use web platform is an easy-to-navigate centralized online directory and calendar that consolidates information from local organizations, services, and events for residents, visitors, and service providers, prioritizing accessibility by making it available in over 100 world languages.

Recognizing the need to streamline access to critical local resources, the Sawyer Free Library and Wellspring House, with contributions from Action Inc., Gloucester Housing Authority and Gloucester Public Schools, came together to align their efforts —and created the Gloucester Connection. Social Capital, Inc. was hired to develop the site.

The group identified and enlisted over fifty Cape Ann social service organizations, both public and private, to participate, organizing their information into six categories: Basic Needs, Youth Education and Programs, Adult Education and Job Training, Housing, Transportation, and Health and Wellness. The Gloucester Connection resource partners collectively provide access to a wide variety of direct services from how to register kids for public school, sign up for MassHealth, find information and applications for housing, and information about Cape Ann transportation, where to find English classes, and more.

Through Gloucester Connection, users can directly contact the resource for assistance. Participating organizations can also access similar information and look up individual organizations’ pages to determine their services and update their own offerings, programs, and events. Lastly, the website features a community calendar where all Gloucester Connects’ resource partners can share events, programs, and new initiatives with the public.

“Every day, at the Sawyer Free Library, we aim to improve the lives of people in our community with the power of information. Gloucester Connection is a direct expansion of our core mission,” said Library Director Jenny Benedict. “There is a wide range of social services available throughout Cape Ann, but trying to find what exactly you are looking for can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to Gloucester or English is not your primary language. With Gloucester Connection, we hope to change this with a welcoming platform that easily connects people to the resources and social services they need in a language they understand. From legal services, shelters, school and library services to mental health resources and more listed on the site, each organization acts as a lifeline for those in need on Cape Ann. We are proud to be a part of and sponsor such an important collaboration that directly supports our community.”

“We want community members to have easy access to the resources and services they need, whether they have just arrived or have lifelong family ties in Gloucester,” said Melissa DimondPresident and CEO of Wellspring House“Gloucester Connection helps people get clear and current information for any number of life circumstances. For example, we see firsthand at Wellspring House the manychallenges immigrants face as they adapt and get acclimated in their new community. Our collective hope is that the Gloucester Connection will help make this transition easier. It is part of what it means to be a welcoming community.”

Cape Ann based non-profit organizations or resource-focused agencies are invited to join Gloucester Connection to help strengthen the resource network for Gloucester residents. Those interested in registering with the platform may contact Sawyer Free Library Community Librarian Julie Travers, jtravers@sawyerfreelibrary.org.

Gloucester Connection is sponsored by Sawyer Free Library with key support from Wellspring House. To access services or to learn more, visit www.GloucesterConnection.org

The Life and Poetry of Mary Oliver presented by the Sawyer Free Library on April 8th

Join the Sawyer Free Library in celebrating National Poetry Month for explore the Life, Natural World & Poetry of Mary Oliver, presented by Andrea Brandeis on Thursday, April 8 from  7 – 8:30pm.

Mary Oliver was one of America’s most treasured poets, whose honors include the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Her poetry explores the interconnectedness of spirituality and the natural world. This virtual program is intended for anyone– from beginner explorers of poetry to experts. This program will be held via Zoom.  

Register here for the event. The Zoom link will be sent out 15 minutes before the presentation begins. If you register after that, there may be a small delay.

For more information on all the the programs being offered at the Library, visit sawyerfreelibrary.org

Cape Ann Young Professionals Are Invited to Next Gen’s Virtual MeetUp

Next Gen Virtual MeetUp
Monday, April 5 | 6 – 7 PM
 
Cape Ann Young Professionals are invited to join the Next Gen Committee as we check in, catch up, and connect with young professionals from all industries!

Next Gen will be hosting virtual meetups on the 1st Monday of each month from 6-7 PM until we can meet in person again. We have missed connecting with the next generation of Cape Ann and hope to see you there!
 

Learn more and register by visiting: https://business.capeannchamber.com/events/details/next-gen-virtual-meetup-20721?calendarMonth=2021-04-01

Cassie the Sea Serpent makes debut in Cape Ann Museum galleries and programs this spring

Drawing of Cassie the Sea Serpent by Gloucester-born Michael Grimaldi of Grimdrops

GLOUCESTER, MASS. (April 2021) – To engage and involve more children and families at the Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester-born artist Michael Grimaldi has created a family-friendly guide, Cassie the Sea Serpent, for a series of programs, a virtual lecture, and events this spring. Grimaldi, a local muralist, graphic designer, and Monserrat College of Art graduate who now lives in Beverly, will be live painting Cassie throughout the galleries in the coming weeks so that visitors can see him at work.

Inspired by the legendary story of the Cape Ann Sea Serpent, a creature that was seen in Gloucester Harbor between 1817-1819 by hundreds of residents, Cassie will be the centerpiece of activities, a socially-distanced scavenger hunt through the Museum, and a series of programs over April School Vacation Week (April 22-25). Families with children under 18 are invited to visit the Museum for free during the school vacation week.

“The importance of this initiative is that we are introducing a new youth narrative throughout our galleries – an interactive and engaging new voice to engage younger audiences in the important stories behind the art and industries that so define the seminal role that Cape Ann has played in both American art and history,” said Museum Director Oliver Barker.

In 2019, a nine-foot bronze sculpture of the Gloucester Sea Serpent was installed at the Museum’s front entrance. It was designed by Essex artist Chris Williams who has created a scaled-down version of his serpent for families to take home during the vacation week.

Beginning Friday, April 16, visitors can watch Grimaldi as he paints Cassie in the Maritime and Fisheries Gallery from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Museum Members are invited for a special after-hours event that day from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. while Grimaldi paints Cassie in the Central Gallery, and light refreshments will be served.

Here are more details about the Cassie the Sea Serpent programs and events:

Live Painting in the Gallery

Friday, April 16 from 1:00-3:00 pm

Free with museum entrance: timed entrance required

CAM After Hours: Live Painting

Friday, April 16 from 6:00-8:00 pm

Members event, reservations required

Virtual Lecture: Bringing Cassie the Sea Serpent to Life

Saturday, April 17 at 1:00 pm

Explore the Cape Ann Museum through the eyes of our new family-friendly gallery guide, Cassie the Cape Ann Sea Serpent. Cassie, inspired by the legendary story of the sea serpent that visited Gloucester Harbor from 1817-1819, will be painted at child height throughout the museum by local artist Mike Grimaldi of Grimdrops. Visitors of all ages will be able to follow in Cassie’s wake to discover and engage with the Museum’s collections.

Grimaldi, a graduate of Montserrat College of Art, is a muralist and graphic artist with pieces all over Beverly and Salem. Although a Gloucester native, these paintings of Cassie the Sea Serpent will be Grimaldi’s first works on display in his hometown. See Cassie for yourself during this virtual gallery tour of the Cape Ann Museum with Grimaldi and CAM’s Education Manager, Miranda Aisling. During the tour, learn more about CAM’s new efforts to bring accessible family friendly activities directly into the galleries.

Free for members, $10 for non-members

Pre-registration required, event is on Zoom.

April Vacation Week

Thursday, April 22 – Sunday, April 25

Free Museum entrance to all families with children under 18

Take a break from the screen and come visit the Cape Ann Museum with your kids during April Vacation Week! Reserve timed entrance for you and your family to follow the Museum’s new family-friendly guide, Cassie the Sea Serpent, through the galleries. Inspired by the Cape Ann Sea Serpent, which was seen by hundreds in Gloucester Harbor between 1817-1819, Cassie poses questions and activities for students of all ages to engage with the collection. During April Vacation Week, all visitors will receive a free copy of Cassie’s Scavenger Hunt with activities and crayons included.

For more information about the Museum, its programs, exhibits, and collections, visit www.capeannmuseum.org.

The Cape Ann Museum, founded in 1875, exists to preserve and celebrate the history and culture of the area and to keep it relevant to today’s audiences. Spanning 44,000 square feet, the Museum is one of the major cultural institutions on Boston’s North Shore welcoming more than 25,000 local, national and international visitors each year to its exhibitions and programs. In addition to fine art, the Museum’s collections include decorative art, textiles, artifacts from the maritime and granite industries, three historic homes, a Library & Archives and a sculpture park in the heart of downtown Gloucester. In Summer 2021, the Museum will officially open the 12,000 square foot Janet & William Ellery James Center at the Cape Ann Museum Green. The campus also includes three historic buildings – the White Ellery House (1710), an adjacent Barn (c. 1740), and the recently acquired Babson-Alling House (c.1740), all located on the site at the intersection of Washington and Poplar Streets in Gloucester.   

The Cape Ann Museum is located at 27 Pleasant Street in Gloucester. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, operating hours have been reduced to better protect the safety and well-being of visitors, staff and volunteers. The Museum is currently open Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Timed tickets are required for all visitors at this time and can be reserved online at www.camuseum.eventbrite.com. Admission is $12.00 adults, $10.00 Cape Ann residents, seniors and students. Youth (under 18) and Museum members are free. Cape Ann residents can visit for free on the second Saturday of each month. For more information please call (978)283-0455 x110 or visit www.capeannmuseum.org.  

For a detailed media fact sheet please visit www.capeannmuseum.org/press.

MEDIA CONTACTS:            

Ashley Elias
Teak Media
(213) 400-3402
Ashley@teakmedia.com

Rebecca Robison

rebeccarobison@capeannmuseum.org

(978) 283-0455 x 124