Shop for a cause – new discounts in Backyard Growers Holiday Shop

All curated gift sets are now 15% off in the Backyard Growers Online Holiday Pop-Up Shop! Shop pre-made gift sets for a one-stop shop for stocking stuffers for kiddos and delightful goodies for the gardener in your life.

Plus, don’t miss out on our custom coffee blend Brew Good, Do Good, brewed with our pals (and neighbors) at Breakwater Roasters.

The shop will be open until midnight on Tuesday, 12/22, for a Wednesday, 12/23, contactless pick-up. Proceeds support our school, community, and backyard garden programs.

Message from the Sawyer Free Library

What a year it has been, but through it all, YOU have been there for US!  THANK YOU!  

The SAWYER FREE LIBRARY is fortunate to have supporters that understand the Library’s value and the service it provides to the community!  

Please view this short video from the President of the Library’s Board of Trustees who shares the important role YOU play in helping to make our work at the Sawyer Free Library possible.

Your support of our Annual Appeal allows us to continue to provide the unprecedented services the community expects, no matter the circumstances. With your help, we promise to be here for all our patrons, to continue to adapt and evolve in service to our incredible and resilient community!


Virtual Workshop: DIY Edible Gifts

Join Backyard Growers on Zoom for a hands-on demo of a seasonal simple syrup and festive snacks that are perfect for last-minute foodie holiday gifts, or just a tasty treat for you!

When: Thursday, December 17, 5:30-6:15pm
Where: Zoom
Tickets: $15 general admission / $7.50 for 2019 & 2020 participants in Backyard Growers’ backyard and community garden programs

At this interactive virtual workshop, attendees will learn how to whip up:

🍹 a cranberry-spiced syrup for use in a festive margarita, seasonal cider, or a holiday limeade,

✨ cinnamon citrus sugar salt for a margarita or mocktail glass rim, or a topping for popcorn,

🎁 delicious savory homemade cheese crackers

Ticket purchasers will receive ingredient lists, recipes, and gift-wrap recommendations ahead of time in case they want to prepare gifts and cook together during the workshop – or, just join us to be merry and enjoy a fun evening together, with the chance to ask questions.

Proceeds support Backyard Growers’ work connecting kids, seniors, and families to the resources they need to grow their own food at schools, in backyards, and at community gardens.

The workshop will be led by Cecily McAndrews, editor and food writer with experience writing for outlets including Food Network Magazine, Rachael Ray In Season, and Pioneer Woman Magazine. She has degrees from the Institute for Culinary Education and Mount Holyoke College. Currently, she edits cookbooks at Callisto Media, bakes whenever she can, and contemplates what to make for dinner.

Dogtown 5-mile Trail Run

Cape Ann Trail Stewards (CATS) is having their annual Dogtown 5-mile Trail Run and it is VIRTUAL.  Run the loop on historic trails through Rockport and Gloucester between  December 11-13 (Friday – Sunday) from 7AM Friday until 4PM Sunday. Your entry fee covers a 1-year CATS membership, race goodies and a beanie. There will be prizes for the top finishers.  Electronic and mail-in registration information can be found under Events at .   The trail map is posted on the CATS Facebook page, Profits from the race go to the maintenance and repair of trails on Cape Ann. Grab your shoes and come for a run in Dogtown.

On The Waterfront with GMGI: November Updates

2020 will be remembered as the year that saw a complete upheaval of daily life. Everyone needed to pivot and adjust — quickly — to a new normal.  

Here at GMGI, it was no exception. With the stay-at-home order implemented in the Spring, our research team lost valuable time in the Institute’s laboratories. Our Academy internships were cut short due to closings, and the graduation was both delayed and scaled down. 

Despite these obstacles and disappointments, the past eleven months have produced some incredible outcomes.

•    The Academy graduated its fourth class (with an impressive 78% graduation rate) and enrolled a full fifth class, which has maintained in-person learning without any positive COVID-19 cases to date.
•    We began the expansion of our Academy to create a new biomanufacturing learning environment, made possible by a grant from Governor Baker’s Workforce Development Cabinet. 
•    Our Science team continued its innovative research, cracking the lobster genome, understanding population genetics of North Atlantic Cod, and investigating genetic diversity of the tiny microorganisms that are vital to sustaining a healthy marine ecosystem. 
•    The GMGI Science Hour was introduced virtually as a way to bring our community together and bring world-class, innovative science safely to you at home. 

We are proud of these accomplishments. And we are equally proud of the dedicated, motivated GMGI staff. They’ve showed that, thanks to a focused determination, the GMGI mission is stronger than ever.  

We hope our performance within the most challenging environment in recent memory gives you the confidence to support GMGI as the year draws to a close. Your tax-deductible donation will fortify our efforts to address the critical challenges facing our oceans, human health and the environment. 

In gratitude,

Chris Bolzan, Executive DirectorDONATE TODAY TO SUPPORT OUR MISSIONGMGI Science Hour Talks Continue 
 Up next on the GMGI Science Hour: our own Donald G. Comb Science Director, Dr. Andrea Bodnar!  Following on the heels of the inspiring talk two weeks ago from Nobel Laureate William G. Kaelin Jr., M.D. – which drew a record setting audience – Dr. Bodnar joins us THIS Thursday December 3rd at 7:30pm via Zoom to discuss her groundbreaking work on the long-lived red sea urchin, and its potential to help scientists understand healthy aging in humans. Register for the talk here.

As always, you can view previous Science Hour talks and learn more about our upcoming speakers on our website.Academy Starts Second Semester
 The Academy’s first semester wrapped up in mid-November, with students completing a final practical exam that consisted of different ‘stations’ set up in the teaching lab, designed to test students’ knowledge and application of different technical laboratory skills.   All students completed their exams – and the semester – successfully, with high praise from their instructors. Teaching Assistant Rebecca Barnard reports that in addition to fulfilling the requirements of semester one, this class had some of the cleanest DNA sequencing results seen in recent years. 

We are also happy to report there were zero cases of COVID-19 within the Academy’s in-person learning model. This accomplishment is a testament to the commitment to safety that students and instructors practiced over the past 12 weeks. 

This morning, students returned to the Academy to begin their second semester.  Using what they learned in semester one on how to extract fish DNA for sequencing, semester two will guide students through the process of extracting protein from fish samples.  There will also be an introduction to mammalian cell culture – the growth and passaging of cells derived from animal tissue.  Additionally, this class will be the first to end semester two with four weeks of biomanufacturing – a brief introduction to what will soon be a permanent addition to the Academy curriculum in 2021. You can read more about the new biomanufacturing curriculum and lab, and the grant that enabled it, here.GMGI research associates  Dylan Comb and  Tim O’Donnell stop at Corliss Landing on a sampling trip in late November, collecting water samples for an ongoing eDNA project analyzing the local cod population.GMGI’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

During the summer months, GMGI created an internal Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. Since its formation, the committee has met on a regular basis to address issues of inclusion and equity in the workplace, develop staff training and growth opportunities, and foster an environment free of bias and judgment. The committee has developed this statement of commitment:
 In addition to researching diversity in our oceans, GMGI is committed to supporting diversity in our workforce and classrooms. We know that having varied backgrounds and experiences stimulates discussion and new ideas. We are taking action on diversity, equity, and inclusion by providing substantial training opportunities to increase self-awareness as an organization, and building a team of staff and students from uniquely different backgrounds.The GMGI Science Minute

As you enjoyed your second (or third) helping of Thanksgiving dinner, GMGI Scientist Matt Harke, PhD hopes you remembered to thank your gut microbiome. 

Friends of the Sawyer Free Library Honor Beloved Longtime Librarian Heather Falk

Children’s Librarian Christy Rosso showing the new computer to Gerri Kippen Heather’s Aunt

The Sawyer Free Library (SFL) has unveiled a new state of the art early literacy computer in the Children’s Room purchased by The Friends of the SFL in memory of beloved longtime children’s librarian assistant, Heather Falk, who passed away earlier this year. 

For almost three decades, Ms. Falk brought her irresistible enthusiasm and joy to the Gloucester community’s children and families through her work at the Sawyer Free Library. Heather joined the staff of the Library shortly after graduating from Gloucester High School. 

The Friends of the Sawyer Free Library, a community of dedicated library users whose fundraising activities support library programming and services, in gratitude and honor of Ms. Falk purchased an AWE early literacy computer for the Children’s Room in her name.

“Heather was a warm, kind, and encouraging person who deeply enjoyed making the lives of people that much larger through her work at the Library, stated Rebecca Aliberte, the President of the Friends of the SFL. “This advanced learning station will help to continue Heather’s legacy by promoting early childhood literacy and prepare Gloucester’s youngest students for success in school and beyond.”

“We are very proud, grateful, and excited to have received the new Awe Learning computer from the Friends of the Library. It is designed for children ages 2-8 and has more than 70 educational software games and activities they will really enjoy. Children can play bilingual games, too,” said Christy Rosso, SFL’s Children’s Librarian. “Heather would be very honored by this gift of the Friends in her name. She was kind and friendly to everyone, touching all of us with her gentle spirit.”

Heather Falk at work in the Sawyer Free Library’s Children’s Room

With the Sawyer Free Library now open for select onsite services, children and their families are welcome to use and enjoy the new Awe Station when visiting the Children’s Room. The Library is open to the public six days a week, Monday through Saturday, from 10 am to 5 pm, except for Thursday when it is open from 12 to 7 pm. Visitors are requested to keep their visits to 30 minutes or less.  All visitors must wear masks, practice physical distancing, and all public spaces have limited capacities.  

For detailed information about the Sawyer Free Library’s services, programs, procedures and policies, and COVID-19 updates, please visit

To learn more about the Friends of the Sawyer Free Library, please visit

Have You Started Bidding in the 33rd Annual Love Cape Ann Fundraising Auction?

Have you heard about the Cape Ann Chamber’s Love Cape Ann Fundraising Auction? They have over 140 packages representing all there is to do on Cape Ann, and beyond! A portion of this year’s proceeds will be given back to local businesses who have been most impacted by the pandemic. So while you’re checking things off your holiday list this year, why not shop local, and shop on Cape Ann.

Use this link to learn more and start bidding

CAM (Re)Connects celebrates community’s resiliency during pandemic by looking back at other pivotal times in history

New exhibition opens Nov. 27 at Cape Ann Museum

Fitz Henry Lane (1804-1865), Vessel Returning from Surinam, c. 1850s.
Oil on canvas. Private Collection, Cape Ann Museum Board Member.

GLOUCESTER, MASS. (Nov. 24, 2020) – When the Cape Ann Museum shut its doors in March along with museums worldwide for the COVID 19 pandemic, the staff began to pursue several initiatives to buoy community spirit and to remain connected to members and supporters with expanded virtual programming and other innovative initiatives.

CAM (Re)Connects is a new exhibition, opening Friday, Nov. 27, that showcases many of the objects and works of art spotlighted in the Museum’s virtual outreach shared over the past six months as part of its CAM Connects series. The exhibition covers a range of locally-significant subjects including St. Peter’s Fiesta, the fishing industry, granite quarrying, food of the region, local traditions, printmaking, and Cape Ann writers, artists and musicians, underscoring the versatility of the Museum’s collection as well as the rich and varied story of the Cape Ann region.

“This challenging time in our history gave us an opportunity to take stock of our collection, the generosity of our community, and the spirit that it takes for all of us to endure during the pandemic,” said Museum Director Oliver Barker. “We put together this exhibition to tell that story, not only for this time in history but for many other times, where community perseverance saw us through. The banner on the front of the museum reminds us that “Storms Rage; Gloucester Endures.”

Several works of art are integrated into the exhibition including Fitz Henry Lane’s Vessel Returning from Surinam, c.1850s, which is represented in the “Gloucester Endures” banner; Emile A. Gruppe’s Always at your Service, c. 1940s; William Meyerowitz’s Meyerowitz’s Garden, Spring, 1924; Winslow Homer’s The Life Line, 1884; Philip Reisman’s Blessing of the Fleet, 1952; Barbara Swan’s John Swan’s Quarry, 1986; George Demetrios’s bronze sculptures, Charles A. Savinen (1885-1961), 1953 and Marcia Gronblad: Finnish Girl, c. 1949; Max Kuehne’s Floral, c. 1936 – among others.

The show looks back at significant historical moments including the “Tent Hospital” set up outside Addison Gilbert Hospital to treat patients during the 1918 pandemic and discusses the success of Open Door Food Pantry’s response to a 40 percent increase in need for meals and food during this pandemic. The Crowning Feast of the Holy Spirit, an annual religious ceremony significant to the City’s Portugese community since 1902, is also featured. The many contributions of Cape Ann women in the fishing industry, the artistic community, and during wartime, among other moments is also included in the exhibition.


For more information about the Museum, its programs, exhibits, and collections, visit

The Cape Ann Museum has been in existence since the 1870s, working 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 2020, the Museum opened a second campus called the Cape Ann Museum Green and completed construction of the 12,000 square foot Janet & William Ellery James Center. 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 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  

For a detailed media fact sheet please visit

MEDIA CONTACTS:   Diana Brown McCloy
                                    Teak Media
                                    (978) 697-9414

Meredith Anderson
(978) 283-0455 x115

Have You Started Bidding in the 33rd Annual Love Cape Ann Fundraising Auction?

Have you heard about the Cape Ann Chamber’s Love Cape Ann Fundraising Auction? They have over 140 packages representing all there is to do on Cape Ann, and beyond! A portion of this year’s proceeds will be given back to local businesses who have been most impacted by the pandemic. So while you’re checking things off your holiday list this year, why not shop local, and shop on Cape Ann.

Use this link to learn more and start bidding