Effective May 29, 2021, the state of Massachusetts is lifting all COVID-19 restrictions, including indoor face mask requirements with the exceptions of public and private transportation settings and healthcare facilities. If you are not feeling well or are experiencing symptoms of  COVID-19 as defined by the CDC, please stay home. Mask/face coverings are at your discretion in all outdoor festival areas – please do what makes you feel most comfortable. Indoor gallery partners may set their own protocol.

Art will heal us and help us recover from the challenges we have and continue to face. Arts and Culture are an integral part of day-to-day life in Salem and this annual festival has become a source of pride and revenue for hundreds of creative professionals and a major economic boost to the local community with over 6000 attendees annually. Through the COVID crisis the creative community has really stepped up to help us get through a lot of challenges and we want to find ways that we can support the creative community and contribute to the wellness of our City with the Festival as a platform and as an event.


Celebrating arts, culture, and community in historic Salem, Massachusetts

SALEM, Mass. – Celebrate the arts, culture, creativity, and community at the 13th annual Salem Arts Festival June 4 through 6. This free and popular family-friendly event will feature a variety of art, music, dance, and theatre performances throughout downtown Salem. This is the first arts festival on the North Shore since COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed. The Festival takes place in the heart of Salem at a variety of indoor and outdoor venues.

Public activities include multiple outdoor performance areas, onsite art-making for all ages, local artisans and makers selling their creations, pop-up art exhibitions in businesses around town, a live mural slam on Artists Row, and a temporary public art installation. There are events for the whole family!

Presented in collaboration by Salem Main Streets and Creative Collective, this year’s event highlights the importance of the creative workforce and how it contributes to and stabilizes the local economy. Arts and culture are an integral part of day-to-day life in Salem. This annual festival has become a source of pride and revenue for hundreds of creative professionals and a major economic boost to the local community.

In 2019, there were more than 6000 attendees and 300 artists and performers who participated in this three-day event. “I firmly believe that the arts can establish and strengthen a true sense of community like nothing else,” said Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director of Salem Main Streets.

“Creating community has always been the underpinning purpose of the Salem Arts Festival, and our Salem community desperately needs to heal and build together again after the past year.” John Andrews, Founder, and CCO of Creative Collective stated, “The creative community has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic but throughout the crisis, this community of makers, artisans, performers, and creators were integral in keeping our families and communities hopeful, entertained, and inspired. As we start to come out of the crisis, we feel it is critically important to foster, support and amplify the creative workforce by providing them with paid opportunities.”

For the Festival, COVID-19 specific changes include smaller activities, performances, and galleries spread out around the downtown. Most events will be held in-person with a few virtual elements. Public health restrictions in Massachusetts that were put in place in response to COVID-19 will be lifted on May 29, 2021. Masks are still required on public and private transportation and indoors at some establishments. Visitors are asked to respect signage and comply with business guidelines.

A special thanks to over 20 additional local businesses who have sponsored the 2021 Festival, including primary sponsors the Peabody Essex Museum and Salem Five, with support in part from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and Salem Cultural Council. A full list of supporters can be found on the festival website.

The SAF Organizing Committee:

Kylie Sullivan – Salem Main Streets

John Andrews, Creative Collective

Kate Babcock, Hunter Creative Labs

Jim Bostick, Salem Arts Association

Karen Gahagan, Salem State University

Julie Barry, City of Salem

Leslie Levesque, The Phoenix School

Betsy Miller, Salem State University

Linda Mullen, Grace & Diggs

Karen Scalia, Salem Food Tours

Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets

Caryn Boehm, Peabody Essex Museum

With support from

Andrew Buonfiglio, OctoCog

Kate Fox and Stacia Cooper, Destination Salem

Kevin Levesque, Berklee College of Music

Joey Nicotera, Retonica

Christopher Wilson, SkewSound

Don’t miss these other great cultural festivals throughout the year:

Salem Film Fest

Fiesta De Arte

North Shore Pride Festival

Salem Jazz & Soul Festival

Salem Maritime Festival

Salem Literary Fest

Heritage Days Salem

Haunted Happenings

You can learn more about the awesome things happening around Salem on Destination Salem and across the North Shore on Creative North Shore.