Charlotte Forten Park & Derby Square, Summer 2021

Mayor Kimberley Driscoll and the Salem Public Art Commission (SPAC) announce the launch of the SPAC’s Summer Performance Series of 2021, to take place in both Charlotte Forten Park and Derby Square in Salem. Derby Square, at the heart of the City’s historic downtown, was originally built as a marketplace and continues to this day to be an important public plaza and pedestrian way. Charlotte Forten Park was opened in late 2019 and is centrally located on Derby St along the South Rive Canal. This park was designed with activation and performance in mind and is one of Salem’s most exciting new spaces.

Performance Series Details
The Performance Series seeks to activate Charlotte Forten Park and Derby Square with community accessible theatrical performances and creative engagements of the public space. 

We are excited to hear how you want to transform the space and interact with the community. We are open to:

  • Outdoor theatrical performances
  • Immersive theatre performances/experiences
  • Dance and movement performances
  • Performance Art

Performers will be responsible for planning, implementing, and scheduling performances in close collaboration with the City of Salem’s Senior Planner for Arts & Culture and the artisans on Artists’ Row.   We welcome original work as well as published work providing that the Performer is responsible for all rights and royalties. Performers are paid to publicly present their work without charging admission for audiences of all ages. Priority will be given to North Shore based performance groups.

If accepted the Performer would be required to:

  • Meet at least once with the Senior Planner for Arts & Culture.
  • Conduct at least two (2) rehearsals in the public realm, one per location (Derby Sq. & Charlotte Forten Park). These two (2), site-specific, public rehearsals are required, but more are welcomed and encouraged.
  • Produce four (4) performances free of charge to the community on a schedule mutually agreed upon by the performer and the City. One (1) applicant will be selected to produce all four (4) events.
  • Market the events via their networks and include SPAC logo. If flyers or other materials are created, please share copies with the City.
  • Provide copies of any photographs of the events to the City for use in promoting future events.
  • Adhere to all State and City COVID regulations as they relate to outdoor performances, including but not limited to, social distancing among performers and between performers and the audience; size of audience; mask wearing, etc.

Timeframe for Program

The Performance Series will consist of four (4) events over the course of two weekends, with two events each weekend, in late August or early September 2021 (as conditions and public health allow).  Exact dates and times can be a bit flexible.


The selected Performer/Group will receive a $5,000 honorarium; half will be distributed up front and the other half following the last event.  The honorarium includes all planning, implementation, supplies/materials, equipment, and performer fees necessary to produce the program.  The Performer is responsible for compensating any additional artists or personnel they employ for their project or any other associated marketing and/or production expenses. 


The City of Salem’s Senior Planner for Arts & Culture will help promote the program through a formal press release as well as postings on the Salem Public Art website and Facebook pages. We encourage performers to promote their performances via their normal network, website, social media, as well as other forms of creative advertising.  All marketing materials & digital platforms for promoting this series should include the Salem Public Art logo.

Application Timeline

April 16, 2021 at 12 noon: Deadline to Apply

May 1, 2021: Final Selection Announced/Applicants Notified of Decision

How to Apply

Salem is committed to providing equal opportunities for ALL.  Artists/Creatives of all gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation/ identity, religion/beliefs, education and abilities are encouraged to apply.

Please submit the following for consideration:

  • Statement of Interest & Proposed Performance Description (1 page max)
  • Resume/Biographical information for organization, lead artist, artistic director, etc. (No more than 3 pages)
  • Contact information and website (if applicable)
  • Rehearsal Plan & Proposed Performance Schedule
  • Tech Rider outlining what you will bring and any needs/requests you may have
  • Examples of past work (links to performance samples or MOV files, no more than 5 examples)

All of the above materials, except MOV files, should be saved in a single PDF and emailed to Julie Barry, Senior Planner for Arts & Culture, at If you do not have access to email or have questions, please call Julie at 978-619-5685.

Please note: The City of Salem reserves the right to postpone or cancel any event at any time due to public health or other safety concerns.

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