From Manchester Historical Museum | Once Upon a Contest Cape Ann reads opens April 6th!

Following the exhibit Cape Ann Through Artists’ Eyes-

Once Upon a Contest: Selections from Cape Ann Reads is coming to Manchester!

April 6 – April 26, 2019

  • Public Reception: April 6, 3-5PM
  • Unveiling temporary public art component by Leslie Galacar: April 6
  • Special Program: Seaside Saturday (see flyer below) featuring Juni Van Dyke April 13, 10:30-11:30AM
  • Venue: Manchester Historical Museum, 10 Union St., Manchester, MA 01944. 978-526-7230
  • Hours:  10am -3pm on Tuesday-Friday

Once Upon a Contest coming to Manchester

PDF here: Once upon a Contest – Manchester postcard

Printable flyers from the Manchester Historical Museum

Press release  specific to Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass. (March 2019)

About the Once Upon a Contest 2019 travel show

Once Upon a Contest showcases award-winning children’s books by Cape Ann artists & writers. This group show based on the Cape Ann Reads 2017 Gulliver, Honor and Medal Books was made possible with support from the Bruce J Anderson Foundation | The Boston Fund and organzied and circulated by curator, Catherine Ryan.  Acclaimed children’s book author-illustrators Pat Lowery Collins, Giles Laroche and Anna Vojtech joined librarians and Bob Ritchie, Dogtown Books proprietor, on the 9 member jury panel. The Tree in Dock Square by Jean Woodbury and illustrated by Bonnie L. Sylvester is the first Cape Ann Reads Medal book. The show opened on December 18, 2018. Following its launch at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester, Massachusetts, the exhibition will tour the four communities of Cape Ann throughout 2019.

Visitors will find picture books created by traditional author-illustrators (individuals who create both text and illustrations), friends and family pairings, repeat partnerships, volunteer matches, self-taught and master artists, storytellers, published authors, and educators. For a few, inclusion in this show will mark their debut display at a museum. The works on view range from preliminary mock ups and unfinished pages to final published illustrations for original books. They cover diverse themes and points of view and provide glimpses into stories and methodologies. The exhibition will include a reading nook for visitors of all ages. Each venue for Once Upon a Contest: Selections from Cape Ann Reads will feature new site-specific, temporary public art. Bonnie L. Sylvester created the first work for the debut at Cape Ann Museum, an immersive wrap around mural.

In Manchester the show will feature new work by Leslie Galacar. Galacar’s installation will offer an experience based on discovery of a series of separate elements, reinforcing a larger theme of the show in that it’s best experienced by returning many times. There’s so much to take in! Leslie Galacar illustrated “Where in the World is Catherine Abigail,” a whimsical and humorous verse narrative about the dreamy world traveling adventures of a young girl written by Michael LaPenna. Galacar moved to Manchester after years of residing, working and raising her family in Gloucester and Ipswich. She paints and illustrates every day and sells her own line of cards and wares.

A special family program has been planned for April 13. “Seaside Saturdays”  is a monthly collaboration between the Manchester Historical Museum, the Library and Early Childhood Partners serving area families with craft activities and story time built around a theme. April will be all about Cape Ann Reads.  “We are planning to do a book-making activity, of course” explains Carol Bender, Head of Youth Services for Manchester-by-the-Sea Public Library, and Cape Ann Reads juror. “We are delighted to use this special Once Upon a Contest exhibit and share the show with families! Our guest-reader for the story portion of the program is Juni VanDyke who illustrated the If I were series written by James McKenna.” The two books included in the exhibit introduce young children to many North American and African safari animals. VanDyke is a Manchester resident, fine artist and Director of the Arts program at Rose Baker Senior Center in Gloucester.   Continue reading “From Manchester Historical Museum | Once Upon a Contest Cape Ann reads opens April 6th!”


We have a definite female joining our male! On Monday when I first spotted a pair of PiPls on the beach, I think I mistook them for a male and female because one was doing a kind of torpedo-like run, and the other was following behind. This behavior is often followed by nest scraping. I think what we actually saw was one male establishing his territory over the other male. Since Monday (Tuesday through Thursday), only one singular male has been seen foraging at Good Harbor Beach.

This morning my daughter Liv and I went to check on the little male and a beach goer gave us a heads up that she had seen two. Liv spotted the pair in the tide flats and they were most clearly a male and a female. The two were at any one time only several feet apart, foraging in the tidal zone and preening on the shore, primarily in front of the nesting No. 3 area. There were a bunch of dogs off leash, despite it being an on leash day, and there were several dogs on leash, too.

Will these two that are currently at Good Harbor Beach stay and mate and nest? Will we have more Piping Plover pairs join the scene (as did last year)? Will we have troubles with a “Bachleor” again? It’s still so early in the season and I sure am excited to see what lies ahead!

The following photos, of the pair currently at Good Harbor, were taken this morning in the rain, and despite the dreary light, clearly show the difference between male and female Piping Plovers. I am eventually going to redo this post with photos from a sunny day because it will be even easier to tell the difference.

Click the images to view larger and more easily see the difference.

Female Piping Plover, left, male Piping Plover, right

During the courting and nesting season, the female’s crescent-shaped head band is paler in color than the male’s jet black head band. The male’s collar band is usually darker and larger, too, often completely circling the neck. Typically, the male’s bill is a brighter, deeper color orange at the base than the female’s.

Female Piping PLover, left, male Piping Plover, right.

It’s very easy to tell the difference during courtship and mating because of behaviors exhibited and I’ll post more about that in the coming months.

There are exceptions to this general rule of thumb–sometimes a female will have darker shading and sometimes the male will be paler.

By the end of the summer, the coloring of both male and female becomes paler and it is much more challenging to see the difference between males and females.

Good Harbor Beach on a sunny day earlier this week.


SALEM FILMFEST March 29-April 4, 2019

March 29, 2019

An explosive invasion of green crabs is an ecological catastrophe in the making in four neighboring towns on the Massachusetts coast in RECIPE FOR DISASTER directed by Nubar Alexanian.  SFF program director Jeff Schmidt caught up with Alexanian ahead of the short film’s World Premiere as part of Shorts Block D at the National Park Service’s Salem Visitor Center on Sunday, March 31 at 10am.

Jeff Schmidt: You have been working as a documentary filmmaker for over 40 years, what are some of the past films you have worked on that have inspired you to carry on all of these years?

Nubar Alexanian: I’m very fond of the expression:  “It’s not what calls you. It’s what keeps you.” There is no shortage of compelling stories out there waiting & wanting to be told and some of them just grab hold of you and won’t let go. This is what happened with RECIPE FOR DISASTER.  It quickly became a film I had to make because it’s about a catastrophe in the making that is happening in my neighborhood. Also, my daughter and I have been working on a feature length documentary film since 2011 currently called SCARS OF SILENCE: Three Generations From Genocide, about the affects of the Armenian Genocide on our family. This certainly keeps me going…and often keeps me awake at night.

CALLING ALL CHEFS is one of my favorite short docs because it’s about the importance of the food we eat and the main character, chef Paolo Laboa, was a spectacular subject.  So, for me, inspiration has always come from connection to the subject.

JS: How did you come to learn of the Green Crab?

NA: I’ve lived in the marshes of Cape Ann for a long time as a photographer and avid striped bass fisherman.  So I know these marshes very well. However, in June of 2017 I heard about the explosion of the green crab population and was stunned that I had not heard about it before.  How could this be? How bad was it? Like many documentary filmmakers, producing a film is a way of educating myself about a subject and finishing the film is a way of sharing what I’ve learned.


RECIPE FOR DISASTER screens as part of Shorts Block D at the National Park Service’s Salem Visitor Center on Sunday, March 31 at 10am – FREE ADMISSION:

Pop Up Show

This weekend! Saturday, March 30th, from 4-8pm and Sunday, March 31st, from 1-4pm, the Artist Studios at 196 Main Street are hosting a Pop-Up Show, showcasing handcrafted fine jewelry, photography and paintings. Artists Chloe Leigh Designs, Vanessa Michalak, & Katherine Richmond
Please join them on their opening night, Saturday March 30th,for light refreshments.

Information on Gloucester’s Sidewalk Buttlers, information from Gloucester Clean Committee

Ever wonder what happens to all of the cigarettes our Sidewalk Buttlers collect? TerraCycle composts the paper and cotton, and the plastics are melted down and repurposed into new items like park benches! Read more about how it works here:

Volunteers empty approximately 4,000 butts per month from these receptacles. Combined with the butts they collect from beach cleanup events, they have collected more than 270,000 butts in a little over two years, according to Juli Marciel, Surfrider’s coordinator for the program.

Volunteers put these collected butts into boxes with postage-paid labels supplied by Terracycle, a company recycling a wide variety of products.

This bench in Ventura is made from recycled cigarette butts and has a memorial plaque for Paul Herzog, Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Gardens coordinator. (Photo: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/LARS DAVENPORT)

Grits and Groceries Orchestra Tonight @ The Rhumb Line 9:30pm 3.29.2019

Grits & Groceries Orchestra (Winners of the 2016 Boston Blues Challenge) is a MA. based group that performs Blues/Soul/R&R music that will get you jumping, swinging and rocking!

40 Railroad Avenue
Gloucester, MA 01930
(978) 283-9732