Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Trustees, Ken Burns Documentary, NPS Summer Programs, Salem State Support, Topsfield Fair


New Trustees Appointed to Essex Heritage Board of Trustees

At the most recent Essex Heritage Commission Board of Trustees meeting three new Trustees were elected, and joined the policy making group of the Commission. The new Trustees include: David Read, of Topsfield the chairman of the Border to Boston coalition that is helping to focus the activities of the multi community effort to develop a recreational trail that will allow travel from Salisbury to Danvers, Sumner Jones of Salem and Eastern Bank who will chair the Essex Heritage Nomination Committee, and Jeff Korzenik of Marblehead, an investment councilor who provides financial services in this region. In addition to the election of the new Trustees the slate of Officers for 2010 were also reconfirmed. The group under the leadership of new President Kevin M. Tierney of Danvers, and President of Saugus Bank will help set the course for Essex Heritage in the time ahead.

Ken Burns Preview as a Part of Trails and Sails

Ken Burns, the noted creator of numerous video documentaries many of which have been shown on Public Broadcasting will show a preview of his latest work at the National Park Service’s Visitor Center in Salem on September 26, 2009. Mr. Burn’s latest work focuses on America’s Best idea, the National Park system. The series will trace the birth of the national park idea in the mid 1880’s and follows its evolution for nearly 150 years. The National Park Service maintains 391 units across the country, with two units in this region, and has a presence in 49 of the 50 States (Delaware is the only exception). The National Park Service has had an impact on millions of Americans who have visited an NPS site and learned from that experience. The “Best Idea” preview will be shown on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. at the Visitor center as part of Essex Heritage’s Trails and Sails Weekend and will be free and open to the public. The entire series will be shown soon on Public broadcasting stations around the country starting on September 27, 2009 and times of showings in this area can be found in local television listings. Everything that Mr. Burns has produced and directed has been an artistic and educational success, and having viewed a brief preview of this documentary this effort will meet the usual standards set for Ken Burns work.

NPS Summer Programs in Collaboration with Essex Heritage

During this past summer, Essex Heritage collaborated with the National Park Service and others on several worthwhile youth projects. A First Jobs program was created that found employment for ten youngsters at the Parks and great lessons were learned by all of the participants. In interviews with some of the participants, they spoke of being able in the future to record that they had helped to” preserve historic fabric “for the future. A second program was completed in conjunction with the Boys and Girls club of Greater Salem where youngsters were exposed to both maritime and industrial history at the two parks in this region and also were able to enjoy field trips to other historic venues in the region. All and all these two programs were most successful, and it is hoped that they can be replicated in the future.

Salem State College Community Outreach Efforts

The leadership at Salem State College and particularly those at the Bertolon School of Business have been most active recently as they have reached out to the community and offered advice and support. The Dean of the Business School, K. Brewer Doran and her team have developed wonderful relationships with area community organizations where teams of students under the guidance of the school’s profession staff have provided service and substantial council to area not-for-profit organizations. I speak from first hand experience as a board member of the Danvers Historical Society who is one of the first organizations in the region to be offered support from the Business School. Over the past year substantial cerebral contributions have been made to the Danvers group, and improvements in the “way things are done” have been made that has helped make Danvers Historical a more efficient and better managed organization. The college will soon be expanding its sphere of influence in this region as the college will in 2010 begin to provide support to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem in the same manner as they did for the Danvers Historical Society group.

Topsfield Fair Begins in Early October

Last night I sat outside at the football game until after 10:00 dressed only in shorts and a short sleeve shirt, and was most comfortable. These first couple of weeks in September has been warm and pleasant, but a quick look at the calendar reminds us that fall is lurking just ahead. Fall weather in this region can also be wonderful and one of the events that speak of fall to me has always been the Topsfield Fair. This morning I received an update from the Fair Director, Jim O’Brien and they are once again looking forward to a series of excellent presentations, fair fall weather and enthusiastic crowds. This year the Fair opens for its 186th year on October 2, 2009 and operates through Columbus Day weekend. The fair is open every day from 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. except on opening day when it opens at 4:00 p.m. and admission prices are most reasonable. This year there are many of the traditional events always offered along with some entertainment that will be most enjoyable for families. There are wonderful flower and vegetable exhibitions along with displays of arts and crafts and animal exhibits. In addition to the exhibits there is a midway to amuse children of all ages as well. For more information on the Topsfield Fair please see their web site at www.topsfieldfair.org.

As always we encourage your questions, comments and observations on this material and on anything connected with Essex Heritage. I can be contacted at tleonard@essexheritage.org

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