Subscribe Now


Presented by Highland Street Foundation and produced by the Boch Center, ArtWeek has announced its largest season lineup ever. The award-winning creative festival will offer more than 500 events from April 27 – May 6—more than double the size of the 2017 festival.

For the first time, ArtWeek events will take place across the Commonwealth, with a presence in 155 neighborhoods and towns across all six regions of the state. The festival aims to provide participants with new ways to get creative and make art and culture more accessible to everyone. This season, more than 70 percent of all ArtWeek events are free.

“When we joined forces with Highland Street Foundation in 2013, I had no idea that there would be such enthusiastic support and demand for redefining cultural experiences and allowing people to take creativity into their own hands,” says Josiah A. Spaulding, Jr., president and CEO of the Boch Center. “Not only does ArtWeek provide hundreds of free and affordable creative events, it also spotlights the rich cultural community that exists across Massachusetts. We hope everyone will come out to participate in one—or more—of the many terrific ArtWeek events!”

The 2018 festival offers something for everyone, including a number of family friendly events. Participants can dine like Ernest Hemingway in South Yarmouth, take a lighthouse photography workshop in North Truro, view projections of local immigrants at Boston #StandsWithImmigrants, walk across the low wire with Circus Smirkus in Newton, attend a musical workshop with the United States Air Force Jazz Band in Franklin, enroll the kids in a wizard workshop in Worcester, create a cardboard sculpture in Lincoln, take a tour of public art in Salem, go behind the scenes to watch HGTV’s Deek Diedricksen build a playhouse in Brockton, stage a living tableau in Plymouth, make a backyard bee house and participate in a conversation on sustainability in Williamstown, design your own instrument from recyclable materials in Greenfield, and so much more.

ArtWeek is an annual 10-day innovative festival featuring hundreds of unique and creative experiences that are hands-on, offering new ways to experience art and culture. ArtWeek was born in Boston in 2013 and recently expanded its footprint across the Commonwealth. This year, Mass Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism have joined ArtWeek as Lead Champions in this unique opportunity to shine a spotlight on the state’s creative economy. ArtWeek has also secured a network of more than 70 statewide, regional and local collaborators and over a dozen media partners to help promote the upcoming festival.

“It has been exciting to watch ArtWeek grow over the past few years,” says Blake Jordan, executive director, Highland Street Foundation.  “With more than 500 unique opportunities, ArtWeek truly allows everyone to participate in the arts, which is part of our core mission.”


Marblehead’s J.O.J. Frost Folk Art Fish


Below are a few events that the North Shore is hosting. For the full calendar of events, visit


Appleton Farms: Walk/Talk with Photographer Bill Franson

Lead Partner: Appleton Farms

Community Partner: Bill Franson, Fine Art Photographer

Price: FREE

Location: Appleton Farms Carriage Barn, 219 County Road, Ipswich

Region: North of Boston

Saturday, April 28, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The historic landscape of Appleton Farms, the oldest continuously operating farm in America, has long fascinated photographer Bill Franson who is offering a behind-the-scenes look into his artistic and technical process using a historic camera befitting the historically and culturally significant landscape at Appleton Farms. He will discuss his current project photographing the Appleton Farms landscape and the trees in season using a large format film camera, while demonstrating large format film technicalities as well as the making Cyanotype prints, the third oldest photographic print process, invented in 1842.


“Architecture As Art” Tours in Historic Marblehead

Lead Partner: Marblehead Architecture Heritage

Community Partner: Marblehead Architecture & Heritage Tours

Price: $5

Location: Marblehead’s Historic Downtown, 188 Washington St., Marblehead (Tours start in front of Abbott Hall.)

Region: North of Boston

Saturday, April 28, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 29, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 5, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 6, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Enjoy new perspectives on Marblehead during afternoon and/or almost-twilight walks through 18th & 19th century Marblehead, with an emphasis on the artistic aspects of its significant early architecture. The whimsical and eclectic 1800s will be included as well. Join in for a special chance to view some of the town’s nearly 300 colonial homes and buildings dating from 1776, amongst the highest concentrations in the nation. Indoor artwork will also be available for viewing. Enjoy evening dinner on the beautiful Marblehead harborfront afterwards and/or meander along the harbor on your own to finish the day.


Beyond Walls Tour

Lead Partner: Beyond Walls

Community Partner: Downtown Lynn Cultural District

Price: FREE

Location: Land of a Thousand Hills, 61 Munroe Street, Lynn

Region: North of Boston

Friday, April 27, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Tour Lynn’s downtown with Beyond Walls staff who will walk visitors through the vision, process, and execution of recent public art projects installed in the downtown area. Learn more about the internationally and locally renowned artists whose works in Lynn are not only bringing brightness and positivity to the cityscape but are huge and especially Instagram-worthy! Weather permitting, you will also get a first look at the installation of the new permanent, dynamic LED underpass lighting, and the collection of publicly mounted vintage neon artworks. Bring your walking shoes!


“Build a Lighthouse!” – An Essex Heritage Event

Lead Partner: Essex Heritage

Price: FREE

Location: National Park Service Regional Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty Street, Salem

Region: North of Boston

Saturday, April 28, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

This spring, Essex Heritage is inviting visitors (ages 4+) to come and build their very own model lighthouse using every day materials, inspired by Bakers Island Lighthouse affectionately nicknamed “Pa Baker”! Special guest instructor and children’s book illustrator, Katy Bratun, will be leading this family friendly craft starting at 1:00 p.m. at the NPS Visitor Center in Salem. Since 2014, Essex Heritage has been taking visitors to see the lighthouse on Bakers Island, but now we want you to try your hand at building one! This event is FREE and all craft materials will be provided.


Chalk It Up

Lead Partner: Mass Poetry

Price: FREE

Location: Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, Salem

Region: North of Boston

Friday, May 4 – Sunday, May 6, Noon to Midnight (weather permitting)

Leave your mark on the streets of Salem with your favorite line of poetry during the Mass Poetry Festival! Come by Old Town Hall to get chalk and share your favorite line of verse around Old Town Hall and the sidewalks on Front Street. Scribble, doodle, draw, and write your favorite poetic line, or one you’ve composed spur of the moment. This is a special opportunity to be part of Salem’s public art scene – at least until it rains!


College Slammers

Lead Partner: Mass Poetry

Price: FREE

Location: Hawthorne Hotel/Library, 18 Washington Square W, Salem

Region: North of Boston

Friday, May 4, 9:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Students from local colleges, including Endicott, Gordon, Merrimack, and Salem State, engage in a friendly poetry slam. Unlike traditional school-based ‘slams,’ this features individual students from different colleges. Come check out some dynamic performances and get a first-hand look at the Massachusetts college poetry scene in action.


Colonial Kids Arts and Crafts Night

Lead Partner: Salem Witch Museum

Price: FREE

Location: Salem Witch Museum, 19 1/2 Washington Square North, Salem

Region: North of Boston

Saturday, April 28, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

One of the most famous myths surrounding early Puritan settlers is that they absolutely forbid pastimes like music, dancing, games and leisure activities. While Puritans had a strict, hardworking lifestyle they did believe there was a time and place for fun pastimes. Join the Salem Witch Museum for a special night of Puritan and Colonial crafts and games, as we explore some of the activities enjoyed by children living in early America. Kids of all ages are invited to come and learn how to make a corn husk doll, create your own handheld loom, play old fashioned New England games and listen to some captivating stories! If you are interested in Puritan and early American history, or you just want to make a fun craft, this is an event for you!


A Conversation with Nancy Schön

Lead Partner: Wenham Museum

Price: $20

Location: Wenham Museum, 132 Main Street, Wenham

Region: North of Boston

Thursday, May 3, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

This is an exceptional opportunity to meet Nancy Schön, the artist who created the iconic sculpture Make Way for Ducklings, in a fun, intimate, and casual setting at one of Nancy’s favorite places: The Wenham Museum! Nancy will answer questions about her artistic inspiration, journey to becoming an artist, new book, and anything else you always wanted to know about this world-renowned sculptor. This is also an opportunity to get your copy of Nancy’s new book, Make Way for Nancy: A Life in Public Art, signed by the artist herself and available for purchase. Due to the unique intimacy of this conversation, participation is limited and pre-registration is required. Light refreshments included.


Crafts + Drafts for ArtWeek

Lead Partner: Jenn Houle/BareWolf Brewing

Community Partner: Jenn Houle

Price: $8

Location: BareWolf Brewing, 12 Oakland Street, Amesbury

Region: North of Boston

Thursday, May 3, 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Celebrate the coming of spring, bird biology, and the craft of both art and beer with “Crafts + Drafts for ArtWeek” at BareWolf Brewing during the opening reception of The Changing Light, a solo exhibit of local artist Kate Houle. Ms. Houle sculpts New England bird species from clay and explores the relationship between art and nature. ArtWeek participants will create a bird mobile from repurposed materials to hang in their windows, to alert these tiny flyers to the presence of glass. Meet master brewer/founder Stevie Bareford and sisters Jenn and Kate Houle who host monthly Crafts + Drafts at BareWolf, with a seasonal craft event linked to the exhibiting gallery artist. Craft supplies are included in cost; beers/drafts are additional.