Northshore Magazine

Northshore June/July 2023

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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Page 96 of 139

95 Brazilian, Azorean, Sicilian, Afghani, Finnish, and other cultural histories that are woven into contemporary Gloucester life. "Gloucester 400+ is a commemoration of 1623 when the English settlers came here, but it goes beyond that," says executive director Elsje Zwart of the entity. Gloucester—known today mainly for its popular beaches, thriving arts scene, and troubled but still-kicking fishing industry— has been preparing for this quadricentennial event for years. Fairly early on, however, the planners realized that talk of a 400th anniversary neglected the years of civilization and culture that had occurred before Europeans ever set foot on the land. So, the planning committee decided to add a plus sign to the event name, signifying the intent to include and celebrate the stories of all the region's people. "We do feel that we have an obligation— and are excited—to share the much larger story that relates to this place," says Oliver Barker, director of the Cape Ann Museum, which is partnering with Gloucester 400+ on some events as well as developing its own programming focused on the region's indigenous history. e backbone of the Gloucester 400+ efforts is the 400 Stories project, an effort to collect and share the histories of at least 400 local residents, past and present, to shine a light on the vast diversity of stories that have played out in Gloucester. e stories are being posted on the Gloucester 400+ website and will be published in a commemorative book. e narratives collected so far tell stories of recent immigrants and fifth- generation residents, including artists, fishermen, entrepreneurs, and community volunteers. ere's a profile of a 12-year-old aspiring rock star, and one of a tennis pro who is in her 80s and still inspiring children with a love of her sport. ere are also events big and small scheduled throughout the year. Most will be free of charge, to make the celebration as accessible as possible, says Ruth Pino, one of the three steering committee chairs for Gloucester 400+. "We made it a priority to include as much of the community as we could," Pino says. "We've worked so hard to bring a year full of activities of interest and we're very proud of our work." ree signature festivals anchor the schedule. On August 12 and 13, the Fisheries Heritage Festival will take over the state fish pier, celebrating the city's rich maritime history. At Stage Fort Park, the Cultural Heritage Festival is expected to draw thousands of attendees on October 7 and 8 to sample diverse foods, listen to music, and learn more about the many cultures that make up today's Cape Ann. From October 9 to 14, the Indigenous Heritage Film Festival will highlight the history and cultural contributions of Cape Ann's earliest inhabitants. e Cape Ann Museum is offering several events and exhibits featuring the region's indigenous history. Wampanoag creative

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