Inn Street Artisans Revival – 2016
By John Brown
As a local Newburyport artist, I have been working its festivals for over ten years now. I am the artist/photographer of Spirit of Newburtpot since 2006, I was granted the first non-food vending license in Newburyports contemporary history in 2009, and became the first artist to take his work literally to the street by operating a seasonal vending kiosk on Inn Street. Over the years I have seen many changes. Some good. Some not so good.
In 2013, I had the honor to design the ‘Jack Frost’ tribute program book for the 55th Yankee Homecoming. In that program book I made a salute to not only Jack Frost, but to George Cashman and Joe Mathers as well. This salute was incorporated into that years chairperson, Tammy Jennings, introduction in the program book. Along with that salute, I also wrote a press release for anyone interested in the symbolism that was used in the Yankee Homecoming program cover tribute to Jack Frost. Unfortunately, it never got printed. At the end of that press release, was also a plea. This plea, for the most part, has also gone unheard. The message was as follows;
“I believe its important to remember, embrace and to pay tribute to original visions when so many times the visions manifest themselves, but the artist behind them are often disregarded, forgotten or overshadowed by corporate sponsors and political motives by others over the years. The principals of such visions must be upheld and given due credit to the visionaries that created them in order to remember and embrace the principals in which they were created for in the first place.
Lets acknowledge the dedicated people and volunteers that give of the time, energy and money to the much-celebrated Newburyport Yankee Homecoming as an opportunity to take the good work that’s been done and make it better. It’s a time to take a good hard look at what is being done to our town and community and to make a choice on where we want to go from here.
So there you have it. That’s my idea for a solution. An ‘Inn Street Revival 2016’ to be ushered in this years Yankee Homecoming as an opportunity for the community to come together and lead the way.
YANKEE HOMECOMING – INN STREET ARTISANS REVIVAL 2016
In 1958, Jack Frost, a New England artist, put forth a vision for the first Yankee Homecoming. At the time, Newburyport was in dire economic straits. In his vision he expressed the intent for a festival that was motivated and engineered by business, community, and volunteers to serve as a revival of local, co-creative, community based- sustainable economics. In light of last years Newburyport Daily News article entitled, “Inn Street Blues’ (August 2015), this original intent can never be more important to remember, and embrace. It is with that vision in mind, alongside the completion of the initial phase of the Inn Street Renovation Project this spring, comes the vision for the Yankee Homecoming Inn Street Artisans Revival 2016.
Three Main Elements of the Revival
- A Week Long Arts and Crafts featuring ‘Artists Row’ consisting of the finest artisans from Newburyport and the surrounding area.
FEATURING; An outdoor and ‘Tunnel Gallery’ exhibit of the finest budding artist of Newburyports youth of ALL AGES.
- Music – Inn Street Stage and the ‘buskers’ stage, consisting of the finest local musicians and street performing musicians of the area of which INN ST and Market square have become world famous for.
- Agriculture – Local Farmers Market – Inn Street Farmers Revival 2016.
The purpose of proposing Inn Street Revival 2016 is for the following reasons;
- It aligns with the original intent and vision of Jack Frost, the man and artist who envisioned the very first Yankee Homecoming in 1958, as a festival that was motivated and engineered by business, community, and volunteers to serve as a revival of local, co-creative, community based- sustainable economics.
Build your foundation with local arts, crafts, and music, then get your brick and mortar business to participate with sidewalk presentations, add the farmer market and agricultural element to it, and now you have a real ol town block party that we can all celebrate in and be proud of!
- Gives an opportunity for the local co-creative sustainable economy driven by local arts and crafts a chance to supplement the corporate sponsorship, that DOES NOT align with the original intent and vision of Yankee Homecoming, nor the local and city ordinances that discourage corporate chain entities.
3. Gives an opportunity for the city to embrace its latest state designated ‘Historical Arts and Culture District’ buoyed by local artisans, craftspeople, and farmers.
- Gives the city and Inn Street an opportunity to feature the Inn Street beautification and renovation project and the restoration of the Inn Street fountain, the latest demonstration of the historical evolutionary transformation of Inn Street and how this recreational element can and MUST co-exist with local business.