“The goal of the collaborative is more to market what other groups are already doing,” Brown said. “We’re trying to support each other and make sure that the community is aware of everything that’s being offered.”
That support goes beyond the cultural community, extending to include local businesses in an effort to promote the overall vitality of the city and the region.
“I know we’ve seen it on the Arc’s part,” said Brown, as people who come to Northeast Arc’s regular public art exhibits often make a night of it, taking in dinner in Peabody Square.
The collaborative has its own website and an active presence on Facebook, through which its volunteers get the word out about cultural events happening in the city. Among the collaborative’s partner organizations are the Peabody Art Association, the Peabody Historical Society, the Peabody Institute Library and Northeast Arc, which owns a multipurpose building on Foster Street that has become an arts center for the city.
“A number of people who are involved in the Cultural Collaborative board are also involved in the new downtown organization,” Brown said. The city itself is intricately involved, as well; Community Development Director Karen Sawyer is the collaborative’s current president.
Much of the collaborative’s work ties into other efforts to promote Peabody’s downtown, including the recent Peabody Square traffic configuration.
While the Roomful of Blues concert is the collaborative’s largest sponsored event to date, it’s not the first. Every month, the collaborative also hosts the Painter’s Pub, a public event where people can learn to paint a specific scene while enjoying light appetizers and wine.
Open to all, the Painter’s Pub takes place on the last Wednesday of every month at the ArcWorks Community Arts Center.