Welcome Winter: Open House
Dec 8 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Celebrate the fellowship of the coming winter. Refreshments, seasonal music, and plenty of good cheer included!


CSEM: Hopkinson Smith plays “Mad Dog”—Elizabethan Music
Dec 8 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

The Cambridge Society for Early Music presents lutenist Hopkinson Smith for a concert of inventive music, which traverses realms of melancholy, solace and merriment, with works of Dowland, Holborne, Johnson, and Byrd.

Hopkinson Smith is a world-renowned performer on early lutes and guitars. A Harvard graduate, he studied in Catalonia and Switzerland, and in 1974 he was a co-founder of the famous ensemble Hespèrion XX in Basel. He has focused on solo music since the mid-1980s. His splendid series of more than 25 CDs, including lute arrangements of Bach’s works for solo strings, have been showered with praise.

His recent CD, fancifully entitled “Mad Dog,” is devoted to the Golden Age of Elizabethan lute music. The BBC called it “mesmerizing,” and it won a Diapason d’Or award.

$30 | $25 seniors & Athenaeum members | students free
Information: | 617-489-2062

Winter Poetry and Book Drive
Dec 9 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Each holiday break, the Clothing Connection gifts a book to the children served during the winter season. These books, based on the students’ reading level and interests, are selected by the reading specialists at Carlton, Bates and Saltsonstall schools.

Please join the Clothing Connection for an afternoon of winter-themed poetry read by local writers at the Salem Athenaeum on Sunday, December 9 at 4 pm. Books will be available for “purchase” at the event. Alternatively, attendees can make a monetary donation to be put towards book costs.

Coffee and cocoa will be served.

Monday Evening Conversations
Dec 10 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

The Monday Evening Conversations Group meets on the second Monday of the month at 7:00 PM. All members and other interested parties are invited.

It may be of interest to know that the The Social Library, predecessor of the Salem Athenæum, was founded by a similar discussion group, called the Monday Evening Club. Edward Augustus Holyoke, Rev. Thomas Barnard, Rev. Thomas Gilchrist, Benjamin Lynde, Nathaniel Ropes and others were among the Monday Evening Club founders, who gathered to discuss current events and topics of mutual interest.

Topics for discussion are wide open, but must be amenable to good conversation. Examples include:

  • The long ranging effects of the Civil War
  • The courage to be vulnerable
  • European architecture
  • The importance/non importance of art
  • Why have friends

Meetings will start with something to help frame the discussion for the evening, such as a:

  • brief talk
  • podcast
  • video
  • reading of prose or poetry
  • music

We look forward to talking with you!

Writers’ Open Studio
Dec 11 @ 8:40 am – 11:30 am

Weekly Writing Studios at the Salem Athenaeum.

The building will be open from 8:40-11:30 every Tuesday (unless announced otherwise). Feel free to come by and write in a quiet peaceful setting.

Come for as long as you’d like–for 20 minutes or all three hours.

Night Owls: Prophecies
Dec 14 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm

On occasional first Fridays, the Night Owls will convene. Tonight’s theme is Prophecies, but we cannot tell what they are yet!

We invite you to bring games to share, a topic to discuss, or to just show up and join the fun. It’ll be a hoot!

Writing Workshop: Historical Fiction
Dec 15 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Instructor Jacob Boucher—writing as Jack Badelaire

Historical fiction is popular, despite the fact that it is often an exercise in frustration for the story creators. In this Saturday morning workshop will explore the balance between fiction and history, and how the two can co-exist within one story in a way that appeals to the story’s target audience.

Jacob Boucher has a Bachelor’s degree in Film and Television Production with a Minor in Classical Studies, as well as a Master’s degree in Computer Information Systems and IT Project Management. He currently works at Boston University as an IT services manager. He also teaches blogging and self-publishing courses through the Brookline Adult and Community Education Program.

Under the pen name Jack Badelaire, he has written nine novels and a number of shorter works, mostly in the historical military adventure genre (namely the popular COMMANDO series, as well as Assault on Abbeville, San Francisco Slaughter, and the Western novella Renegade’s Revenge). You can find him online at, where he discusses his writing as well as books, film, and other popular media.

Writers’ Open Studio
Dec 18 @ 8:40 am – 11:30 am

Weekly Writing Studios at the Salem Athenaeum.

The building will be open from 8:40-11:30 every Tuesday (unless announced otherwise). Feel free to come by and write in a quiet peaceful setting.

Come for as long as you’d like–for 20 minutes or all three hours.

Salem Writers’ Group
Dec 18 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

All are welcome to bring work-in-progress to share with the group for feedback. The group is facilitated by J.D. Scrimgeour, Professor of English, Salem State University.

Bonaire: The Island Saving Its Coral Reef with George Buckley
Dec 19 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

The new date is December 19!

Film Screening and Discussion

In a world of uncertainty, one of the ecosystems emblematic of the need for balance is the coral reef. Bonaire Bonanza is a success story of good reef management on the Caribbean island of Bonaire, where scientists and citizens work together to manage and protect the reefs. This documentary by George Buckley and Dutch filmmaker Edward Snijders won the Palme d’Or Award in Marseilles.

Tonight’s screening of Bonaire Bonanza includes a discussion session with George Buckley who narrated and advised on the film.

George Buckley is the co-founder and Assistant Director of Sustainability and Environmental Management Program at Harvard Extension School. He is an expert scuba diver who has led hundreds of students to study the sea. He has been a long-time Associate at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and chief scientist on some two dozen Earthwatch Expeditions on marine ecology and field studies on coral reefs, bay ecology, horseshoe crabs, fresh water clams and land snails. He is the Chairman of Bonaire’s Accolade Foundation and Director of the Marine Ecology Project.

His awards include the Palme d’Or for his film Bonaire Bonanza, the EPA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Beneath the Sea (BTS) Diver of the Year. It was when he worked on the award-winning NOVA TV program, “The Sea Behind the Dunes,” that he began his career in environmental filmmaking.