Friendship of Salem Working Group:
The City of Salem and its residents, along with the numerous tourists who visit the historic City, have valued the Friendship since its arrival in 1998. It provides the linchpin for the National Maritime Historic site, bring to life the days of sailing and global trade, circa the 1800s. The Friendship, with its masts high, and sail is a spectacular sight as you crest Orange Street. The vessel makes the City's motto come alive: "to the furthest ports of the rich East."
While the Friendship is essential to the identity of the Maritime Site and the City, it has had its challenges since arriving in 1998. It is costly to maintain, needs significant annual staffing resources to keep it in good repair, and has not always realized its full potential for a range of activities and programs. With continued constrained federal budgets, the Salem Partnership decided to convene a Working Group to help secure the operational, financial, and programming future of the vessel.
In May 2017, the Salem Partnership convened the Friendship of Salem Working Group. Members of the working group include: City of Salem Harbormaster, Destination Salem, Salem Chamber of Commerce, Hawthorne Hotel, Salem State University, National Park Service, Essex National Heritage Commission, Peabody Essex Museum and Fred J Dion Boat Yard.
The Working Group utilizes facilitation services provided by the Consensus Building Institute (CBI).
The Working Group will issue a final report with background research and a range of options to inform the development of an implementable business plan to sustain the Friendship for the benefit of Salem, the public, and the maritime history of the region for the next 25 years.