BEVERLY — Miranda Aisling is excited to park her 240-square-foot abode, Aubergine, at the North Shore Music Theatre this weekend. 

Aisling, along with other creatives from all over the country, will be rolling their tiny homes to the theater on Dunham Road in Beverly this weekend to celebrate the fifth annual Big Massachusetts Tiny House Festival.

The two-day festival will feature over 25 structures including tiny houses, vans, wagons, box trucks, and rolling performance stages that attendees will be able to tour and meet the owners. 

Since tiny homes rarely exceed 500 square feet, their owners have to think creatively in order to live comfortably within such a small amount of space. 

For Aisling, founder of the North Shore nonprofit Miranda's Hearth, the festival's main sponsor, that meant designing the house to meet her needs as an artist. This included practical storage, artwork and utensils that support artists, and a colorful interior and exterior. 

"That is what I love about tiny homes," said Aisling. "Every house is different and they all reflect their owners."

That includes "skoolies," school buses that have been converted into tiny homes. 

"The thing that we are most excited about for the festival is the community," said Missy Miller, who's bringing her "skoolie" to the festival from Tennessee. "I am also excited to get some new ideas and learn how to use my space most effectively." 

Aisling's tiny home, named for its resemblance to an eggplant, was built by the Miranda's Hearth Community as a part of their BIG Art: Tiny House project. This public art project took one year — over 1,000 volunteer hours — in community efforts to highlight what Aisling calls "functional forms of art." 

"I love to use this trend as a way to create a platform to support artists," Aisling said. 

Festival events include live music, local vendors, workshops and community building projects. Public artist Mike Grimaldi of Salem will also be doing a live painting on Aisling's tiny house. 

“I love the creativity that comes from the tiny house movement,” said Grimaldi. “It is incredible to me how much people are able to do with such little space."

For Aisling and Peabody architect Erin West, the execution of the festival speaks to a movement that is working to create affordable housing and create spaces for creatives to thrive. 

Starting in 1997, the most recent tiny house movement focuses on encouraging people to consider the benefits to living with less and creating spaces for people who are suffering from the housing crisis. 

"The movement is about liberating people from the expense of a huge home, huge space, and it allows people to have their own space," said West. 

Aisling wants to combat the stigmas that are associated with living simply, such as drugs, poverty, and violence. 

"I'm hoping to change that narrative because those are bad stereotypes," said Aisling. "Also, because you can live small without any of things happening." 

Miranda's Hearth is providing free tickets for zoning and planning board members with the hope that they can continue the conversation of making affordable living accessible for all. 

"The goal is not to get everyone to live in 160 square feet," said Aisling. "But the goal is to get everyone to think about how they are living and why they are living that way."

If you go

What: Fifth annual Big Massachusetts Tiny House Festival

When: Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 19 and 20, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: North Shore Music Theatre, 62 Dunham Road, Beverly


Cost: One-day ticket: $12 advance, $15 at the gate; two-day ticket: $20 advance, $25 at the gate; other options with extras available. Proceeds support Miranda's Hearth.

Tickets and information:


Recommended for you