Creative Living Award

Dan Waters, with Sandra Grymes, who presented him the Creative Living Award. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The rafters rang with accolades for Daniel Waters of West Tisbury at a presentation Tuesday night at Grange Hall, when he received the 2011 Creative Living Award.

“It was easily the most moving and emotionally resonant evening of my life,” Mr. Waters wrote in an email yesterday to The Times. “I feel incredibly rich to live in a place where an entire room full of people can feel so much like family.”

The Permanent Endowment for Martha’s Vineyard has sponsored the award since 1983 through the Ruth J. Bogan–Ruth Redding Memorial Fund.

“The Creative Living Award recognizes members of the Vineyard community who embody Ruth Bogan’s spirit and love for the Island and who have contributed significantly to the quality of life on the Vineyard,” according to the program notes.

In remarks by speakers, Beth Kramer, director of the West Tisbury Free Public Library, said she nominated Mr. Waters for the award after she discovered “the person who completely embodied creative living” had not yet been recognized. She noted his many talents as a “poet, artist, humanitarian, musician, photographer, teacher, mentor, trustee, fundraiser, and community omni-presence.”

Born in New Jersey, Mr. Waters moved with his family to Brazil when he was three and lived there until college. After graduating from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, he moved to Martha’s Vineyard in 1977 and started out selling shoes.

Among his many contributions to the Island community, Mr. Waters has taught English as a second language, mentored a high school student, and served as chairman of the Martha’s Vineyard Cultural Council. As the secretary of the West Tisbury Library’s trustees, in the last two years Mr. Waters has been a driving force in efforts to expand the library.

The West Tisbury selectmen named Mr. Waters as the town’s first Poet Laureate in 2006.