Posted March 16, 2006

By Jacqueline Sexton - 508-645-2895 -

The birds are back, and the winter doldrums are on their way out.

Get ready for the sixth annual Martha's Vineyard Independent Film Festival opening tomorrow, Friday, March 17 and continuing through the weekend at the community center. Thomas Bena of Chilmark is the producer/director. As always, the festival is a mix of award-winning films, visiting and local filmmakers, live music, art installations, and exotic cuisine.

The multi-cultural offerings include films by Brazilians, Native Americans, and films by children for children. Jeremy Mayhew will premiere a music video he shot, edited and animated over the course of four months. Jeremy and his brother Todd head up the production design team, which transforms the center into an art house movie theatre complete with couches and dim lights.

Next weekend, the Friends of the Chilmark Library and The Yard are sponsoring a two-day swing dance event beginning on Saturday, Mar. 25 when Hudson Valley swing dance instructors, Linda and Chester Freeman, will hold a level-one workshop at the community center from 1 to 4 pm teaching "essential swing basics and beyond." On Sunday, Mar. 26 from 1 until 4 pm the Freemans will go on to level two -" integrating cool moves and dips," (level one required.) The cost for each workshop is $20 for adults, $5 for teens. The Friends of the Library are picking up the tab for the teenagers.

Dancers will keep on stomping on Saturday night at a free potluck dinner dance at The Yard on Middle Road. We are all urged to bring family and friends to the dinner, at 6:30 pm and to stay for the, also free, basic swing lesson by Josh Gordon starting at 7:30 pm, after which a swing dance party will ensue, also free! For more information about the Saturday night party call Josh at 508-645-9845.

Chilmark is jumping!

Back to daily life: Dorothy Bangs called to say that the annual daffodil sales to benefit the American Cancer Society will be next Wednesday, Mar. 22. They will be available at several down-Island stores and at Alley's up-Island.

Margaret Maida is recovering in Florida from surgery and would love to hear from friends and neighbors. Her address is: c/o Charles Maida, 115 Venetian Lane, Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411

On Wednesday, Mar. 22, music teacher Joanne Cassidy will lead her students in a songfest in the school's foyer at 1:30 pm. Everyone is welcome.

Tomorrow morning the all-Island spelling bee, sponsored by The Times, takes place at 9:30 am at the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown. Go Ian!

Phyllis and Bob Conway have returned from a month of sun and swimming at St. Kitts. They had a wonderful time except for the traveling. Mrs. Conway warns that unless you enjoy trekking through miles of airport pavement, you go via Puerto Rico, not Miami. To that I say "amen," having tramped the endless ill-marked corridors at the airport and actually ending up boarding the wrong plane.

Fran And David Flanders are back from Hawaii. Their daughters visited them while they were there.