Peter Matthiessen in person
It will be a stellar evening at the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club when the documentary, "Peter Matthiessen: No Boundaries" (broadcast this past spring on PBS) is shown this Sunday night, August 9. The distinguished writer and naturalist, Peter Matthiessen, will be present to answer questions and discuss the film along with Jeff Sewald, the film's writer, director, and producer, and cinematographer Paul Sanderson.
Mr. Matthiessen has produced an extensive and varied body of work over the last 60 years. After co-founding the Paris Review in 1953, he went on to write some 20 works of non-fiction, focusing on species as disparate as the great white shark, snow leopard, and crane; on people ranging from Native Americans to Long Island baymen, to Cesar Chavez; and on remote locations far and wide - Africa, South America, Antartica.
He has written 10 novels, most notably "At Play in the Fields of the Lord" (1965), "Far Tortuga" (1975), and the Watson trilogy, "Killing Mr. Watson" (1990), "Lost Man's River" (1997), and "Bone by Bone" (1999).
He won a National Book Award in 1979 for "The Snow Leopard," and another for "Shadow Country," which combined the Watson trilogy into one volume.
Refreshments will be served at 8 pm, followed by the screening at 8:30. RSVP to rosestyron.com by August 7.
See history being made
On Wednesday, August 12, see "The Possible Dream-Yes We Can," the story of the man who changed the history of the United States. President Barack Obama's success story is featured in the film, which starts at 3 pm at the Performing Arts Center at the Regional High School. The film chronicles the elements of the President's life which influenced him and helped make him America's first African-American president.
Along with the film, Professor Charles Ogletree, Oak Bluffs summer resident and Harvard law professor, will present "Striking the Right Balance: Addressing Our Individual and Collective Responsibilities to Families and Communities." Hafiz Farid, director of "The Possible Dream," will be present to answer questions during the free program at the Oak Bluffs Public Library on Thursday, August 6, at 5:30 pm.
Life's a circus
Martha's Vineyard Film Festival (MVFF) hosts Cinema Circus on Wednesdays from 5 to 7 pm under a tent at the Chilmark Community Center. The children's program, which precedes the 8 pm Summer Film Series screenings, features local circus performers, face painting, live music, activities for the whole family, and pizza provided by the Scottish Bakehouse. The festivities include the screening of a children's film at the community center programmed by Chicago International Children's Film Festival founder Nicole Dreiske. Next Wednesday, August 12, "Where Is Winky's Horse?" directed by Mischa Kamp, will be shown at 5 pm. In a press release, Lindsey Scott, Chilmark resident and the program's artistic director, said, "Our intention is to engage children in the active process of watching, thinking, and questioning what they see on the screen and how it makes them feel."
Tickets are $5 for kids, $6 for adult members, and $12 for non-members. For more information, call 508-645-9599, or visit tmvff.org.
History at homes
On Wednesday, August 12, six gingerbread cottages in the Campgrounds will participate in the 14th annual Campground Cottage Tour. Each of the six cottages has unique and unusual interior features and furnishings and authentic artifacts that the volunteer tour guides will point out and describe. In some instances, the homeowners will be present to meet and talk to visitors. The carpenter gothic characteristics - such as gothic windows, frosted glass windows, horse-hair plastered walls, and gables - make the annual house tour a special experience. At the home of Sue and Larry Zielinski at 21 West Clinton Ave., there is a framed area with signatures of visitors from 1899.
All of the houses in the campgrounds were built between 1871 and 1878, and the six neighboring houses included in the tour are located along West Clinton Ave (adjacent to Dukes County Arts District). Tickets are also available at the Tabernacle on the day of the tour, which is conducted from 10 am to 3 pm. For advance tickets go to MVCMA.org, or the Cottage Museum store. Admission, $25, includes refreshments. All proceeds from the program benefit the Tabernacle Restoration Fund.
Dancing for good reasons
She-figured Dance and RISE Vineyard Performing Arts are coming together to benefit organizations focused on protecting children from the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
On Tuesday, August 11, Jil Matrisciano, artistic director of She-figured Dance, will present "Defining Gravity," a modern dance performance and sunset reception to help the Somarela Fund. The performance begins at 5:30 pm in the field outside the Field Gallery in West Tisbury.
Young dancers from RISE will open the performance with a specially choreographed tribute to honor the work of the Somarela Fund.
The Somarela Fund supports organizations, such as Bana Ba Letsatsi (Sunshine Children), that address the problems that have evolved from epidemics in northern Botswana. Bana Ba Letsatsi helps children ages 2 to 20 get fed, clothed, educated, and protected. The fund first began as a memorial to J. Player Crosby's commitment to the people and environment of South African. Part-time residents of Menemsha, the Crosby family continues his vision by working with Vineyard supporters.
Following the performance, the audience is invited to gather at a reception to enjoy culinary talents of Jan Buhrman, bid on silent auction items from Botswana, meet the members of She-figured Dance and The Somarela Fund, and purchase chances to win an African Safari Trip for two. Tickets are $150; contact 508-524-7311.
Cover to cover
The West Tisbury School's gym was crammed with books and browsers for their annual Friends of West Tisbury Library Book Sale. The four-day sale offered a variety of books, fiction and non-fiction, audio books, VHS, and DVDs at bargain prices for Islanders and visitors. The Friends raised a sale record of $21,000, helped by generous donations.
Raise your glasses
The Divas are back. Divas Uncorked, Inc. a women's wine tasting club that was started in Boston in 1998, is hosting four individual wine-themed nights beginning today, Thursday, August 6. The event promotes breast health awareness and education, as well supporting the Island Grown Initiative, the Vineyard's local food and farming organization.
It begins in Oak Bluffs with "Books for Wine Lovers" at Cousen Rose Gallery and "Table Design for Wine" at L'Elegance in Oak Bluffs in Oak Bluffs, from 6 to 8 pm. All are welcome without charge.
Friday there is a crystal and candlelight vintner dinner at the Harbor View Hotel from 6 to 10 pm in Edgartown. Individual tickets are $125.
"The Art of Wine and Food" begins on Saturday, 4 to 8 pm at Featherstone Center for the Arts in Oak Bluffs. Tickets for $75.
The closing event, on Sunday from 11:30 am to 3 pm, "Savor, Sip and Swirl," is being held at the Mediterranean Restaurant in Oak Bluffs. Tickets, $60.
Participating chefs and wine experts include: Chef Richard Garcia, of Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro; Sommelier Belinda Chang, of The Modern, NYC; executive chef LeVon Wallace, of Harbor View Hotel, Edgartown; and many more. The events also offer demonstrations by top wine experts and chefs and live and silent auctions.
All-access passes for all four days are $250. To purchase tickets, visit divasuncorkthecure.com. For more information, call 617-573-0076.
Open for input
Having selected its first panel of commissioners, the Cape Cod and Islands Commission on the Status of Women (CCICSW) now seeks your comments and opinions. The organization needs help to identify issues that they will focus on, with the hope of resolution.
The CCICSW was formed by the state legislature this past January with the support of Cape legislators, including senate president Therese Murray, senator Robert O'Leary, and representative Sarah Peake. The M.V. representative is Elaine Cawley Weintraub. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nature all around
The Polly Hill Arboretum (PHA) offers two events this week in honor of Local Plant Week: a book talk and a discussion about identifying plants.
Identification and control of invasive plants is on Tuesday, August 11, from 10 to 11:30 am. Join Matt Lobdell, certified arborist and PHA intern, during a presentation covering Vineyard invasive plant issues. Find out how you can become involved in an Island-wide effort to control and eradicate plants that are becoming threatening to the Island environment. Cost is $5 or free for PHA members.
Second, PHA welcomes Douglas Tallamy for the annual David H. Smith Memorial Lecture on Wednesday, August 12, at 7:30 pm. Mr. Tallamy is a professor and chairman of the department of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware. In the talk, which is based on his book, "Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens," Dr. Tallamy will speak about the interaction between native plant species and native wildlife. This lecture is sponsored by S.B.S. The Grain Store. Cost is $10 or $5 for PHA members.
For more information on either event, 508-693-9426.
Lost in the maze
The FARM Institute in Edgartown offers an adventure you'll never forget. Explore their new five-acre corn maze, which is open every day from 10 am to 7 pm. The maze includes a beginner route and also a more advanced route for the more daring, and each is open to all ages. Maps are provided by request for different levels of difficulty, as well as a couple of "bail out" routes for those who want to escape.
By exploring the maze, you will have the opportunity to learn how to grow vegetables, since the theme for this year's corn maze is "Grow your own." As you enter the maze, you are given a card with pictures of vegetables and fruit that can be used at "food stations," which teach you how to grown your own food. The cost for the corn maze is free for two and under, $5 for ages 3 to 14, and $10 for ages 15 and up. For more information, call 508-627-7007.
Carry in, carry out
The Oak Bluffs Beach Clean-up Brigade began its first beach clean-up efforts in July, and continues throughout the remainder of the summer. The group needs your help to clean the beaches of Oak Bluffs. The Brigade meets at the stairs leading to the Inkwell Beach every Tuesday and Friday morning, from 8:30 to 9:30 am. Clean up bags are supplied, and sneakers and gloves are recommended. After a brief discussion on the guidelines of the clean up, trash collection will begin. All are welcome.
The Slow Fish movement, sponsored by the Menemsha Fisheries Development Fund (MFDF), is featured this week in a lecture on Wednesday, August 12, at 5:30 pm at the Chilmark Public Library. MFDF President Warren Doty will speak about the growing Slow Fish movement, an offshoot of the international Slow Food organization. Like Slow Food, Slow Fish's mission is to educate, promote, and protect the pleasures of eating well. As part of the program, Mr. Doty will make a Menemsha fish salad from locally harvested fluke and offer tastes to the audience. He will also explain how Slow Fish supports local fishermen and makes sure that the fish that's harvested is safe. This lecture is free and is sponsored by the MFDF and the Friends of the Chilmark Public Library. For more information, call 508-645-3360.
"Can you tell me how to get..."
Lou Berger, former head writer for "Sesame Street" and author, will visit the Oak Bluffs Library on Tuesday, August 11. Mr. Berger will read his book "The Elephant Wish," a children's book about a young girl, Eliza, and her wish on her eighth birthday party. The reading is for ages five and older. Call 508-693-9433 for more information.
Treats for animals
Martha's Vineyard Helping Homeless Animals is hosting a bake sale to help the Island's animals in need. The sale is at Cronig's Market in Vineyard Haven on Saturday, August 8, from 9:30 am to 3 pm. Show your generosity by donating or supporting the cause. For more information, call 508-498-1948.
Vineyard House receives grant
The Martha's Vineyard Savings Bank, through the Massachusetts Bankers Assoc., recently awarded a charitable grant of $1,500 to Vineyard House, which provides a safe living environment for Islanders while in the early stages of recovery from addiction. The grant is in recognition of the programs provided to Island residents. Pictured is Chris Wells, left, president of the M.V. Savings Bank, and John Early, past president of Vineyard House.
Crime scene brunch
This morning at 9:30, three mystery authors host a mystery author's brunch at Atria in Edgartown. The authors include Linda Fairstein, Hank Phillippi Ryan, and Cynthia Riggs. The brunch, which is from 9:30 to 12 noon, offers an opportunity to meet the authors and discuss their novels.
Ms. Fairstein, a best-selling crime novelist and former prosecutor, served in the office of the New York County District Attorney for 25 years. She is also known for her crime series, "Alex Cooper," featuring a Manhattan prosecutor, which draws on Ms. Fairstein's knowledge of prosecution and the history of New York.
Ms. Ryan, a Boston television news reporter with the series "Help Me, Hank," is the author of a crime series featuring TV investigative reporter Charlotte McNally. Currently, Ms. Ryan has released three books in the series. She has received dozens of regional, national, and international honors and awards for her works, and currently lives in the Boston area.
Ms. Riggs, a Vineyard native, licensed ship captain, innkeeper, and former candidate for local offices, is an Island mystery writer who currently lives on her family's homestead in West Tisbury. Her most recent novel, "Death and Honesty," adds to her Vineyard-themed mystery books.
The 2009 Martha's Vineyard Book Festival began on Saturday at 5:30 pm with a champagne reception with raw bar at the Chilmark Community Center, followed be a panel discussion called "The Media Revolution: The Future of Journalism and the Media," moderated by editor Peter Osnos, vice-chairman of The Columbia Journalism Review. Sunday's free events were held in three tents set up around the Community Center, from 11 am to 5 pm. Appearing were 25 best-selling authors, most of whom have Island connections, who talked about their latest books.
Talk with Cokie
Farm Neck Golf Club Café hosts guest speaker Cokie Roberts for "Brunch with Cokie." Ms. Roberts, senior news analyst for National Public Radio and ABC News political commentator, will appear Friday, August 14, from 10 am to 12 noon. The veteran journalist and author will be interviewed by WCAI's Mindy Todd, who is host of The Point. Question topics will range from the latest news out of Washington, her years with NPR, and her most recent novel, "Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation." Tickets to benefit WCAI are $65 and also include a brunch buffet. For reservations and information, call 508-548-9600.
Docutunes presents Kate Taylor
Docutunes.tv presents the documentary premiere and DVD release of "Kate Taylor - Tunes from the Tipi and Other Songs from Home" next Thursday, August 13, at the Capawock Theatre in Vineyard Haven. The company's first feature-length music documentary, "Tunes from the Tipi" will be screened at 5:30 pm and 7:15 pm. A premiere party is at Che's Lounge in Vineyard Haven at 9 pm after the last show. Meet Kate Taylor, who will perform a few songs, and the filmmakers. Premiere party tickets are $50 in advance; $60 day of, and are available at docutunes.com, Chilmark Store, Alley's, Midnight Farm, Aboveground Records, and DaRosa's.
Debut after a decade
After 10 years of research, writing, and composing, a novel that shines a spotlight on the inequality of citizens and the decades of struggle for civil rights has been released. Author Patricia Sullivan debuts her new book, "Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement," on Friday, August 7, at 7 pm at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs. The debut and its proceeds benefit the Martha's Vineyard Museum. Dr. Sullivan is a history professor at the University of South Carolina and a fellow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University.
The novel is a story that illustrates the history of America's oldest civil rights organization and their efforts to fight the racial barriers in the North as well as in the South. The event features guests such as Henry Louis Gates, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Clark Johnson, and Margaret Burnham. A VIP reception begins at 5:30 pm for $150, when guests will be given an opportunity to meet Dr. Sullivan, have refreshments, and be given preferred seating and a copy of the book. General admission tickets are available for $15 and can be purchased at the M.V. Museum, Alley's General Store, Cousen Rose Gallery, and Bunch of Grapes Bookstore. For more information, call 508-627-4441.
The 13th annual Built on Stilts returns with even more dancers, choreographers, and performances this August 12 to 17. The six free performances held at the Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs include hip-hop, ballet, jazz, modern, improv, tap, and more. Over the past 13 years, the organization still strives to bring together Island students and adult artists in a community dance festival. It attracts a large audience every year, and chairs run out fast. On some nights a crowd blockades the entrances, just to get a peek. The program is different each night, but a Drum Circle begins at 7:30 pm each night until the performances begin at 8 pm. For more information, call 508-717-2887.
"Mabel to Table," a fundraiser for Vineyard Voyagers, Inc., hosts two benefit dinners at Zephrus Restaurant in Vineyard Haven. The dinners are Tuesdays, August 11 and 25, and include a three-course meal by Chef Robert Lionette. Tickets are $50 each, and include tax and gratuity. Reservations for dinner are available between 5 and 9:30 pm. All proceeds from the event go to the youth that participate in the Mabel to Table program as well as other maritime programs offered by Vineyard Voyagers. Mabel to Table offers children an opportunity to explore the Island heritage, spending a few days as sailors and farmers, harvesting vegetables and sailing aboard Mabel. For more information, call 774-563-0200.
The Yard presents "Dido and Aeneas and Kings, Queens, Witches and Drunks." This opera performance is two weekends at The Yard on Fridays, August 7 and 14, at 8 pm; on Saturdays, August 8 and 15, at 4 pm (free family matinees) and 8 pm; and on Sundays, August 9 and 16, at 7 pm. The performances are directed and choreographed by Wendy Taucher and conducted by Elizabeth Scott. Also offered are pre-concert talks an hour before the evening performances begin. Tickets prices are $15 to each show. For more information, call 508-645-9662.
Enjoy breakfast on Edgartown Harbor with the Rotary Club on Sunday, August 9. This 17th annual pancake breakfast is one of Rotary's most popular events, and benefits Island charities such as the Boys and Girls Club, Hospice, the new YMCA, Windemere, and the Island Food Pantry. The breakfast is at The Anchors with an $8 admission for adults and $4 for kids. Stop by between 7 am and 1 pm to grab a plate. For more information, contact 508-693-4808.