West Tisbury: The Stories Our Children Grow Up With

Beth here again; Hermine will be back next week.
I pretended to be a jet setter this past week, and flew to Washington, D.C., to attend the “Same Heart Premiere & World Music Dance Party.” The event was the kickoff of an international campaign to support increased funding for programs for impoverished children. This is the latest documentary film from Len and Georgia Morris of Media Voices for Children. The DVD is available at the West Tisbury library. For more information about the important work that Georgia and Len are doing, please call 508-693-0752 or email them at mediavoicesforchildren@gmail.com.

Speaking of jet setters, Amy Hoff and Rachel Rooney are off to Denver for the biannual Public Library Association Conference. They will be attending lots of programs centered on youth and adult programming, new tech trends in libraries, and what new great books and authors are on the horizon.

What a great weekend to be on the Island. It was difficult to squeeze in all that was offered — the amazing Brahms Requiem held at the High School’s Performing Arts Center (how thrilling to listen to this piece sung and played by our talented neighbors), the “Healing Concert” with David Stanwood and Atzic Marquez held at Pathways Gathering Space at the Chilmark Tavern (be sure to catch other events this month before they close), and Sunday afternoon’s “Jazz at the Library” featuring Eric Johnson, Jeremy Berlin, and Steve Tully.
Jazz will continue this month at the library, thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the West Tisbury Library and the West Tisbury Library Foundation. Sunday, April 10, features Don Groover, Mike Tinus, and Tauras Biskis. Sunday, April 24, Mike Tinus returns with John Alaimo. These concerts begin at 4 pm and are free — refreshments served. Come in and get your cool on!

April is National Poetry Month, and the library will be hosting its Community Poetry Reading on Sunday, April 17, from 4 to 5 pm, hosted by the very talented Emma Young, West Tisbury’s poet laureate. All are invited to read their own poems or poems of others. Shelton Bank began this tradition many years ago. Help keep it alive by attending as a reader or a listener, or both! Free (and fun) and open to the public. As always, refreshments served.
Perhaps prose is more your thing? Be sure to share it on Monday, April 11, from 7 to 8 pm, at the library’s monthly “Writers Read” evening. This event features community members reading short original prose pieces. Both fiction and nonfiction readings are welcome. Each reader is allotted eight minutes to read. Critique to follow reading is optional. Free and open to the public. Sign up to read in advance by calling 508-693-4307.

We all know that town meeting is coming up. One of the articles on this year’s warrant requests funding of FirstStop MV. If you missed Karin Kugel explaining this Island-wide information and resource service on Wednesday, April 6, at 5 pm at the library, there’s more info available. FirstStop MV is a community-driven initiative to support the health and wellness of the community by connecting people to information and critical resources for Island seniors. Discover the resources FirstStop MV can provide regarding medical transportation, elder law, health care, home care, senior housing, financial resources, and other areas of concern for seniors living on Martha’s Vineyard. For more information, visit FirstStopMV.org or call 774-549-0555.

Another interesting event coming up at the library is “The Stories Our Children Grow Up With” on Saturday, April 9, at 3:30 pm. Join Edward Zlotkowski for this informal conversation. Edward writes, “The stories our children grow up with influence their values, their choices, their very sense of self. Several years ago when I was asked to read “Jack and the Beanstalk” to a class of 7-year-olds, I couldn’t help wondering how the little girls sitting in front of me understood the story in relation to themselves. To be sure, they were all eager to respond to my interactive prompts, but what they were hearing was a traditional story of male heroic actions, some of which seemed more questionable than admirable. In any event, we were halfway through the story when a very specific question popped into my head: I wonder what Jill was doing while Jack climbed the beanstalk? Several years later, after I had retired from teaching and became the grandfather of two little girls, the ‘Jill question’ came back to me with renewed force.” This led Mr. Zlotkowski to write the newly published children’s book, ”What Jill Did While Jack Climbed the Beanstalk.” He will be reading a few passages from ”Jill” to help fuel the conversation. This event is free and open to the public.

Please come to the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center on Wednesday, April 13, at 6:30 pm for the annual Jonathan Revere Memorial Film Night. The West Tisbury library, in collaboration with the Film Center, will screen “The Lunchbox.” Doors open at 6:30 pm with fabulous Indian food prepared by chef Uma Datta and live piano music by Michael Haydn. The film will screen at 7 pm. This event is free and open to the public.

“Lunchbox,” set in Mumbai, is a romantic comedy that tells the story of a mistaken delivery in Mumbai’s famously efficient lunchbox delivery system that connects a young housewife to an older man in the dusk of his life as they build a fantasy world together through notes in a lunchbox.

The film is being made possible by the friends of Jonathan Revere, the Friends of the West Tisbury Library, and the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center.

Also at the library, Roberta Kirn will host a community sing on April 16 from 3:30 to 5 pm. Ms. Kirn will teach songs with movement from all over the world, with highlighted songs from Ms. Kirn’s recent visits to Haiti, Kenya, and South Africa as part of the Song Exchange Program. Refreshments will be served. This event is free and open to the public.

Roberta Kirn began her career in dance in New York City after studying at Dartmouth and Sarah Lawrence. From there, she went on to study singing and song leading with song leaders Ysaye Barnwell, Nick Page, Melanie DeMore, and Bobby McFerrin. After moving to Martha’s Vineyard in 1989, she became the music teacher at the Public Charter School, and leads numerous Community Sings for all ages, including the annual Winter Concert and Community Sing, a now 15-year island tradition. She says, “My mission is to inspire as many people as I can to sing in community, wherever and whenever possible!” If you can walk, you can dance. If you can talk, you can sing. So come on, all you shower singers, let’s join our voices together.

The library is looking for art! If you are interested in showing your painting, fiber, sculpture, photographs, please let us know. Applications are available at the library. This year is scheduled, but Rob Hauck, fearless leader of the library’s Art Committee, is ready to schedule for 2017. That gives you plenty of time to get your work finished.