Johnny Hoy to receive Creative Living Award

The Martha's Vineyard local is well known as a stonemason, singer, bluesman, fisherman and protector of herring.

Brad Chase (left) and Johnny Hoy paused while making adjustments to a fish ladder at Mill Pond designed to assist spawing herring. — File photo by Whit Griswold

The Permanent Endowment for Martha’s Vineyard announced Tuesday that Johnny Hoy of West Tisbury will receive the 2016 Creative Living Award. “As a musician, a mason, and a fisherman, Mr. Hoy has left a deep, diverse impression on Island life,” the Permanent Endowment Fund said in a press release.

Endowed in 1983 by a gift from the estate of Ruth J. Bogan, the award recognizes Islanders who, through “fine craftsmanship, creativity, and ingenuity,” have enriched the quality of life here. Convinced that “anyone can do anything,” Ms. Bogan was a woman of many skills and unlimited curiosity.

“With an upbeat, can-do approach to life, Mr. Hoy has become a master of many trades,” the endowment fund said in a press release explaining the selection.

“Best known as the frontman for Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish, for decades he and the band have entertained Islanders with what he calls bluesy dance music, an infectious sound that gets toes tapping and hips swaying, and cheers up anyone within earshot. A conscientious fisherman who’s as at home on a boat as he is on the bandstand, he provides local fish markets with oysters, bluefish, steamers, codfish, you name it. In West Tisbury he has donated time and energy to rejuvenate herring runs in Mill Brook, the Tiasquam River, and James Pond. And as a mason, he has put his stamp on many foundations and fireplaces around the Island.”

The Creative Living Award will be presented to Mr. Hoy at the Portuguese-American Club on Vineyard Avenue in Oak Bluffs on Wednesday, Oct. 26, starting at 5:30 pm. The winner of a free raffle at the event will be able to choose an Island charity to receive $1,000 from the endowment.

The Permanent Endowment for Martha’s Vineyard is a community foundation that manages many individual funds, putting charitable contributions to work for Islanders through grants and scholarships. Now in its fourth decade, it continues to build an endowment that will provide resources for the community’s needs in perpetuity. More information is available at