Aquinnah: Native American Artisans Festival


My July is cruising right along. I can’t believe that it’s halfway through. Just when I think I’ve seen everyone, more people show up. I saw Leah Bassett and her fiancé, Didier, a couple of weeks ago. They have since gone on a sailing trip; they will travel to the Azores and Majorca. Zach Wallen will be here next week. He has spent the winter and spring captaining a boat, and now he’ll be here for a visit to catch up with family and friends. The boating life sounds pretty good when you hear about people spending the winter in Antigua and other warm climes. Of course, I have a feeling you spend a lot of time being damp or soaking wet and being confined in a small space with the same people for long stretches of time. But it sounds romantic, and looks good on Facebook.

The Aquinnah Cultural Center will host the 11th annual Native American Artisans Festival this Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm at the Aquinnah Circle. The festival will feature Native artisans from southern New England and New York tribes. There will be wampum jewelry, beadwork, Native T shirts, leatherwork, featherwork, finger weaving, paintings, and much more available. There will also be opportunities to make a mini-sailors valentine or a wampum pendant. There will be Native music performed and Native food available throughout the day. The ACC is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm. For more information on their programs and exhibits, contact them at 508-645-7900 or

There is a Public Safety Day, sponsored by the Aquinnah Police and Fire Departments, this Saturday at the Aquinnah Circle at noon. This has become an annual event; there are tours of the equipment, demonstrations, and food and prizes.

At the Aquinnah Public Library this week, Story Time is on Thursday at 3:30 pm and Saturday at 10:30 am. On Thursday at 5 pm, the Summer Speaker Series continues with Thomas Dresser, who will discuss his new book, “Hidden History of Martha’s Vineyard.” On Saturday kids can come in between the hours of 11 am and 3 pm to make rocket bookmarks. On Tuesday, July 25, at 4 pm, henna artist Bridgette of Maple Mehndi will return to make henna designs on your hand. There will be Music on the Deck at 5 pm on Tuesday. All events at the library are free and open to the public.

Joan LeLacheur will be holding an open studio of her wampum jewelry designs at her home studio at 42 Old South Rd. in Aquinnah this Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm. If you cannot make the open studio, you can schedule an appointment by contacting Joanie at 508-645-9954 or

The Sargent Gallery will host a benefit for the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival and its environmental film series, with an art show and reception from 6 to 8 pm on Sunday, July 23. “Risk and the Marine Environment” will include work by photographer Karen Philippi and mixed -media painter Robert Perkins. “Risk and the Marine Environment ” will touch on themes that the film “Sea of Hope,” by Robert Nixon, explores. Sargent Gallery and the Fund for Wild Nature are co-presenting the screening of this film at the Beach Plum Inn on Thursday, July 27, at 8 pm. The first screening in the Environmental Film Series will be “Under an Arctic Sky,” this Thursday, July 20, at 8 pm on Menemsha Beach. This is a free screening. The Sargent Gallery is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm, and by appointment; call 508-645-2776 to schedule an appointment.

The Aquinnah Cultural Preservation Committee Swimming and Sailing program is in full effect. Stop by the Town Hall for registration forms. Sailing for Beginners is on Mondays from 9 am to noon, and for Advanced sailors on Thursdays from 1 to 5 pm. Swimming is on Tuesdays from 1 pm to 3:30 pm, and Thursdays from 10:30 am to noon. This is a free program for the residents of Aquinnah.

Janette Vanderhoop teaches yoga at the Old Town Hall every Monday from 9:30 to 11 am. She is a wonderful teacher, and I highly recommend this class; it’s gentle and strengthening.

The Yard has yoga classes every morning of the week, and dance classes Monday through Saturday. Yoga is at 7 am Monday through Friday, 8 am on Saturday, and 9 am on Sunday. Dance classes are at 9 am Monday through Friday, and 10:30 am on Saturday. Go to for the complete schedule and pricing.

Just a heads-up, that Kate Taylor will be performing on two dates in August at the Aquinnah Town Hall. “Sister Kate’s Two Dates,” the Kate Taylor Show, will be on Monday, August 14, and Tuesday, August 15. Doors open at 7:30 pm, show time is at 8 pm. Special guests include Isaac Taylor. Kate is a wonderful performer, and her shows do sell out, so get your tickets now at

Some awesome Aquinnah ladies have birthdays in July. Happy birthday to Juli Vanderhoop, who celebrated yesterday. Happy birthday to Berta Welch, who will celebrate on Tuesday, and Joan LeLacheur, who celebrates on Wednesday.