Edgartown: Martha’s Vineyard Museum summer season


I’m starting to get emotional these days. Given all the graduations and special events going on lately, it was bound to catch up to me, I guess, but I had lulled myself into a false sense of security that I would be “fine.” Ha. Isn’t it funny how the silliest thing can get you? And I watch other people with young children a lot these days, usually thinking to myself, “Wasn’t I just doing that with my kids yesterday?” Time sure seems to go faster the older we get.

Our daughter, Kiana, went to her college orientation last week, and Riley left this morning for his, out in New Mexico. These are exciting times for both of them, and it’s pretty amazing to watch them as they grow into wonderful, functional semi-adults ready to take on the world. But boy, does it tug at the old heartstrings too. I’m not sure who it’s harder on, the kids or the parents. Sigh.

The summer season is officially beginning at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum with the opening of four new exhibits, as well as the reopening of the 18th century Cooke House. The opening party, the last to be held at the museum’s Edgartown campus, will be held on Friday, June 22, rain or shine, from 5 until 7 pm, offering free admission, food, and drinks to celebrate the season.

Following a busy winter of packing and preparing for a fall move to Vineyard Haven, museum curators are exploring a variety of diverse topics in exhibits open through Labor Day. It’s no secret that Martha’s Vineyard is an incredibly popular vacation destination. But how did it get to be that way? “Greetings from Martha’s Vineyard” explores the humble beginnings of tourism, and shares stories of how people got here, where they stayed, and what they did over the years.

From Wampanoag tribal leaders to wives of whaling crew members who kept businesses running, Vineyard history is full stories of strong and courageous women who helped shape the Island for the better. Today’s artists, writers, musicians, teachers, and entrepreneurs continue to enrich the community in many ways. This summer, the museum is honoring this legacy by profiling five trailblazing women: Magda Polivanov, Sarah and Lucy Adams, Nancy Luce, and Dorothy West.

In addition to these new exhibits, visitors will also get a sneak preview of some of the permanent exhibitions that will open at the new museum in Vineyard Haven later this year. Working with Experience Design, a full-service museum exhibit and design firm based in Providence, R.I., MVM curators are taking museumgoers on a fly-through of the future exhibition spaces, debuting a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) cart, and testing out touchscreens for the future exhibition halls.

Happy birthday wishes go out to Halley Smith, who celebrated on June 17, and Sara Poggi on June 19. I’d also like to send special birthday wishes out to my beautiful niece Gwen Gardner, who celebrated her 24th birthday on June 20.

That screaming you are liable to hear on Friday at noon is the annual “School is out for summer” howl in the hallways of the school. The kids are champing at the bit to get out. Who am I kidding? We all are excited for some summer fun. Be on the lookout for kids running amok for a couple of months now, and drive safely.

Speaking of driving safely, we were passed the other night by a car most definitely not driving safely. The vehicle passed us and two or three other vehicles in front of us, forcing oncoming traffic to slow and pull over to avoid a horrific accident. It was so scary. So be aware that the wild season is upon us, and we’ve got lots of crazy drivers willing to take terrible chances here, so please be cautious. And remember, there are many inexperienced drivers out on the roads, and a lot of distracted drivers. Don’t take chances with people’s lives. It’s not worth it. Breathe deep. Relax. Try to leave a little bit early to get where you’re going. And don’t do anything crazy just because you think it’s fun or cool. It is just not worth the risk.

The 29th annual Edgartown Garden Tour is set for July 11, 2018, from 1 pm until 4 pm. This is an annual fundraiser for the Edgartown eighth grade. The Class of 2019 is beginning to make arrangements for this amazing annual tradition, and I will have more details for you soon. But mark your calendars. Kids already have tickets to sell for the event, which cost $20 each. Or you can contact me at ggardnermv@gmail.com or the school at 508-627-3316,

Also watch for eighth graders selling trinkets, drinks, and burgers and dogs on the Fourth of July. People will be stationed at Cannonball Park and the Mini Park, as well as wandering around town with cold drinks, all to benefit the eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C. It’s such a whirlwind. No sooner does the current eighth grade finish their fundraising and take their trip then the next eighth grade starts again.

ACE MV is celebrating 10 years of continuing education and workforce training on Martha’s Vineyard. They are having their first gala on Saturday, June 23, from 5 pm until 8 pm at the West Chop Club; music will be by Phil daRosa. Tickets are $50 and include drinks, food, music, and a chance to learn about ACE from former students as well as Paul Osterman from MIT. To purchase tickets, go to ticketsMV.com. Where else on the Vineyard can you have an evening out with food for $50 or $100?

That’s it for this week. Happy summer. Beach days ahead.