Aquinnah: Planning board, museum, and beyond


Guys, it’s August. And it’s really, really hot. There is a lot happening in town this week; thankfully, much of it is happening in air conditioning. Read on to learn about all the ways you can support our town and its businesses and organizations.

The Aquinnah planning board plan review committee will hold its second public listening session on Thursday, August 9, at 7 pm in the Town Hall. Next year will be the 20th anniversary of the town of Aquinnah DCPC, which includes the anti-trophy-house bylaw, the archaeological bylaw, and other unique zoning requirements. This committee is revisiting all our zoning bylaws with an eye toward making changes at a town meeting next year. The committee wishes to hear what residents and others think is working and not working in the bylaws, and what they think can be done to simplify, and improve, the permitting process in town. Written comments can also be submitted before Sept. 1 to Town of Aquinnah PBPRC, 955 State Rd., Aquinnah, MA 02535.

The library has a lot going on this week. It kicks off on Thursday, August 9, at 2 pm with a Town Nurse Wellness Clinic. This month’s topic is a blood pressure clinic, with a focus on ticks and tick-borne illnesses. Later, Thursday, at 5 pm, the Summer Speaker Series continues with Cynthia Riggs. She will be talking about her latest book, “Widow’s Wreath.” The series takes place at the Old Town Hall, and refreshments will be served.

Story Time is on Thursday, at 3:30 pm, and Saturday, at 10:30 am. Kids Craft is on Saturday, August 11, from 11 am to 3 pm. This Saturday there will be a library cookout from noon to 2 pm. Come by for hot dogs, watermelon, chips, and lemonade. There are three events happening on Tuesday at 5 pm. As there is every Tuesday, there will be Music on the Deck; while you listen, you can get henna designs with Bridgette from Maple Mehndi (sign up at the front desk), and Holly Herbster of the Public Archaeology Lab will be speaking at the Old Town Hall on “Aquinnah, Past, Present, and Future: 10,000 Years of Years of History and 25 Years of Archaeology.”

The Aquinnah Cultural Center will host its annual Wampanoag Fundraiser, this Saturday, August 11, at 5 pm at the Vanderhoop Homestead at the Cliffs. The fundraiser starts with wine and hors d’oeuvres, then a dinner of traditional Wampanoag foods, and it finishes with a cultural presentation. This year there will be a special presentation based on historical experience. Darius Coombs, Mashpee Wampanoag, and Christopher Hall of Plimoth Plantation will reenact a scenario common to the mid-17th century. Wampanoag people were converted to Christianity and had to proffer confessions of their sins to English ministers. This reenactment provides great insight into the reception of Christianity by native people, and the attitudes of the English toward them. Tickets are $100 for adults and $40 for children 12 and under. All proceeds go to support the museum’s exhibits, programs, and events.

The museum will be open 11 am to 4 pm Thursday and Friday, and 11 am to 3 pm on Saturday. The exhibit, “Our Story: 400 Years of Wampanoag History” has returned to the museum for the fourth year. Sponsored by Plymouth 400, the exhibit presents little-known but critical history of New England in the early Colonial years, which were life-altering for native peoples of the area. “Our Story” is here through Sept. 9, so be sure to drop in and spend some time. For more information on all exhibits and programs, please call 508-645-7900, or email

Come by Mitzi Pratt’s Bindery this Saturday, August 11, from 2 to 6 pm for a trunk show of Nepalese fabric crafts such as quilts, tablecloths, scarves, and more. The sale is in support of Thinley Athuptsang’s nonprofit, which provides healthcare to Nepalese women. Mitzi will also have her handcrafted books for sale, and cool drinks to refresh you as you shop. The Bindery is located at 5 Moshup Trail in Aquinnah.

At the Sargent Gallery through August 16 is a show called “Bios Kentron,” benefiting MV’s local nonprofit Biodiversity Works, and featuring photographer Barbara Norfleet and painter Judy Howells as well as other gallery artists. The gallery’s summer hours are 11 am to 6 pm Thursday through Sunday, and by appointment at 508-645-2776. The Sargent Gallery is located at 832 State Rd. in Aquinnah.

On Sunday, August 12, Pathways ARTS will host a multimedia project at the Tisbury Water Works from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. Justen Ahren’s “After the War for the Valley” will be shown, along with interpretive work from Ken Vincent, Traeger di Pietro, and Dana Edelman. The piece is about displacement and migration. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.

The American Red Cross is hosting a blood drive on Friday, August 31, from 1 to 6 pm. The drive will be held at Alex’s Place, the teen center at the YMCA. There happens to be a shortage of blood right now, so please consider donating.

Happy birthday to the amazing Kate Taylor, who celebrates on August 15; everyone in town should get together and sing for her for a change. Congratulations to Kate’s daughter, Liz Witham, who, along with her husband Ken Wentworth, won the “Emerging New England Filmmaker” award at the Woods Hole Film Festival over the past week.