Aquinnah: A standout event


The Native Artisans Festival, sponsored by the Aquinnah Cultural Center, was really something this past weekend. I think it was the best one yet. Juli Vanderhoop supplied the food, fish cakes, coleslaw, and baked goods. Many gifted Aquinnah artists were present, Donald Widdis, Berta Welch, Janette Vanderhoop, Tiffany Vanderhoop (have you seen the ribbon skirts she makes?), and Jamie Spears Vanderhoop. There were some new artisans as well, including Gail Rokotuibau of the Pequot nation, who makes the most beautiful baskets I’ve ever seen, and another woman who made hand-carved boxes. The quality of the items being sold, and the high level of skill demonstrated by all the artisans present, made it a standout event.

Happening alongside the festival was Public Safety Day, which was a lot of fun. It is especially thrilling to see our police helicopter touch down in the circle and then lift off again. Thank you to everyone who does service in our town.

There is quite a bit happening at the Aquinnah Public Library this week. Today, Thursday, July 25, the Summer Speaker Series continues with Richard Johnson. Johnson will present on the ecology of ticks on the Island, the emergence of the Lone Star tick, and strategies for avoiding tick-borne illness. The series is held every Thursday from 5 to 6 pm in the Old Town Hall, everyone is welcome, and refreshments will be served. Also happening today is the Book Group, which will meet at 3 pm to discuss “The Rosie Result.” There will be a special story time this Saturday, July 27, at 10:30 am when the Taco Dragon from the book “Dragons Love Tacos” stops by for a visit. The Friends of the Aquinnah Public Library Open House will be held at the library on Saturday from 1 to 3 pm. Stop by to hear about what they do and get some refreshments in the process. Music on the Deck takes place every Tuesday from 5 to 6 pm. There is a free drop-in yoga class being offered every Wednesday in July and August from 4 to 5 pm in the old Town Hall. It is requested participants bring their own mat if they have one. It’s a slow and gentle class called Midweek Slowdown, taught by Jeremy Bresnahan. As if that’s not enough, the library also has museum passes available for the new M.V. Museum.

There will be an Island-wide Summer Reading event at the M.V. Ice Arena with a visit from Blades (the mascot of the Boston Bruins). Families can skate with him, with free skate rentals, on Wednesday, July 31, at 10:30 am. This event is sponsored by the Boston Bruins, the YMCA, M.V. Library Association, and M.V. Ice Arena.

You know you need this: Cat Garfinkle will lead a Restorative Yoga practice at the Yoga Barn this Saturday, July 27, from 3 to 5:30 pm. She will guide you through gentle poses that use props to fully support your body to help release layers of deeply held tension and blocked energy. To register or for more information, contact Cat at or 203-253-2261. Remember that Yoga at the Yard is happening as well, Monday through Friday from 7 to 8:30 am, Saturday at 8 am, and Sunday from 9 to 10:30 am.

The Possible Dreams auction to benefit Martha’s Vineyard Community Services will be this Sunday, July 28, from 5 to 7:30 pm at the Historic Tilton Farm on Middle Road. You can get tickets to this event on the MVCS website, MVCS helps people at every stage of life and in every town on this Island. They are a great organization to support.

Another fundraiser will be held this Sunday: Jillian’s Angelic Dreams Concert, featuring Ben Taylor and Deborah Cox, will be held at the Tabernacle at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available at

There are quite a few birthdays this week. Happy birthday to Berta Welch Thursday, July 25, Joan LeLacheur, July 26, Michael Sellitti, Sunday, July 28, Hollis Smith, Monday, July 29, and Jamie Spears Vanderhoop, Tuesday, July 30. Enjoy your special day, folks. Condolences go out to Priscilla Belain, whose brother, Donald Taylor, passed away last week in Twinsburg, Ohio. I’m so very sorry for your loss, Priscilla.