Aquinnah: The crowning piece of the evening


The Aquinnah Cultural Center hosted its annual fundraiser last Wednesday at the Cliffs and it could not have been better. There was food and drink and a silent auction, but the crowning piece of the evening was a dance performance. The performance was a collaboration between the Yard, Danza Organica, and the ACC. Surrounded by silk tapestries painted by Ella Vanderhoop that each told a different part of the story of the Wampanoag, the dancers took the stage. First, the members of Danza Organica performed to Carole Vandal’s flute. They were then joined by Janette Vanderhoop, Micah Washington and James Moreis. The dance was a story of whales and people hunting them. Janette was a whale that was killed; the other dancers surrounded her and sang a Wampanoag funeral song that says, “Do not grieve, this is a new day, a new beginning.” Woody Vanderhoop on drum and Carole Vandal (now playing a shaker) kept perfect time and tension throughout the dance. At the end, Christina Hook came and read a piece about the history of the Wampanoag and their relationship with the whales, the land, and the people who came before. It was truly stunning, and I was glad to hear that it is going to be developed into something more expansive. I look forward to seeing it evolve.
Rachel Elion Baird, RYT, is teaching a yoga class on Lobsterville Beach on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8 to 9 am. It is a one-hour Hatha Asana practice. The class is happening now through Sept. 6, please note there are no classes on August 26, 27, and 29, or when it’s raining. Bring your own mat or towel; there is no pre-registration required. Classes are $12 per class and 10 class cards are available for $100. For more information contact If you would rather do yoga inside, Neva Goldstein teaches a Vinyasa-style yoga class that focuses on breath and alignment at the Old Town Hall on Monday and Wednesday mornings from 9 to 10 am. For more information contact Neva at The library is sponsoring a slow yoga class on Wednesday afternoons from 4 to 5 pm at the Old Town Hall. That class will run through the end of August.
The library is hosting a special story time with Kate Feiffer this Saturday, August 17, at 10:30 am. Kate has written 11 children’s books. She will read “Henry the Dog with No Tail” and other favorites. The public health nurse will be taking blood pressure and answering questions from 2:30 to 3:30 pm on Thursday, August 15. The speaker series continues at 5 pm on Thursday at the Old Town Hall with Herb Foster discussing his book “Ghetto to Ghetto: Yiddish and Jive in Everyday Life.” Kids and adults can get henna tattoos on Tuesday, August 20, from 4 to 5 pm. To book a spot, sign up at the library or call them at 508-645-2314. Music on the Deck will be Tuesday at 5 pm. The library also has MV Museum passes to lend.
Did you run the Chilmark Road Race and feel like you need an even bigger challenge? Then sign up and run in the 7th annual Gay Head 10K on Sunday, October 6. The race starts at 10:30 am and supports the maintenance of the Gay Head Lighthouse. Registration is now open and is limited to 500 runners. To register go to
Happy birthday to musical sensation Kate Taylor who celebrates on Thursday and to Barbie Bassett who celebrates on Tuesday. Did you all know that this is the week of the Ag Fair, Illumination Night and the Fireworks in Oak Bluffs? Yeah, it’s kind of a big week here. I will see you at some or all those events. While at the fair, give a special thought or prayer to Angie Waldron who loved the fair and will be watching it from wherever she now is in the universe. We miss you Angie!