Still keeping the light on

Pathways Arts continues to host virtual arts and culture events.


The slogan for the Pathways Arts program is “Keeping a Light On in Chilmark.” This statement reflects the fact that the up-Island community generally has very little going on in the winter, and Pathways has managed to bring entertainment and education to the Chilmark Tavern space for the past 10 years with an off-season series of events. Now the same could be said to be true Island-wide, as Pathways is continuing to host virtual events which can be enjoyed from home.

“We’re not just doing as much as we have in the past, we’re doing even more now,” says Pathways co-director Keren Tonnesen. “And now we’re planning to extend past our usual season, which would normally be drawing to a close around now.”

Among the regularly scheduled events, Pathways is continuing its popular Tuesday Writing and Poetry series. Each week a number of writers share recent work via video from their homes. All of the readings can be enjoyed live, and are then posted individually online. Since Pathways has always recorded and posted all of its events on the website, there are hundreds of videos available for viewing at any time. These include not just readings but music and dance performances, films, videos, and more.

The visual arts are represented on the Pathways site as well. All of the former gallery shows from when the space was still open have been digitally curated and posted. In honor of Black History Month, Pathways displayed art by a number of African American artists. Work by Suesan Stovall, Shavanae Anderson, and Chioke Morais that was included in the exhibit can now be found on the website.

In January, Pathways hosted a Cinema Dance Festival, which included a slideshow of dance photos by Sally Cohn and Dena Porter. This exhibit can now be found on the website, along with the work of photographers Bob Kimberly and Anna-Maria Strömberg.

Some of the many other artists whose work is available to view include Basia Jaworska, Nygel Jones, Ed Schulman, Harry Seymour, Alejandro Carreno, and Whitney Cleary. Videos by Richard Skidmore, Rachel Baird, and others are also online.

One interesting new initiative is a series of Art Talks. The first episode is posted on the website. Frances McGuire discusses her series of drawings done during a recent hospital stay for knee surgery. Each of the fascinating drawings, which depict the operating room with surgeons and nurses, and McGuire’s view from her hospital room, along with her recovering knee, is discussed briefly by the artist, along with anecdotes about the experience she captured visually.

Other Artist Talks will follow. Any local artists are invited to participate from their own homes — wherever that might be. Pathways is also looking to feature work by any artists, working in any discipline; contact them with ideas.

Pathways will continue to provide new content and invent new ways to present the arts and culture to a virtual audience. “We’re repackaging it again,” says Tonnesen. “We had to figure out how to go on without Marianne [Goldberg, founder of Pathways], and we’ve been continuing to evolve and refine. Now we’re onto something entirely new.”

Since Pathways has always been about experimentation, collaboration, and inclusion, the organization is bound to discover new ways to “keep a light on” during this otherwise rather dark period of time.

Check out to watch some of the artists at work.