Chilmark: Virtual music series

Janet Schinderman, who spent a month this summer in Chilmark, brought her “Only you and I can end racism” sign from the Island and stood with it on Broadway's upper west side. She reports: "I took what I learned from my time at the [Beetlebung] vigil and conversed with everyone." — Valerie Sonnenthal

It’s been six COVID months since I’ve been in NYC, but I agreed to go with my husband last weekend. Turns out my trepidation was misplaced. Although I passed a few people in the streets without their faces covered, they still had masks on, ready to cover themselves to walk indoors. I shopped at the Whole Foods on Houston and Bowery at 7 pm on Thursday, and went into another large grocery store on Laguardia Place and Bleecker, and found both less stressful than many experiences at home; everyone kept a six-foot distance, and there were fewer shoppers than here.

I have gotten takeout, but not eaten out, on-Island, partly from my experiences dropping off family at the ferry and finding way too many people without masks on near the Post Office in O.B., so just decided I’d wait until September. I have avoided Menemsha at sunset because it felt too crowded, but in NYC the streets were comfortable, maybe because they’re wider. Curbside dining filled in the evening. A couple of friends who are doctors at Bellevue and Mount Sinai confirmed their hospitals hadn’t seen a COVID case in months.

I went to the Whitney Museum for “Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art 1925-1945,” and had the opportunity to see Thomas Hart Benton’s “Selections from American Historical Epic,” including works all painted in 1927–28: “Jesuit Missionaries,” “Struggle for the Wilderness,” and “Lost Hunting Ground.” Benton worked on this 14-panel project “believing art’s role was to tell the truth. This mural cycle celebrates American history also drawing attention to environmental and social injustices. By depicting the persecution of Black Americans, Native Americans and women who were accused of being witches, Benton argued that slavery, racial conflict, and the displacement of Indigenous peoples, and economic exploitation, were fundamental aspects of the country’s early history.” See the exhibit online at

Lucy Vincent Beach is open, no lifeguards are on duty. No dogs allowed until after Oct. 15. There are signs posted, please respect them.

Thursday, Sept. 24, from 5:30 to 6:30 pm, Kate Taylor, Jemima James, Rose Guerin, and Barbara Dacey are singing together at the M.V. Museum, with a suggested donation of $20 per person. RSVP required at or 508-627-4441.

The Massachusetts Library System and Communities Responding to Extreme Weather begin Climate Prep Week with two library programs on Thursday, Sept. 24: “Resilient Agriculture: Climate Impacts on Our Foods Systems, and How We Can Respond,” at 1 pm, offers a discussion led by Enet Mukurazita and hosted by the Yale School of Forestry’s Library with women farmers in Zimbabwe on their experiences dealing with climate impacts. Register at And at 7 pm, join sociologist Eric Klinenberg in a community discussion about his new book “Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality” Register at See the full schedule of programs running through Wednesday, Sept. 30, and sign up at On Thursday, Oct. 1, at 7 pm the Chilmark library virtual music series continues with Mac and Cheese: Irish, Celtic and American Traditional Music with Twin Cities, Minn., duo Pete McCauley and Tim Cheesebrow. Email to sign up and get the Zoom invitation. For library info, see, and sign up for the weekly newsletter on the Programs page.

The Yard’s Jesse Keller Jason is offering adult virtual dance classes Mondays 2 to 3 pm and Wednesdays 10:30 to 11:30 am thru the West Tisbury library. To receive the Zoom invitation, please email the West Tisbury library at

The Chilmark Church Sunday 9 am services continue on Zoom.

Schedule a free COVID-19 test at 877-336-9855. If you need any help, Chilmark Neighbors offers volunteer assistance. You can find them and anything COVID- or town-related at

This was Jan Buhrman’s last week for takeout dinners. Virtual cooking classes continue, and you can find the Kitchen Porch team at the Farmers Market until it sadly ends at the end of October. Learn more about her other offerings at

If anti-racism is on your agenda, MV BLM sends out weekly information on actions you can take to make a difference. Just email to be added to the list, and keep up on local and nationwide activities.

If you’re on Facebook, check It’s a Chilmark Thing for up-to-date information about our town and Island.

Have a good week.

If you have any Chilmark Town Column suggestions, email Valerie Sonnenthal,