Aquinnah: Service, art, and culture

— Kyra Steck

If you are looking for ways to give back to your community or to be more involved, or you really like attending meetings, read on. There are many positions open on various town boards. Please note that I said “give back to your community” not “seize power over the townsfolk.” There’s a difference.

The official Aquinnah Annual Town Meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 11, at 7:30 pm. The Annual Town Election will be held on Thursday, May 13, from 12 to 8 pm. Why am I mentioning this now when May is a long way off? Two reasons: one, we need something to look forward to and due to the pandemic, the town meeting is something I am genuinely looking forward to because I will get to see many people I haven’t seen as they are not in my pod. The second reason is that nomination papers are available for the following positions: select board, planning board, board of health, landbank commission, constable, library trustee, and school committee. That’s a lot of service that needs to be done. If you are interested in any of those positions or know someone who is, the last day to submit nomination papers to the Board of Registrars for certification (49 days before election) is March 25 by 5 pm. The last day to file nomination papers with Town Clerk (35 days before election) is April 8, by 5 pm. The last day to register to vote for the Annual Town Meeting and the Annual Town Election (20 days before the meeting) is Wednesday, April 21.

Sign up for a Treasure Box Workshop with Aquinnah artist Jannette Vanderhoop this Sunday, Jan. 31, from 11 am to 12:30 pm in the Morgan Learning Center at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. This program will take place indoors and is capped at six participants to allow for social distancing. Masks are required at all times. Please bring objects to include, but boxes and additional found objects will be provided; museum members $15, non-members $20. Go to to register. Jannette’s exhibit of her treasure boxes is up at the museum until March 5, and the class includes a tour of the exhibition.

The Aquinnah Cultural Center has the book “Braiding Sweetgrass” by author Robin Wall Kimmerer for sale. “Braiding Sweetgrass” endows its reader with the recognition that the world has offered us endless gifts, and the giving of our own gifts as thanks in a “covenant of reciprocity.” Miss Kimmerer reveals new ways of knowing and seeing while protecting indigenous wisdom and seeking to heal humanity’s relationship with the world. The ACC is offering the book at the same price as Amazon at $16 plus shipping or if you live on-Island, email for pickup at Go to and click on shop. Buy local and support an important nonprofit in Aquinnah.

The Trustees of Reservations is offering a winter birding program. Apparently winter is a good time to learn birding (I’m guessing because all the pesky leaves are gone). The program will take place at Long Point Wildlife Refuge and will be led by a Trustees naturalist. An introduction will cover binocular use, field guides, benefits of birding, and helpful hints for identifying birds in the field. Then, explore the refuge’s diverse habitats in search of winter birds. Space is limited to allow for social distancing and preregistration is required at Masks are mandatory and the program will be held entirely outdoors. Cost is $10 for non-members; $5 for Trustees members. If you have questions, contact or call 508-693-7662.

Happy Birthday to the one and only Marvin Jones who celebrates on Thursday. Happy Birthday to David Vanderhoop who celebrates the next day on Jan. 29, and Adam Gebb whose birthday is the second day in February.

If you have any Aquinnah Town Column suggestions, email Molly Purves,