Open invitation

M.V. Museum will be open free of charge during school vacation.

Martha's Vineyard Museum entered a memorandum of understanding with Tisbury that includes paying $5,000 per year in lieu of taxes.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum will be open free of charge to all visitors during the upcoming school vacation week. According to a press release from the museum, beginning Saturday, Feb. 20, through Sunday, Feb. 28, guests can visit the current exhibitions on display and participate in a variety of safe, socially distant activities with their family. Because of strict COVID-19 protocols and even greater reduced capacity than the state is currently requiring, visitors are asked to reserve a time slot for their free experience before coming.

In addition to seeing the exhibitions on display, exhibit gallery Bingo cards and an outside scavenger hunt for families to complete will be available upon arrival. Back inside in the Morgan Learning Center, the release states, children will be able to make their own compass rose banner to resemble the compass rose on the museum’s front lawn and create their own scrimshaw drawings. 

If you need a free ride to the museum, the Vineyard Transit Authority will drop students and/or families off for free Feb. 22 to 26 as part of their school vacation week initiative. Just mention that you’re participating in school vacation week and want to visit the M.V. Museum when you board a bus.

The museum’s changing exhibitions currently include Neal Rantoul’s Above and On the Ground, where visitors can see Rantoul’s landscape photographs taken in 1990 along with more recent shots showing development on the Island in the last two decades. Making Change: Stories of Vineyard Activism tells the local story of activism efforts on the Island from 1820-2020, paying particular attention to the fight for Native American self-determination and African American civil rights. The Waggaman Community Gallery also has an exhibit by Jannette Vanderhoop, showcasing Vanderhoop’s personal treasure boxes paired with original poetry.

Those who won’t be on-Island during vacation, the release says, can participate in a daily social media scavenger hunt Feb. 22 through 26 for a chance to win a free family membership and bag of goodies from the Museum Shop. Each morning, staff will post a prompt on Facebook and Instagram asking you to take a picture and tag the museum with an accompanying example from Island history. Anyone who tags the museum in a photo satisfying that prompt by 10 pm that evening will be entered to win, with the winner being announced on Saturday, Feb. 27. The more days you participate, the more chances you have to win.

All of the necessary COVID-19 protocols will be in place while visiting the galleries or venturing outside to take pictures for the social media scavenger hunt. Wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash your hands, and stay home if you’re sick. If you plan to come to visit the museum in person, only 20 visitors are allowed in the galleries at any time to ensure the safest experience possible. Reserve your free slot at