Sail MV will present Cronkite Award to Alison Shaw


Sail Martha’s Vineyard (Sail MV) will present the Walter Cronkite Award to local artist and photographer Alison Shaw. The presentation will be made Thursday, July 8, at Sail MV’s signature annual event, this year presented online, the Virtual Seafood Buffet and Auction.

Shaw will be the ninth recipient of the Walter Cronkite Award, presented each year to honor an individual who has advanced the appreciation of maritime culture on Martha’s Vineyard. According to the release, Cronkite was an early and important supporter of Sail MV. Previous recipients of the award were Ray Ellis, Matthew Stackpole, Capt. Robert S. Douglas, Ross Gannon and Nat Benjamin, S. Bailey Norton Jr., Nathaniel Philbrick, Steven Ewing, and Brock and Hope Callen.

The online presentation will be part of Sail MV’s major fundraising event, the Virtual Seafood Buffet and Auction. As part of the Support Sail MV 2021 campaign, supporters are urged to purchase tickets and tables for the evening, with the option of making donations or bidding on iconic local sailing adventures, boats, and, of course, full-course lobster dinners. The goal is to raise $100,000 to support summer programs that teach more than 400 youth every year, maritime studies courses at the high school, a year-round rowing program, the high school sailing team, and promotion of the maritime heritage of the Island.

“I would be touched and delighted to be the recipient of the award,” Shaw says in the release, “and I especially appreciate it from the perspective of being an artist and photographer with a passion for boats and nautical scenes as the subject matter for my art.” Shaw’s work may be found on her website,

Thanks to work by board member and ESPN producer John Wilson, July’s virtual program will feature video stories of Sail MV alumni and important maritime partners on the Island.

Auction items for the event are donated by local businesses and boat owners, including V. Jaime Hamlin at Home, Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway, and Sail Magic Carpet.

Information on Sail MV’s programs can be found at