Aquinnah: Old, new, borrowed, blue

— Kyra Steck

I got the opportunity to speak with Bradford (Brad) Lopes II, the new program director at the Aquinnah Cultural Center this week. He is the grandson and namesake of Aquinnah Wampanoag tribal elder Bradford Lopes. He was born in New Bedford and his family moved to Maine when he was young, where he still lives and teaches the rest of the year. He has many family members here and taking the position at the ACC and returning to Aquinnah feels to him like a “homecoming.” He is excited to design and implement some exciting programs here, as well as learn from the institutional knowledge of the past. In September he will begin his fifth year teaching social studies in Wiscasset, Maine. He teaches a World Cultures class and a Native North American Studies elective. He is also an advocate for and works as an ally to the Wabanaki Nations of Maine. I look forward to meeting Brad in person and seeing his work come to fruition at the ACC.

The Annual Aquinnah Native Artisans Market is back live. It will be held this Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm at the Aquinnah Circle (rain date is Sunday, July 18). The ACC is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm at the Vanderhoop Homestead.

At the library, the Summer Speaker Series continues tonight at 5 pm with Isabella Stewart talking about her new book, “Tangled Vines, Island Crimes.” This event will take place on Zoom, Email to register.

Roberta Gross has a new exhibit up at the West Tisbury library titled “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue.”  It runs through July and is in person and online at There are different works in each show. Roberta is a 20-year seasonal resident of Lighthouse Road in Aquinnah. When she is not painting, she can be spotted swimming at Lobsterville Beach with her English springer spaniel, Frankie, or biking up and down Moshup Trail.

The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival’s drive-in at the YMCA continues this week with Shakespeare for the Masses performing “Macbeth” live on stage. While I am not part of this production, I have worked extensively with this troupe since its inception, and I can say that you will not regret seeing this show. The gates open at 7:45 and the show begins at 8:30 pm. On Friday the movie, “Inside Out” will be shown and on Saturday, the hit musical, “In the Heights.” Go to for tickets.

Welcome home to Chelsea Kelley (Ives) who is visiting her family here for a time. Happy birthday to Tobias Vanderhoop who celebrates on July 15, Roger Cook who celebrates on July 17, and Susan Shea who celebrates on July 20, and happy belated birthday to Skyler Ignacio who turned 23 earlier this week.

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