Annual Creative Living Award nominations open 

From left, the foundation's board chair, Isabelle Lew, and Emily Bramhall handing Robert Douglas his Creative Living Award in 2021. — Eunki Seonwoo

The Martha’s Vineyard Foundation is now seeking nominees for its annual Creative Living Award. The foundation supports the community by turning charitable contributions into grants that public and nonprofit organizations on the Island can use. The fund works with Island students by giving out funded scholarships, as well as providing extended resources to the community through the building of an endowment.

This award recognizes a community member who demonstrates commitment to the Island and local community, contributing positively to the quality of life. Recipients have shown to embody the spirit of Ruth J. Bogan, who inspired the award. Bogan, who adored the Island when she arrived in 1947, taught herself multiple types of arts despite being a trained nurse, including photography, painting, sculpting, gardening, cooking, and several languages. When Bogan moved to the Island to retire, the Ruth J. Bogan Fund was established to recognize and appreciate creativity as Bogan did. 

This honor dates back to 1983, when the Ruth J. Bogan and Ruth Redding Fund was established, just a year after the Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation establishment in 1982. The Bogan and Redding foundation donated $60,000 to the Community Foundation to make this award possible. The winning recipient of this award receives an honorarium from the fund of $1,000. Last year’s 2020–21 Creative Living Award recipient was Captain Bob Douglas, for his leadership, passion, and unorthodox creativity. Douglas sparked a return of wooden ships in Vineyard Haven during a time when they had almost disappeared from American seas. He did this with the Shenandoah, a boat he designed, which repopularized wooden boats and their functionality, contributing to traditional sailing practices.

To nominate a candidate for this year’s award, whether an individual or organization, submit a nomination online at, or mail a nomination to P.O. Box 243, West Tisbury, MA 02575, or An explanation detailing how they honor and personify Ruth Bogan through their creative contributions to the Island must be included. All nominations are due by Thursday, July 21. The Community Foundation will announce the award. The date for the announcement has not yet been scheduled. 

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