Oak Bluffs: Summer community

Brian Weiland keeping it clean. — Joanne Lambert

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”  –Maya Angelou

I ran into Brian Weiland last week, picking up trash and sweeping the walkway above the beach on Seaview Avenue. Most of us know Brian as a master musician and the music teacher at the Oak Bluffs School, who has inspired so many children to learn and love music. Brian told me that cleaning streets has always been an act of community service for him, and he was happy to help the town in the constant struggle to keep trash where it belongs. We appreciate you, Brian — thanks!

The Union Chapel is a jewel of Oak Bluffs. It was built in 1871 at 55 Narragansett Ave. as an interdenominational place of worship for the summer community. It comes alive in the summer with weekly Sunday services that feature preachers and speakers from across the country, and lovely music by the Union Chapel Quartet. The unique octagonal building, with its soaring open cupola and diamond-pane windows, is owned and managed by the Vineyard Preservation Trust, and it is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

On Sunday, July 31, Union Chapel hosts the Rev. Arthur Jones from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. On Thursday, August 4, at the Chapel, the Charles Ogletree Public Forum Series presents “Telling Our Stories,” perspectives from black professionals in the media. The forum begins at 4 pm.

Over at the Tabernacle, don’t miss the All-Island Art Show on Monday, August 1, from 10:30 am to 3 pm (rain date August 2). This show provides a venue for both amateur and emerging Island artists to display and sell their works. Registration for artists begins onsite at 8:30 am. There is always a huge variety of amazing artwork, it’s a fun outing, and a great place to purchase art at reasonable prices. For more info, see mvcma.org

This Friday the Tabernacle sunset concert series features Jon Zeeman and his band, 6 to 7:30 pm. These free concerts are a real gift of summer! Many thanks to the Camp Meeting Association for providing this venue to hear great music outside on a summer night, and catch up with neighbors and friends.

On Saturday, more music at the Tabernacle with a capella group Vineyard Sound performing their 30th anniversary concert at 7 pm. This concert is a collaboration with IGI to raise awareness of food insecurity. There are hungry and homeless people on the Island; we must not forget them during the summer rush. Buy your ticket to enjoy the show for $20, and be part of the solution. 

Barbara Rogers from the Friends of the West Tisbury Library let me know that they are continuing their weekly pop-up book sale on Sundays from 12 to 4 on the library porches. There is a wide variety of books, and each week includes a special category section. On July 31, the theme will be “Military and Maritime.” 

Saturday, July 30, in Ocean Park we celebrate Della Hardman — professor, artist, activist, and Oak Bluffs town columnist. Della Hardman Day started in 2005 as a tribute to her life organized by family, friends, and the many people she had positively influenced. The town of Oak Bluffs proclaimed the last Saturday in July as Della Hardman Day, a day to celebrate the arts and the joy of living, or as Della said, “Savor the Moment.” This is a free community event, starting at 4 pm, including speakers, music, and visual art. 

On Sunday night, the Vineyard Haven Town Band will play favorite tunes at the bandstand, 5:30 to 7:30 pm. 

“Islanders Write” is this weekend at Featherstone Center for the Arts. This celebration of the art, craft, and business of writing offers two full days of free workshops and panel discussions, Saturday night, July 30, and full days Sunday, July 31, and Monday, August 1. The workshops look amazing, and the panels include so many favorite authors and topics! I don’t want to miss this one: Richard Michelson, awardwinning poet, author, and speaker — and Oak Bluffs Polar Bear — will be talking with Marc Brown about “The Secret Language of Children’s Writing: Two renowned children’s book authors reveal all” on Sunday at 10 am. But check the schedule at mvartsandideas.com — there is much to choose from, you’ll have to plan your time!

The Mariposa Museum is hosting “Museums and Mocktails” an art reception for HBCU Legacy Week. From 4 to 6 pm, enjoy mocktails, mingling, and a guided art tour with special guests.

July birthdays include Rachel Barrett Perry and Denise Cote-Alwardt on the 29th, and Ashley Medeiros on the 30th. Bob Laskowski celebrates on August 1, along with Maureen Farrissey and my cowgirl cousin, Julie Lawrence. Birthday hugs to Seniel Hannigan on August 2, and to Brian Weiland on August 3.

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