Aquinnah: Dawnland film screenings

—MV Times

Finally, rain. So needed, so welcome.

On Monday, August 8, the Aquinnah Cultural Center, in association with the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival, will present “Dawnland Films,” a screening of two films at the Aquinnah Circle. The event begins at 7:30 pm and is preceded by music performed by flutist Carole Vandal. Upstander Project co-founder and learning director Mishy Lesser will introduce the films and lead a discussion after the screening. This event is free and presented in partnership with the Upstander Project. The two films being shown are, “Bounty” and “First Light.” These films are part of the project’s “Dawnland” series.

Also at the ACC, the wampum belt exhibit has been extended through Sept. 12. Come and see this amazing exhibit. The ACC is open seven days a week, from 11 am to 4 pm.

JoanLeLacheur will host an open studio of her ocean shell jewelry this Friday, all day from 10 am to 5 pm, at 42 Old South Road in Aquinnah. If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, text Joanie at 508-939-1691. On Saturday, Joanie will be in Oak Bluffs at 99 Dukes County Ave. from 4 to 7 pm for a special Art Stroll.

The Aquinnah library will host the last two events of the Summer Speaker Series over the next two weeks. This Thursday at 5 pm, Philip Weinstein will discuss his new book, “Soul-Error,” about how we go through life reinventing ourselves, even as we think we remain the same. Next Thursday, August 11, at 5 pm, Luanne Johnson will speak about Aquinnah’s wildlife and how you can protect it. Luanne is a wildlife biologist and director of BiodiversityWorks, an island nonprofit focused on promoting biodiversity conservation. Both events will take place on the library deck. Email to register. The next meeting of the book group will be on Tuesday, August 16, at 3 pm to discuss “The Fire Keeper’s Daughter” by Angeline Boulley. Email to register.

On Friday, August 5, at 4 pm, the MV Museum will host a conversation with Jack Fruchtman, constitutional law scholar and local columnist for the MV Times (and Aquinnah resident), and MVM research librarian Bow Van Riper about “replacement theory.” The fear of being “replaced” by “others” is not new, but replacement theory has recently made headlines nationwide as the country reckons with a conspiracy theory gone violently mainstream. Join, for an interesting look at how even Martha’s Vineyard hasn’t been immune to the fear of others coming “from away” changing the Island. MVM members: $10; non-members: $15, you can reserve tickets at

There is a new Martha’s Vineyard Atlas of Life (MVAL) website, a resource for anyone interested in studying and conserving the unique biodiversity of Martha’s Vineyard. The website is a collaboration between BiodiversityWorks and the Betsy and Jesse Fink Family Foundation. The   MVAL is a community-powered catalog of the Island’s biological diversity. The website includes current and historical wildlife records, resources for the study of Vineyard natural history, links for reporting sightings and getting identification help, and accounts of interesting wildlife discoveries and developments in field biology and conservation. If you see something new, interesting, or exciting in the wilds of Martha’s Vineyard, you can document it at the new site at

Last week I had the pleasure of presenting Juli Vanderhoop with the M.V. Medal at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. She received the medal along with Gus Ben David, who was introduced with much gentle ribbing by Anne Whiting, and Kib and Tess Bramhall, who received their awards via Zoom and were introduced by Connie Ellis. Executive director of the museum, Heather Seger, presided over the event and there was a lovely reception after the presentations. Congratulations to all.

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