Chilmark: Music and dance

Great Ponds exhibit organizers Edward Miller, far left, Peter Miller with yellow pants, and Monina Von Opel, dress, are joined by MV Bank CEO James Anthony, tie, and MV Bank V. P. Jeanne Ogden for the exhibit opening at the Chilmark bank branch. — Valerie Sonnenthal

I attended opening night of Built on Stilts, and was treated to an incredible hour of engaging, strong performances. Don’t miss out on this great donation-based dance festival. See

It was buzzing last Friday night as runners checked in at the CCC for Saturday’s race. Across State Road, an exhibit curated by Monina Von Opel and Edward Miller from the M.V. Hospital’s Permanent Art Collection on the Great Ponds opened at the Martha’s Vineyard Bank, and is up till Sept. 1. If you’re disappointed the art isn’t for sale, enjoy it and make a donation to our local hospital. Learn more at

If you’re not familiar with M.V.’s newest magazine, Bluedot Living, check out the new Summer 2022 issue, with Oak Bluffs artist Hannah Moore’s exquisite cover, and Chilmark stories about Rebecca Gilbert’s Weed Wisdom, Salt Rock Chocolate, Local Hero Pam Goff, plus the Art and Life of M.V.’’s Great Ponds. Look for free hard copies at Cronig’s and other food stores, or online at

Amor Towles offered a perfect talk last night, easily holding his own at the PAC to close the summer author series. He is a fascinating writer who clearly shared his creative process. Thank you, Suellen Lazarus, and everyone who works on and volunteers to make the M.V. Author Series happen here in Chilmark and beyond.

It’s time for the Ag Fair, so on Saturday August 20, the Farmers Market will be at the Grange Hall. If you happen to stop by the Ag Fair Friday evening and see Nancy and Joel Aronie, be sure to wish them a happy 55th anniversary.

Join me for a Restorative Sound Journey at Peaked Hill Studio on Wednesday, August 17, at 7 pm. Sign up at

August 19 is the last day of camp at the CCC. Tennis and adult activities continue through Sept. 2. For more info, see

Try “Pepper Tasting” at Beetlebung Farm on Thursday, August 25, from 5 to 6 pm. Sign up at

Be sure to stop by the M.V. Museum for the last weekend of “Stan Murphy at 100.” Also, “They Planted the Seeds: Creating Jewish Community on Martha’s Vineyard,” up through Sept. 18. Learn more at

The Milokan Cultural Center hosts Haitian superstar James Germain for a fundraiser on Friday, August 19, from 6 to 8 pm, with shuttle service from the Menemsha Shuttle lot located behind the dump on Tabor House Road. Teens and adults can now take an “Intro to Haitian Drumming” on Mondays from 10 to 11:30 am or Thursdays from 5 to 6:30 pm for a suggested donation of $25. Also check out the Family Fire Dance with s’more roasting on Wednesdays from 7 to 9 pm. For questions, contact Rick Bausman: or 774-563-0870. Be sure to check herbalist Rebecca Gilbert’s offerings. Please, no dogs. Check out other music and farm happenings at

This week’s Sunday Flanders Field Softball reports one of the more spectacular softball games not just of this summer, but in recent history. A triple-header was played to accommodate a huge turnout of all-age players. Jim Ketchum and members of the extended Ketchum family included players and spectators who had gathered this past week to celebrate the life of the family’s beloved matriarch, Ellie Ketchum, a dignified and commanding presence, who died this past year at 93. Ellie enjoyed attending games over many years, and watching Jim and other family members play. The first game ended after the five-inning mercy rule took effect. Joel Bleir’s team slugged Jim Feiner’s team into submission, 15-0. The game featured a humongous home run by new player Jed Kassoy, as well as some great fielding by a youngster named Andrew Finkelstein. Game 2 might have been the game of the year, as Peter Halperin’s team defeated Joel Bleir’s team 7-6. Great flashy fielding by an assortment of younger players including Roman Israel, Hunter Weiss, and Chris Sanlon Shelby, who made a great running catch. Jason Balaban, no longer on the disabled list, rejoined the lineup wearing a dapper straw hat while playing an excellent third base. Sig van Raan, as a backup catcher, made his first putout at home since 2014 on a brilliant fielding play by Josh Plaut. Julius Kass, the mysterious batter who emerged out of the cornfield last week, hit another monster home run. The third game, a 5-inning affair, sparked defense especially from some of the younger players who predominated as team Bleir edged team Solmssen in a low-scoring affair. Gorgeous weather, a great crowd, and fun all around on a morning dedicated to Ellie Ketchum. Chilmark Softball games at Flanders Field (on Pasture Road off Tabor House Road), Sundays at 8 am. Players must be 12 years or older, and all skill levels are welcome.

The Chilmark Library and Felix Neck host “Mammal Adaptations” on Thursday, August 18, at 10:30 am, with a focus on mammal teeth adaptations for food preferences. Preregistration required, open to families of all ages, call 508-645-3360 to register. MV poet laureate Jill Jupen exploring “Tangled Up In Verse: Unraveling Dylan’s Poetics” on Wednesday, August 24, at 5 pm. Programs are hybrid, in-person and on Zoom. Email for more information. Afternoon Lego Club meets Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m. For further help, call 508-645-3360 or Summer hours: Monday and Friday: 10:30 am to 1 pm, Tuesday and Thursday: 10:30 am to 5 pm, Wednesday: 10:30 am to 6 pm, Saturday: 10:30 am to 3 pm. See

In-person MV BLM vigils at the Chilmark Library lawn are on Sundays at 10:30am. Learn more at Keep up with what’s going on with MV BLM and subscribe to their YouTube channel at

Donation drop-off times at the Dumptique are Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9 am to 2:30 pm and Sundays from 9 to 11 am.

Check It’s a Chilmark Thing on Facebook for up-to-date information about our town and Island.

Have a good week, and Happy August.

If you have any Chilmark Town Column suggestions, email Valerie Sonnenthal,