Oak Bluffs: Dorothy West exhibit, music concerts, and ‘Borders to Bridges’ launch

—MV Times

“If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes, or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody.” –Anthony Bourdain

I have been a fan of Anthony Bourdain since I read his April 1999 article in the New Yorker, “Don’t Eat Before You Read This.” It was the most authentic description of the restaurant kitchen I had ever heard. “Kitchen Confidential” followed, an entire novel about the craziness and terrible beauty of life in the kitchen. He was a chef, an author, and a world traveler, and it was fun to be along on his ride through his books and TV shows. Anthony Bourdain would have been 67 on June 25.

Graduation caps have been tossed, speeches made, and tears cried. School is out for summer. Congratulations and happy summer to all the students, teachers, and staff! The weather hasn’t felt a whole lot summerlike yet, but these last weeks of June have that feeling in the air of anticipation. It’s all about to begin — the beach days, the barbecues, the summer events, the summer crowds. Oh, and the summer jobs. Be generous and kind to the workers in our restaurants and shops this summer.

I was on the harbor for Harborfest on Sunday, which was a fabulous day as always, even with a little drizzle. Coop de Ville was crowded to overflowing, and the very new server confided to me that she was very stressed. I said, “You’re doing a great job; you look confident and calm.” She told me later that my comment got her through the rest of her shift. It’s the little things.

Be sure to get to the M.V. Museum to see “The Extraordinary Life of Dorothy West.” Our beloved Oak Bluffs resident, who was a journalist, author of novels and short stories, actress, and youngest member of the Harlem Renaissance, lived an amazing life that spanned almost the entire 20th century. This exhibit showcases never-before-seen photographs, and brings her story to life.

In a rare Vineyard gathering, acclaimed Island songwriters, including a trio of Taylors — Kate Taylor, Ben Taylor and Isaac Taylor — plus Rose Guerin, Jemima James, Willy Mason, Lexie Roth, John Forté, and Chadwick Stokes will perform a one-night benefit concert for Island Elderly Housing on June 30 at the Tabernacle. The show starts at 7:30, and you can get your tickets at eventbrite.com.

Summer events and services have begun at the Tabernacle, with Yoga under the Tent every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8 am. Sunday services with guest preachers are at 9:30 am.

The Sunset Concert Series on the Tabernacle lawn will begin on Friday, July 7, with jazz by the Eric Mintel Quartet. Each Friday from 6 to 7:30 pm through the summer, the MVCMA will present these wonderful concerts to enjoy outside. Bring your chairs, blankets, and picnics — but they ask that you leave your dogs at home. A full schedule can be found at mvcma.org.

One of my favorite summer activities — Featherstone Center for the Arts will be starting its sunset concerts on the lawn beginning Friday, June 30, with Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish. The music starts at 6:30, and you should get your tickets online one week ahead at featherstoneart.org. “Musical Mondays” will begin on July 10 with the very popular Jon Zeeman band. The tickets for Mondays work the same way — one week ahead on the website. Details about the concerts can be found there as well.

“Borders to Bridges” book launch is Saturday, June 24, at the W.T. library. Authors of this arts-based curriculum for social justice Lynn Ditchfield and Janice Frame will be at the library from 3:30 to 4:30 to present this beautiful and powerful tool for teaching in an antiracist, inclusive way. For more information, check out borderstobridges.com.

The Vineyard Haven Town Band will be playing at Ocean Park on Sunday, June 25, to kick off their summer schedule. The music starts at 7:30 pm; bring your lawn chair and enjoy a musical sunset! The band will play alternate Sundays through the summer, and other music will be filling in, so plan your Sunday evening picnics in the park.

Happy birthday to Coach Jay Schofield on June 23. Patty Philbin celebrates on June 25, and she shares that date with Kristen Coogan, Suzanne LaBell Graham, and Carly Simon. On June 26, we celebrate Donna Getty, and June 27 is Pat Ingalls’ special day. Happy birthday to Ashley Rebello Andrews and Leanne Giordano on the 28th. We wish a sweet birthday lullaby to author Stacy Hall on June 29.

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If you have any Oak Bluffs Town Column suggestions, email Joanne Lambert, joannelamber@gmail.com.