Juli Vanderhoop selected for Creative Living Award

Juli Vanderhoop has been chosen to receive this year's Creative Living Award for her dedication and commitment to Martha's Vineyard and its community. —Outerknown

The Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation has chosen Aquinnah’s Julianne Vanderhoop as the 40th Creative Living Award recipient. 

“Juli’s dedication to this Island and to the communities she serves are the embodiment of the

spirit of the Creative Living Award,” said Alec Walsh, board president of the Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation, in a recent press release. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to honor her with this award.” 

The Foundation’s Creative Living Award serves to recognize Island community members who demonstrate unwavering commitment to local organizations, and have contributed creatively and innovatively to the quality of life. 

The honor dates back to the establishment of the Ruth J. Bogan and Ruth Redding Fund in 1983, just a year after the Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation was created. The Bogan and Redding Fund donated $60,000 to the Community Foundation to make the award possible. 

The award was created to honor Ruth Bogan, who “loved beauty, who loved the Vineyard, and who believed ‘anyone can do anything,’” the release says. “A description that aptly fits this year’s honoree.”

Those tapped to receive the designation exemplify a spirit similar to Bogan’s, a nurse who first came to the Island in 1947, and taught herself a number of skills, including photography, painting, sculpting, gardening, cooking, and several languages. The award was inspired by her passion for creativity. 

“The Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation is proud to recognize Juli’s tireless efforts to support community well-being, and her outstanding ability to blend creativity, tradition, and innovation into a harmonious whole,” foundation reps said in their announcement Friday.

In addition to her roles as a Wampanoag tribal elder and Aquinnah Select Board member, Vanderhoop has served on boards of a number of local organizations, such as the Island Housing Trust, Island Grown Initiative, and the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group.

Vanderhoop is also the founder and builder of the renowned Orange Peel Bakery, located in Aquinnah. She opened the bakery on returning to her hometown after years of traveling, exploring, and living off-Island.Since being established in 2006, Orange Peel Bakery has been somewhat of an unofficial community center, a mecca for togetherness.

Orange Peel “has become a community staple thanks to Juli’s passion for baking, her commitment to using the finest natural elements — including building her famous oven from Le Panyol clay imported from France — and her unwavering dedication to community,” the foundation’s release says. “Baking, dining, and creating are not solitary activities, but communal experiences. Shared values include the connection to and appreciation of the land, and passing of this connection on to others.”

“We are thrilled that Juli has graciously accepted this well-deserved honor,” Paul Schulz, executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation, added. “Her unwavering

dedication to our community’s well-being inspires us all.” 

On being chosen to receive the Creative Living Award, Vanderhoop said it came unexpectedly, but called it “a great honor.”

“I’m really grateful that the community has welcomed me once again as a lifelong Islander who tries for this Island community,” she said, “to support what the needs of the people are.”


  1. YAY Juli- well deserved! You stick you neck out there for the community again and again! Thank you and congratulations.

  2. Congratulations, Juli Vanderhoop! Well done.
    Ruth Bogan sounds interesting, too.
    I will look her up to see if there’s a biography.

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