Oak Bluffs: Summer Community – The Martha’s Vineyard Times

“Do your best until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. –Maya Angelou

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

The Union Chapel is an Oak Bluffs gem. It was built in 1871 at 55 Narragansett Ave. as an interfaith place of worship for the summer community. It comes alive in the summer with weekly Sunday services featuring preachers and speakers from across the country, and beautiful music from the Union Chapel Quartet. The unique octagonal building, with its open cupola and diamond-paned windows, is owned and operated by the Vineyard Preservation Trust, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

On Sunday, July 31, Union Chapel hosts Reverend Arthur Jones of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. On Thursday, August 4, at the Chapel, the Charles Ogletree Public Forum Series features “Telling Our Stories,” the views of black media professionals. The forum starts at 4 p.m.

At the Tabernacle, don’t miss the All-Island Art Show on Monday, August 1, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (rain date August 2). This exhibition allows amateur and emerging artists from the Island to exhibit and sell their works. Artist registration begins onsite at 8:30 a.m. There’s always a wide variety of amazing artwork, it’s a fun outing and a great place to buy art at reasonable prices. For more information, see mvcma.org.

This Friday, the Tabernacle Sunset Concert Series features Jon Zeeman and his band, from 6-7:30 p.m. These free concerts are a real treat of summer! Many thanks to the Camp Meeting Association for providing this place to listen to great music outside on a summer evening and catch up with neighbors and friends.

Saturday, more music at the Tabernacle with a capella band Vineyard Sound performing their 30th anniversary concert at 7 p.m. This concert is a collaboration with the IGI to raise awareness about food insecurity. There are hungry and homeless people on the island; they should not be forgotten during the summer rush. Buy your ticket to enjoy the show for $20 and be part of the solution.

Barbara Rogers of the Friends of the West Tisbury Library has let me know that they are continuing their weekly ephemera sale on Sundays from 12-4pm 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, at Ocean Park, we celebrate Della Hardman – teacher, artist, activist and columnist for the town of Oak Bluffs. Della Hardman Day began in 2005 as a tribute to her life organized by her family, friends and the many people she had positively influenced. The town of Oak Bluffs proclaimed the last Saturday in July Della Hardman Day, a day to celebrate the arts and joie de vivre, or as Della put it, “Savor the moment.” This is a free community event, starting at 4 p.m., featuring speakers, music, and visual arts.

On Sunday evenings, the Vineyard Haven Town Band will play their favorite tunes at the bandstand, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

“Islanders Write” is this weekend at the 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 evening July 30 and full days Sunday July 31 and Monday August 1. the panels include so many favorite authors and subjects! Don’t want to miss this one: Richard Michelson, poet, author and award-winning speaker – and Oak Bluffs Polar Bear – will discuss with Marc Brown “The Secret Language of Children’s Writing: Two Renowned Children’s Book Authors Reveal All “. Sunday at 10 a.m. But check the schedule on mvartsandideas.com – there’s plenty to choose from, you’ll need to plan your time!

The Mariposa Museum is hosting “Museums and Mocktails,” an art reception for HBCU Legacy Week. From 4-6 p.m., enjoy mocktails, socializing, 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 Brian Weiland on August 3.

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