Monthly Archives: July 2009

Nantucket Arts News

Dave Provost has won the New England Songwriting contest last weekend at the Ossipee Valley Bluegrass Festival. Congrats Dave.

The deadline to register your business for the Nantucket Arts Festival InsomniACK night (many downtown businesses will stay open until midnight) and to get an advertisement into the Arts Festival (Friday August 28 through Sunday, September 6) program is Friday, July 31st. The program will list all arts, cultural, historical, and special events for free. Trunk shows, open houses, salon concerts, wine tastings, demonstrations, lectures, are all welcome. Advertising is accepted in the program – printed ads begin at $100 for full-color. and 10,000 copies will be printed. Go to the Nantucket Arts Council website.

The Artists Association of Nantucket has many workshops and summer classes throughout the summer. Registration is online at where you can browse all the offerings. Questions, call 508-228-0722. Some sample course for children: Comic Book Creations on the Computer, Beaded Jewelry, Adventures in Art History, Art & Storytelling, Parent & Child Painting at the Beach, Wheelthrowing. For adults: Morning Light Landscape Painting, Oil Painting Workshop, Watercolor Workshop, and Paint, Paper, Paste.

The Brotherhood now has live jazz on Friday nights from 10 to midnight. I popped in for a few minutes last weekend, and liked what I heard. The band has no name, but it’s comprised of Jon Brickley on bass, Jake Wardwell on drums, Aiden Sherry and Jason Sullivan on guitars, and Howard Bloom on tenor sax. Check them out here on YouTube, and support local jazz.


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Round the Horn

Theatre Workshop of Nantucket

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Books: “A Line in the Sand”

“A Line in the Sand: The Battle to Integrate Nantucket Public Schools, 1825-1847” by Barbara Ann White, published by Spinner Publications. From the press release:

A monumental struggle for equal rights took place on Nantucket in the 1840s. On one side were the island’s black community and their abolitionist allies joined by renowned anti-slavery advocates Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and Stephen S. Foster. On the other side were prominent town citizens who wanted no part of integration.

In 1978, Barbara White, a teacher on Nantucket, found petitions sent in 1845 from Nantucket to the state’s General Court describing the injustices suffered by students confined to the island’s African School and pleading for legislation to make it possible for them to attend Nantucket’s other public schools. From the petitions, town records, court records, newspapers, and letters, Barbara White has reconstructed the story of how perseverance on the part of islanders – men and women, black and white together – overcame cruel racial prejudice.

Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex says this: “As recounted by White, the integration of the Nantucket schools is the story of not only a remarkable island community in the mid-nineteenth century, but of a nation struggling with many of the same issues of equality and race that concern us to this day.”

Beverly A. Morgan-Welch, Executive Director, Museum of African American History, Boston says: “Barbara White does justice to an important part of Nantucket’s most challenging and enlightening history. She goes beyond what is available in our history books about black Nantucketers to write this powerful story of the equal education movement. “A Line in the Sand” reveals Nantucket as a microcosm of this nation’s conflicted campaign to end slavery and provide education in schools open to all children.”

“A Line in the Sand” will be available in bookstores on August 5, 2009.


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Nantucket Arts Festival

The Nantucket Arts Council’s 17th Annual Arts Festival will take place from Friday, August 28 through September 7 (Labor Day). Heading the committee responsible for organizing the Festival is Nantucket Arts Council board member Elisabeth Hazell.

This year a new event–“InsomniACK: Art After Dark” – will kick off the Festival. On Friday, August 28 during “InsomniACK,” downtown businesses, galleries, and nonprofits will keep their doors open until midnight, when the evening will conclude with a cash prize drawing. Special events being organized by participating businesses and organizations downtown and on the wharves will take place throughout the night, leading up to the midnight cash drawing.

The Festival will showcase the creative talents of many talented Nantucketers -from talented local photographers, painters, weavers and musicians to Nantucket High School students, who will be staging a premiere of a creative video project they have been working on for the past year.

The Arts Council expects to attract over 4,000 participants throughout the Festival, concluding with the busy Labor Day weekend. A printed map and program will be distributed free all over the island. The deadline is August 1 to submit listings for the printed program. All listings must be submitted online. To list your organization or business and events, go to

Oran Mor


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Nantucket Economy

On August 1, the state sales tax and meals tax will increase from 5% to 6.25%.

Following are the traffic statistics for the Steamship Authority between Hyannis and Nantucket for 2009 through June 30 compared to the first six months of 2008. Thank you Flint Ranney for providing these numbers.


Fast Ferry, 51,869, down 0.3% (returned to route April 16)

Regular ferry, 109,469, down 3.9%

Total passengers, 161,338, down 2.8%


Regular, 7,132 down 9.3%

Excursion, 12,206, down 1.6%

Total autos, 24,788, down 5.7%

Trucks: 19,456, down 16.9%

Martha’s Vineyard comparisons:

Passengers, 827,790 down 3.5%

Autos, 158,138, down 1.6%

Trucks, 47,867, down 5.1%

Total overall SSA traffic is down 8.8% to date in 2009.