Astronauts and Authors
August 3, 2023
Start planning now because this is no ordinary weekend on the Vineyard!
Astronauts and space exploration in Oak Bluffs? That’s right. It’s happening in Waban Park on Friday, August 4 and Saturday, August 5 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at From STEM to the Stars. Presented by the National Math and Science Initiative, NASA, Blue Origin, and Blue Origin’s nonprofit Club for the Future, the two-day event is packed with activities for kids and adults alike, including opportunities to board Blue Origin’s New Shepard capsule and a screening of the film The Color of Space. Saturday’s highlights will include The Astronaut Experience at 1 p.m.; a panel of Black astronauts, including Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr., will share their space exploration stories and initiatives to champion black youth in STEM education.
Meanwhile up in Chilmark, the 2023 Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival is also happening this weekend, August 4 – 6. This year’s free festival takes place at the Chilmark Community Center and features panels and interviews with 26 book authors, including Elizabeth Alexander, Jessamine Chan, Christian Cooper, Rebecca Makkai, Rachel Swarns, Jeannette Walls and the Vineyard Gazette’s Bill Eville. Saturday’s panels run from 9:30 a.m to 2:30 p.m. Sunday’s author talks run from 8:30 a.m to 3:40 p.m. Friday night’s opening event with Kara Swisher and Seth Meyers is sold out.
But wait, there’s more! Keep reading to discover other enriching events happening on the Island in the upcoming days. Then be sure to visit The Complete Martha’s Vineyard Calendar for an updated listing of all events.
The 21st annual Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival gets underway Friday, August 4 with a schedule of screenings, discussions and special events happening through August 12. Screenings include documentaries about women in hip hop and Black land ownership as well as features including a biography of activist Bayard Rustin and a crime thriller steeped in the racial tension in the Los Angeles area in the early 1990s.
While you’re in Waban Park on Saturday, August 5, check out The Black Party MV: A Long Talk, Community of Change from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. The family event will feature a live DJ, dominoes and spades tables, a kickball tournament, Double Dutch and activities for kids.
Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Polly Hill Arboretum on Saturday, August 5 from 3 to 7 p.m. The celebration includes tours, live music, games and food trucks. Bring a picnic and blanket to enjoy the Arboretum grounds.
The Yard is bringing the dance theatre ensemble Urban Bush Woman back to the Vineyard with Haint Blu, a piece UBW has been developing on-Island for the last couple of years. Performances begin Wednesday, August 9 at Orange Peel Bakery and continue through August 12.
The Granary Gallery will preview new works by Jeanne Staples, Cindy Kane, Ross Coppelman and David Wallis at an opening reception on Friday, August 4 from 4 to 6 p.m.
Prepare for your next summer dinner party by picking your own flowers and then learning floral arrangement with the flower farmers from Firecat Farm. Casey and Dalila will lead a Centerpiece Creation workshop tonight, Thursday, August 3, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the FARM Institute in Katama. Pre-registration required.