Saturday, March 2, 2019

Pamela Parmal: Quilts, Coverlets and the American Experience

Photo courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Harriet Powers (American, 1837-1910)
Pictorial Quilt
American (Athens, Georgia), 1895-1898
Cotton plain weave, pieced, appliqued, and embroidered
Bequest of Maxim Karolik, 64.619
At 7pm on Tuesday, March 19, Vineyard Haven Public Library will present a talk by Pamela A. Parmal, Chair and David and Roberta Logie Curator of Textile and Fashion Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The program is entitled Quilts, Coverlets and the American Experience.

Quilts and bed covers are emblematic of the American experience. Their longevity and ubiquity make quilts and coverlets the ideal “democratic” art form from which to explore the story of America and its people. This talk will introduce an exhibition planned for the fall of 2020 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, that will feature more than 50 iconic examples and examine this complex history by going beyond aesthetics and technique to reveal the lives of diverse Americans whose stories are rarely told. Many of the selected pieces were made by people of European ancestry; however, the inclusion of quilts and other bed coverings created by African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans, as well as examples from Britain, France, and India, enables visitors to gain a broader understanding of our diverse society. Stories of the many human lives that contributed to textile production, directly and indirectly through enslaved and immigrant labor, need to be told. Distinct narratives embedded in each of the exhibition’s quilts and coverlets also connect to broader ones, such as the movement of commodities and labor across oceans and continents, the nation’s territorial expansion and its emergence as a world power.

Pamela Parmal began work at the MFA in 1999 as Associate Curator, became Curator and Department head in 2004 and was appointed Chair of the David and Roberta Logie Department of Textile and Fashion Arts in 2014. She has curated a number of exhibitions including Fashion Show: Paris Collections 2006, November 2006-March 2007; And So To Bed: Indian Bed Curtains from an Stately English Home, November 2008-July 2009; The Embroideries of Colonial Boston in 2012; and #techstyle, March-July 2016. She most recently collaborated on the exhibition Casanova: The Seduction of Europe for which she has written an essay on Casanova and dress.

Parmal received a Masters Degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. The University of Wisconsin granted her BAs in Art History and French. Before taking her position at the MFA, she worked as Assistant and then Associate Curator for the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design where she served as co-project director during the planning stages for the NEH funded exhibition and catalogue, From Paris to Providence: The Tirocchi Sisters Dressmaking Shop and curated the exhibition, Geoffrey Beene, for which she also wrote the accompanying catalogue.

Photo courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Harriet Powers (American, 1837-1910)
Pictorial Quilt
American (Athens, Georgia), 1895-1898
Cotton plain weave, pieced, appliqued, and embroidered
Bequest of Maxim Karolik, 64.619

Luce Play Readers: Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers

On Wednesday, March 13th at 7pm at the Vineyard Haven Public Library, the Peter H. Luce Play Readers will present a reading of  Neil Simon's "Lost in Yonkers, produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. Charlena Seymour will direct a cast that includes Polly Brown, Joe Corbo, Felicity Russell, Cynthia Segal, Jay Sigler, Linda Vadasz and CK Wolfson. This free performance is sponsored by the Friends of the Vineyard Haven Public Library, and refreshments will be served. Doors will open at 6:30pm for the 7pm performance.

By America's great comic playwright, Lost In Yonkers won a Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize. This memory play is set in Yonkers in 1942. Bella is thirty-five years old, mentally challenged, and living at home with her mother, stern Grandma Kurnitz. As the play opens, ne'er-do-well son Eddie deposits his two young sons on the old lady's doorstep. He is financially strapped and taking to the road as a salesman. The boys are left to contend with Grandma, with Bella and her secret romance, and with Louie, her brother, a small-time hoodlum in a strange new world called Yonkers. Neil Simon is widely regarded as one of the most successful, prolific and performed playwrights in the world.

For more than 15 years, the Peter H Luce Play Readers have met every Wednesday of the year at the Vineyard Haven Senior Center from 9am to Noon to read plays of every era and of every genre, from the Greek and Roman classics to the cutting-edge works of contemporary playwrights... and everything in between: Shakespeare, Shaw, Checkov, Moliere, Miller, Ibsen Albee, O'Neil, Pinter and Neil Simon. The group is named for its founder, Peter Luce, who died in 2007.

The Friends of the Vineyard Haven Public Library encourage public understanding of the Library's vital role in the community, support activities for both adults and children, and provide various other volunteer services. Their mission is to support the Library, to build a partnership between the Library and the community and to advocate for exemplary library service. All volunteers and those who are interested in knowing more about the Friends meet at 10:15am on the second Saturday of every month at the library.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Register For 2019 Great Decisions Discussion Group

Register Online to receive program updates!

The Vineyard Haven Public Library Great Decisions Discussion Group will meet for 8 sessions on Thursday evenings at 7pm, beginning April 4th, 2019.

A Great Decisions Discussion Group is composed of interested individuals who want an opportunity to learn and participate in the foreign policy decision-making process. The Foreign Policy Association (FPA) has published the Great Decisions briefing book, a well researched annual publication covering eight timely global topics to be read by group participants in order to prepare for each discussion. At each meeting we will show a 30 minute documentary film on that week's topic, to be followed by a moderated discussion.

Please register online or at the library. This year, a limited number of briefing books are available for purchase at the library for $25, payable to the Friends of the Vineyard Haven Library. Copies of the briefing book are also be available for in-library use.

Topics and meeting dates:

Thursday, April 4th
Refugees and Global Migration 
Today, no countries have open borders. Every state in today’s global system has its own laws and policies about who is permitted to cross its borders, and how they will do so. Who determines whether someone is a refugee or a migrant? How have different countries, including the United States, reacted to migration? How effective are the international laws, policies and organizations that have evolved to assist and protect refugees and migrants?

Thursday, April 11th
The Middle East: Regional Disorder
As the presidency of Donald J. Trump passes the halfway point, the Middle East remains a region in turmoil. The Trump administration has aligned itself with strongmen in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, which along with Israel have a common goal of frustrating Iranian expansion. What will be the fallout from policy reversals such as withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear accord and moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem? Does the United States see a path forward in troubled states such as Syria, Yemen, Libya and Iraq? Is the United States headed toward war with Iran?

Thursday, April 18th
Nuclear Negotiations: Back to the Future? 
Nuclear weapons have not gone away, and the Trump administration has brought a new urgency, if not a new approach, to dealing with them.  The President has met with Vladimir Putin as the New Start Treaty with Russia comes up for renewal in 2021, the first presidential summit ever with Kim Jong-un occurred to discuss denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, and President Trump has decertified the Obama nuclear deal with Iran.  To what degree should past nuclear talks guide future U.S. nuclear arms control negotiations?  Can the art of the deal apply to stabilizing our nuclear future?

Thursday, April 25th
The Rise of Populism in Europe
Mass migration, and the problems associated with it, have directly abetted the rise of populist parties in Europe. Opposition to immigration was the prime driver of support for Brexit, it brought a far-right party to the German Bundestag for the first time since the 1950s, and propelled Marine Le Pen to win a third of the vote in the French presidential election. In addition to calling for stronger borders, however, these parties are invariably illiberal, anti-American, anti-NATO and pro-Kremlin, making their rise a matter of serious concern for the national security interests of the United States.

Thursday, May 2nd 
Decoding U.S.- China TradeThough arguably the most advanced economy in the world, the United States still uses centuries-old numbers to measure trade.  These antique numbers mangle understanding of the U.S.-China trade relationship, shrinking America’s true economic size and competitiveness, while swelling China’s.  Bad numbers give rise to bad policies that ultimately kill U.S. jobs and cede market share to China.  What other tools can the United States employ to counter China’s unfair trade practices?  There are several available, yet they remain mostly unused.

Thursday, May 9th
Cyber Conflict and Geopolitics Cyber conflict is a new and continually developing threat, which can include foreign interference in elections, industrial sabotage and attacks on infrastructure. Russia has been accused of interfering in the 2016 presidential elections in the United States and China is highly committed to using cyberspace as a tool of national policy. Dealing with cyber conflict will require new ways of looking at 21st century warfare. Is the United States prepared to respond to such threats?

Thursday, May 16th
The United State and Mexico: Partnership Tested The United States and Mexico have a long, intertwined history, with both countries prominently featured in each other’s politics and agendas. The war on drugs, immigration and trade issues have taxed the relationship over the years. What impact will new leadership in both countries have on this crucial partnership?

Thursday, May 23rd
State of the State Department and Diplomacy During the Trump administration, the usual ways of conducting diplomacy have been upended. Many positions in the State Department have never been filled, and meetings with foreign leaders such as Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin have been undertaken with little advance planning. What effect are these changes having now, and how will they affect ongoing relationships between the United States and its allies and adversaries?

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Weather Related Schedule Changes

Tuesday, February 12th:
Due to forecast for winter weather, tonight's talk by Herb Foster at Vineyard Haven Public Library has been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 12th at 7pm NEW DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

State and Federal Tax Forms Now Available at the Library

A limited number of Massachusetts state resident and Federal tax form booklets are now available at the library.

Following the most expansive tax law changes in 30 years, the IRS created a shorter, simpler Form 1040 for the 2019 tax season. The new Form 1040 will replace the current Form 1040 as well as the Form 1040A and the Form 1040EZ.

The new Form 1040 uses a "building block" approach, in which the tax return is reduced to a simple form. That form can be supplemented with additional schedules if needed. Taxpayers with straightforward tax situations would only need to file this new 1040 with no additional schedules.

Vineyard Haven Library will have a limited number of forms available as Package 1040, that will include one copy of the new Form 1040 along with one copy of the schedules. Instructions for Form 1040 are also available in a separate booklet.

Package 1040 Contents:
•        Form 1040 — U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
•        Schedule 1 — Additional Income & Adjustments to Income
•        Schedule 2 — Tax (Additional Taxes)
•        Schedule 3 — Non-Refundable Credits
•        Schedule 4 — Other Taxes
•        Schedule 5 — Other Payments and Refundable Credits
•        Schedule 6 — Foreign Address and Third-Party Designee

To obtain tax forms not available at the library:

Order forms be delivered by mail:
or Call 1-800-829-3676

Download from the IRS website:

Monday, January 14, 2019

"Food for Fines" Food Drive in February & March

Vineyard Haven Library will be holding a "Food for Fines" food drive throughout the months of February and March, 2019. During this time, pay your overdue fines with canned goods or healthy non-perishable food items (unopened, current items only, please check your expiration dates). This applies to late fines only and not to replacement charges for lost or damaged items.

The food collected will be given to the Island Food Pantry for distribution to those in need in our community. Suggested donation is one item for each $2 waived in fines.

Monday, January 7, 2019

EVENT RESCHEDULED: Community Meeting: Library Addition Visioning

Event cancelled for January 24th, rescheduled for February 7th

Vineyard Haven Public Library has engaged Maryann Thompson, Architects, to design an addition to the library building at 200 Main Street, in order to build a multipurpose meeting room. The Tisbury Vision Forum and Library Building Committee will host a community meeting at the library at 6 pm on Thursday, February 7th to gather input through a Wishlist and Character Study process with Maryann and her team.

The Wishlist process will discover what people like and dislike about the current space, and come up with possible ambitions for the addition/renovation. The Character Study will consist of looking at images of projects, spaces and materials to narrow in on how the community would like the new space to look and feel. All are welcome and refreshments will be served.

Following this community meeting, Maryann Thompson will be working on design concepts that will be presented to the public later this spring. Prior to construction, the library will be undertaking a capital campaign to raise the funds for the proposed addition.

More information about the proposed addition is available on the library website at


Maryann Thompson, FAIA, was educated at Princeton University and the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, where she received Masters in Architecture and in Landscape Architecture. She brings to her practice an interdisciplinary approach where issues of site and landscape are central to design thinking. Maryann received a 1998 AIA Young Architects Award, which states that “...although Maryann has been in practice for less than a decade, she has made a significant contribution to architecture.

Maryann is a Professor in Practice of Architecture, Harvard University, Graduate School of Design. She has taught design as a visiting faculty member at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rhode Island School of Design, University of Virginia, University of Michigan, and Rice University. She founded Maryann Thompson Architects in 2000. Prior to that Maryann was a founding partner of Thompson and Rose Architects. 

The firm is committed to a design process that is collaborative with the client and the community, believing in an inclusive and collaborative design process, based on dialog and relationship building, to imbue their architecture with the essential spirit of the community.

Maryann Thompson has a long time connection to Martha’s Vineyard and has a home in Chilmark. Her past projects on Martha’s Vineyard include the Polly Hill Arboretum Visitors’ Center and a number of private homes.

See also

Cutting the Cord: Alternatives to Cable TV

On Tuesday, January 15th at 5:30 pm, Vineyard Haven Public Library will host a free "Cord-Cutting" workshop, presented by State Representative Randy Hunt of Sandwich. The workshop is an extension of a recent collaboration between Cape and Islands legislators, local senior centers and councils on aging, and libraries.

This interactive presentation was created by Randy Hunt to educate residents on how to save money on monthly bills by exploring alternatives to cable and satellite TV. Representative Hunt will walk attendees through some of the options, and explain how they work and how much they cost. The presentation includes a live demonstration and Q&A session.

Attendees can expect to learn more about over-the-air programming, streaming equipment (such as Apple TV and Roku), and streaming services (such as Sling TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and CBS All Access). Consumers will also discover how they can use their internet connection to eliminate their landline telephone service.


Vineyard Haven library and other island libraries offer streaming equipment including Roku and Chromecast devices, that can be checked out to try at home. Contact Vineyard Haven Reference Librarian Alexandra Pratt for more information.

Regenerative Backyard Gardening: Gardens of the Future

Island libraries are partnering with Island Grown on a free garden workshop series, taking place on three winter Saturdays from 10:30 am to noon. The first session takes place at Oak Bluffs Public Library on January 19th. Additional sessions will be held February 16th at West Tisbury Library and March 23rd at Vineyard Haven Library.

Winter is the perfect time to dream about (and plan for) a garden that nourishes people, wildlife, and the planet. Learn how to use regenerative gardening practices to grow edible plants, conserve water, eliminate your use of fossil fuels, and make compost in your own backyard. This free series will be hosted on three winter Saturdays at different island libraries.

This free series will be facilitated by Roxanne Kapitan, Landscape Manger at Oakleaf Landscape, and an organic grower for Middletown Nursery. For more information, contact Noli Taylor, or (508) 687-9062.