This year the Arts Council is honored to present the Nantucket Arts Council Merit Award to Beverly Hall. Beverly Hall has contributed and nourished the arts community since moving to the island in 1964. On her arrival, she established the Children's Gallery on Old South Wharf and launched art classes for children. Her life long career commenced as a black and white portrait photographer and recorder of the island's physical beauty with a deep connection to the essence of her camera's subject. The arts and spirituality are central to Beverly's life witnessed in the development and care of her Madaket home and gardens. In most recent years, Beverly Hall has created and performed in "Hanna in Her Garden: An Afternoon at Greater Light.” Hanna Monaghan and her sister Gertrude, who transformed Greater Light from a livestock barn into their summer home and artistic retreat in the 1930s, were daring, eclectic, and passionate about the arts. Beverly Hall brings the spirit of Hanna to life as she reads from Hanna’s writing and memoirs in the lush garden of the NHA’s Greater Light historic property. With an insatiable appetite for creativity, Beverly is also embarking on an Nantucket Community Television show called "Passion for People," interviewing and collaborating with exciting Nantucket artists. Inspiring and mentoring many artists, Beverly Hall has served many years on the Nantucket Arts Council Board.
The award, presented occasionally to appropriate recipients, traditionally honors those individuals who have enhanced, and shaped the course of Nantucket cultural life in a profound and lasting manner. In 2015, Nantucket Arts Council presented its Merit Award to longtime Nantucket arts leader and former Main Street Gallery owner Reggie Levine. Past recipents include Max Berry (2013), Cecilia and Seward Johnson (2012), Paulette Allemand (2011), Lucile W. Hayes (2005), Deborah Beale (2004) and Susan P. Jarrell (2003).
Nantucket Arts Council’s fall festival opens Friday, September 30 and closes on Sunday, October 9 of Columbus Day Weekend. This annual festival will celebrate the broad array of arts and culture on Nantucket, with plans are in progress for this year’s celebration to include visual, musical, theatrical, literary, and other fine arts along with appreciation of the island’s historical, architectural, and other cultural assets.
Nantucket Arts Council encourages Nantucket’s many arts and culture groups to begin thinking of special programming during the festival, which in 2015 had the suggested theme of “art of the see," with more than 800 visitors to the centerpiece visual arts exhibit at Sherburne Hall. In all, Nantucket Arts Festival events in 2015 welcomed more than 2,000 admissions to its many events including exhibits, plays, musical performances, opera, video, readings, studio visits and more.
Downtown Celebrity Concerts have been produced by Nantucket Arts Council for over two decades. The productions showcase outstanding professional musicians from the national and international musical scenes, keeping music alive on Nantucket for our year-round residents. Look for announcements soon about this year's series, which will feature monthly concerts from March through May 2016.