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Archive for the ‘Local Culture’ Category

Cotuit Park

For two short, perfect summer days, from August 14 to Saturday, August 15th, over a hundred sweet white tents full of arts and crafts will occupy the gently sloping park that surrounds the Cotuit Federated Church and the town library. It is the 39th Annual CraftFest in Cotuit – a compelling combination of local food, local crafts, and local performances. (more…)

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FAWC 2

Beginning in the summer of 1899, when the Cape Cod School of Art was founded, and continuing up to today, Provincetown has been one of the nation’s foremost artists’ colonies – a place where artists of all varieties could live, learn, and be inspired by each other and by their surroundings. Carrying on the tradition is one of Provincetown’s most honored arts institutions, The Fine Arts Work Center on Pearl Street. The FAWC has been around since 1968, making it the country’s oldest continuous artist colony.

For the entirety of the summer, The Fine Arts Work Center holds visual arts and creative writing workshops that are taught by some of the country’s most accomplished artists. And, lucky for us, the FAWC arranges for these artists and writers to give artist talks and readings to the general public. Last Monday’s lineup was irresistible: the poet Ralph Angel, the novelist Colum McCann, and the artist Peik Larsen were all scheduled to share glimpses of their most recent projects. I had been looking forward to going for weeks, yet, as I faced the hour and a half long drive from my home in Mashpee to Provincetown and then back again, my mind raced with any excuse available to cancel my much anticipated plans. Was an evening of highfalutin artsy entertainment enticing enough to justify spending over 3 hours in Cape Cod traffic? The answer, it turned out, was an emphatic yes. (more…)

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The bandstand was paid for and built by the volunteer amateur musicians who make up the Chatham Band.

Ever since the 1940s, families have gathered during the warm summer months on the gently sloping green of Kate Gould Park to attend the Chatham Band Concert. From 8 to 10 p.m., on Friday nights only, forty band members ranging in age from teens to octogenarians, all dressed snappily is red and blue uniforms, squeeze into the bandstand with their instruments in hand. As dusk settles over the town, the bandleader turns to face the crowd and shouts, “Hi-De-Ho!” and the audience merrily replies, “Hi-De-Ho!” and it is that call and response which begins every Chatham Band Concert, a tradition beloved by generation after generation. (more…)

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The Woods Hole Film Festival ticket booth and their charming Marilyn Fishroe t-shirts.

The Woods Hole Film Festival ticket booth and their charming Marilyn Fishroe t-shirts.

The Woods Hole Film Festival is currently in full swing and I was anxious to check out the scene. So, last Monday, after waiting 15 minutes for the mysteriously raised Woods Hole’s Eel Pond Bridge to be lowered (there was nary a ship in sight), I made the brief walk over to the Woods Hole Old Fire Station, and quickly bought tickets at the makeshift ticket booth. As I was browsing the festival t-shirts and other wares, I had a short conversation with a film festival attendee who has a summer home in Falmouth and is a filmmaker herself. We talked shop. She told me that, though this was a great festival, it wasn’t that popular among those who purchase and distribute films, so it wasn’t a hot spot for the movie making wheeling and dealing that happens at larger festivals such as those in Sundance, Toronto, and Cannes. But, though a large part of the importance of festivals for filmmakers is to make connections with people that can take their films to the next level, a film festival is also crucial for building audiences and spreading word-of-mouth about these wonderful, independent movies. I’ve attended large film festivals in New York and Toronto, and I have to say that I prefer these smaller, less industry oriented film festivals. It’s easier to get tickets and everyone’s there for the films, not for the drama of celebrity sightings and back-room deal making.

That Monday, I saw three documentaries that had two things in common – all were made by woman filmmakers (huzzah!) and all seemed to circle around how faith shapes our lives. In “Making the Crooked Straight“, the documentary’s protagonist is guided by his devotion to Orthodox Judaism to live a life aiding those in desperate need. While “Women of Faith” investigates the complex feelings a group of nuns have towards the Church that they have spent their lives honoring. And, finally, “Saint Misbehavin” tells the story of another faithful, yet more psychedelic, servant to the good of man, Wavy Gravy, aptly described as “a genuine Mahatma of the Cosmic Giggle” and the “illegitimate son of Harpo Marx and Mother Theresa, conceived one starry night on a spiritual whoopie cushion.” (more…)

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Clam Pie is one of the shorts made by A.S. Films that will be featured on July 2 at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod

Clam Pie is one of the shorts made by A.S. Films that will be featured on July 2 at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod

Tomorrow night (Thursday, July 2) the Cultural Center of Cape Cod will showcase the short films of local filmmakers Dan Boylan and Guy Taylor of A.S. Films. I thought it sounded interesting…I’m definitely going to check it out. Let’s support our local artists!

These are the details:

Film Festival by A.S. Films International
July 2, 7pm$10.00 suggested donation. In June 2008, A.S. Films International’s short film, Moment of Silence, won a CINE Golden Eagle Award in the Independent Fiction Short Division. The 15-minute film is a tragedy and was written, directed and produced by A.S. Films’ Dan Boylan and Guy Taylor, who also produced Clam Pie, a film that features the great Great Island Bakery in Bass River and other Cape locations. Both of these are among the short films that Boylan and Taylor will screen and discuss on the 2nd. Light refreshments will be served. This event supported in part by the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod.

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Getting Ready to Watch 500 Days of Summer at the Provincetown International Film Festival

Getting Ready to Watch 500 Days of Summer at the Provincetown International Film Festival

As we all collectively face another weekend of heartbreakingly bad weather, I am here with the good news that there is something wonderful to do that will keep you happy and (mostly) out of this blasted rain. From now until late Sunday night, the Provincetown International Film Festival is on. I am up here now, staying at a friend’s beautiful house, and ready to watch an eye-searing, brain-numbing multitude of movies over the next three days. Please come join me!

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Cahoon CookingIt seems that there is nothing but a sad cluster of rainy days ahead of us, so let us find comfort and entertainment where we can. Few things lift my spirits better than the cheerful and whimsical mermaid paintings by the folk artists Ralph and Martha Cahoon. The Cahoon Museum, housed in a 1775 Georgian colonial farmhouse on Route 28 in Cotuit, where the artists’ once lived and worked, is a perfect place to shake off the soggy day blues. Though their paintings tend to evoke New England coastal scenes from the 19th century, Ralph and his wife Martha were painting in the second half of the 20th century, becoming two of America’s premier and successful primitive painters, collected by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Paul Mellon, and the DuPonts, among others.

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