Nantucket Fall Arts Festival Spotlights Massachusetts Island’s Lively Arts

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Nantucket festival will showcase the arts on the island for 10 days from Friday, September 30 through Columbus Day Weekend, with art exhibits, theater, music, filmmaking, dance, and literary arts.

For a memorable visit to Nantucket, few experiences match the reliably pleasant fall weather and this annual showcase of the island's arts.

Nantucket Arts Festival returns this fall for 10 days including Columbus Day Weekend, from Friday, September 30 through Sunday, October 10, with dozens of visual art exhibits, concerts and performances. Scheduled so far are showings of paintings, sculptures and the printed arts; concerts of popular, classical and operatic music; theater performances; and screenings of videos and movies.

Produced by Nantucket Arts Council, the island’s leading advocacy organization since 1973 for all of the arts, the festival includes amateur and professional artists from Nantucket and beyond. This year’s festival theme, “Expect the Unexpected,” is to be interpreted literally, figuratively, or playfully by artists to explore new ways of executing their craft.

The festival’s centerpiece exhibit of visual art opens Friday, September 30, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Preservation Institute Nantucket, located at 11 Centre Street. Invitations to both professional and amateur artists invite them to contribute works to the festival’s centerpiece art show, known for its exploration of new directions in visual arts, outside of the mainstream. Musical entertainment, food and refreshments will be offered during the opening night, with the exhibit then continuing daily through Sunday, October 10.

Throughout the week other highlights include the popular Nantucket Shorts Festival of locally-made films and videos, a kids’ mini film fest, lectures, concerts, artist performances or readings in restaurants, open artist studios, private gallery events, and other arts and cultural events produced by the dozens of nonprofit organizations on the island.

Nantucket Arts Festival week culminates over Columbus Day Weekend, with an organ crawl on Saturday featuring a series of performances in downtown churches and a Sunday wet paint auction and dinner by Artists Association of Nantucket.

Many events are free of admission. For more information and up-to-date schedules of arts festival events, visit the Nantucket Arts Council website at or call their office at 508-325-8588.

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William Ferrall
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