Nantucket Shorts

Nantucket Arts Festival returns for its 25th year!

Audience Favorites Featured in Nantucket Arts Festival

Friday, October 4 through Sunday, October 13, 2019

The celebrated Nantucket Arts Festival returns this October for its 25th year, with a packed schedule of arts and cultural happenings. The festival’s signature events and audience favorites include: 

  1. Lively exhibits of works by dozens of local amateur and professional artists 
  2. A progressive concert on historic organs through the island’s churches 
  3. A video shorts festival featuring more than a dozen finalists by Nantucket residents
  4. Plays, dance, lectures, poetry readings, mini-concerts, movies, and more special exhibits

The festival is a collaboration with member businesses and organizations of Nantucket Cultural District, produced by Nantucket Arts Council, the island’s leading arts advocacy organization since 1973. Festival headquarters are at Nantucket United Methodist Church, corner of Main and Centre streets. Many events are free or have a nominal admission. Latest program details are online at or A printed program book will be available the week of the festival.

Festival highlights in detail:

  1. Nantucket Arts Council’s annual art exhibit showcases amateur and professional artists’ work not typically seen in the island’s galleries. Opening night reception for artists and patrons is Friday, October 4, at 6:30 pm with a concert by the local jazz group Trio à la Française in the sanctuary of the United Methodist Church, corner of Main and Centre streets. The exhibit opens immediately after the concert. This year’s exhibit theme is Re-Imagining the Real—Shifting Our World View. The exhibit runs daily through Sunday, October 13 (gallery times TBD).
  2. A special exhibit of recent paintings by residents of Our Island Home, those who take part in art classes taught by artist and teacher Kathleen Duncombe, will be on display throughout the festival at the public transportation hub Greenhound Building on Washington Street, a block off Main Street.
  3. Nantucket Community Music School annual Organ Crawl on Saturday, October 12 . Historic organs are played at St. Mary’s Church, First Congregational Church, Unitarian Church, St. Paul’s, and United Methodist Church. Performances are timed so that listeners can travel from church to church in succession. 
  4. Manhattan Short Film Festival shows selected brief movies in over 400 cities worldwide including on Nantucket at Nantucket Atheneum. Its second screening is Friday, October 4 from 7 – 9 pm.
  5. Nantucket Shorts Festival shows two hours of video films made by local amateur and professional filmmakers, on Saturday, October 12, at Nantucket Dreamland at 4 p.m. Themes range from moody to comedy and animation. Visit for tickets.
  6. Artists Association of Nantucket presents its annual Wet Paint Auction and Benefit Dinner on Sunday, October 13. Member artists create work throughout the week, with a free public showing Sunday afternoon in the Nantucket Yacht Club on South Water Street, followed by a live auction and benefit dinner, with limited seating. Visit for more information.

During both weekends and throughout the week, look for lectures, plays, concerts, and movies from Theatre Workshop of Nantucket, White Heron Theatre Company, Nantucket Music School, Nantucket Atheneum, Dreamland Film and Performing Arts Center, and more organizations in and around the downtown Nantucket Cultural District. Many events are free or have modest admission prices. For additional programming, locations, and event times visit or, or call 508-325-8588. Programming will also be announced on the Facebook pages and Twitter accounts of both organizations.

Nantucket Arts Festival

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