Savor the moment, she said; it was her favorite phrase. Della Brown Hardman, the distinguished artist, educator and volunteer died in December of 2005. And now each year the last Saturday in July is set aside in the town of Oak Bluffs as a day to remember her. The fourth annual Della Hardman Day is tomorrow and a series of events are planned to celebrate the arts, as Della did so beautifully in her own life.
The main event will be at 4 p.m. in Ocean Park tomorrow, featuring the 25th anniversary performance of A Joyful Noise, a narrative on the spiritual by Zelma W. George presented by the U.S. Slave Song Project Inc. led by Jim Thomas. Guest narrators are community activist Sandra Grymes of Oak Bluffs, Chicago-based publisher Haki Madhubuti and poet Rose Styron of Vineyard Haven.
A Joyful Noise premiered at Karamu House in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1983 and was later broadcast on PBS. The one-hour program in the park will appeal to people of all ages.
Other events include a Savor the Moment photography contest and exhibition sponsored by the Oak Bluffs library tomorrow at 2 p.m. And a prize in Della’s name will be given out at the annual All-Island Art Show on August 4.
Tomorrow’s event in Ocean Park also includes a special presentation of the winners of the annual Della Hardman essay contest sponsored by the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. The Martha’s Vineyard Rotary Club is granting cash prizes to the essay winners. What follows are the three winning essays.