Thirteen years ago, Kathleen Hinni, dancer, teacher and dance choreographer brought the School of Creative Arts to Martha’s Vineyard. Since then the school has grown from eighteen students and five staff members to its present total of eighty students and twenty staff members. After the first year it outgrew its home in East Chop and was moved to Mrs. H. D. Gibson’s house, Hedge Lee, in Vineyard Haven.

During its four years there Regina Woody, children’s author, wrote Ballet in the Barn, a young people’s story based on the school. Since her book was published, Miss Hinni has had inquiries from all over the world about her school. Children have come from Argentina, France, England, Australia and Haiti to study and live with American children in an atmosphere designed to promote growth through creative self-expression in the arts.

In 1953 the school was temporarily located in Luce’s Antiques’ present home on Main street. At this time Miss Hinni purchased the YMCA property farther north on Main street, where the school has been for seven years.

100 Boarding Personnel

At present there are 100 boarding staff and children plus thirty day students. John McCauley, head football coach at the Dedham High School, directs a day camp program on the property for boys 6-12 years old.

During these thirteen years many parents, relatives and friends of the children at the school have made the Island their annual vacation spot. Some have bought property on the Island.

The school sponsors weekly programs in the arts which are open to the public. They have had such well known artists as: Charles Weidman, Pearl Primis, Merce Cunningham, the Ballet Celeste, Harry Alder, Lotte Lenn and Robert Schrade.

The children at the school are asked annually to participate in the outing sponsored by the New Bedford Kiwanis for the Fresh Air Fund Children, and for the Hebrew Center Bazaar. In addition they have performed for the hospital benefit and the Methodist fair. In 1959 they held a children’s bazaar for children at the school, the proceeds of which went to Island churches and organizations.

Closing Weekend Program

This year’s annual closing weekend program will bring 200 people to the Island to join their children. Friday night, Aug. 25, will include a family supper on the grounds and a program presented by the music department under the direction of Larence Smith and Henry Carrai. Saturday morning will feature classes in all the arts, which are open to the public; Saturday afternoon the children will do a swimming demonstration, including a water ballet by the advanced swimmers under the direction of Jeannie Kimball.

Peter Pan, this season’s final production, will be presented Saturday night at the Oak Bluffs elementary school. The play has been adapted, choreographed and directed bu the children in the school under the guidance of the teaching faculty.

Romana Krazonovska has assisted with the dance, Sue Heineman with the writing, Larence Smith and Henry Carrai with the music, Neil DiTeresa with the stage sets and Jane DiTeresa with the direction of the play.

It represents a culmination of the children’s summer experience and includes dance, music, dramatics, art and creative writing. Each child has a part in the play according to her interests and skills. The school would like, again, to extend an invitation to the public to attend this program, Saturday, Aug. 26, at 8 p.m.