On Monday evening, two surviving students from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. and their families took part in a discussion at the Chilmark Community Center. The event was part of the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival’s summer series and included a screening of the documentary After Parkland.

This weekend, the Film Center in Vineyard Haven hosts a Refugee and Migrant Film Festival, complete with discussions led by those working on the front lines of this issue.

Next week, the Yard brings back the Malpaso Dance Company, a Cuban dance troupe that first performed on the Vineyard in 2015, which coincided with the re-opening of the U.S. embassy in Cuba for the first time in 50 years.

This is just a brief look at the type of arts events occurring every week on the Island. This is not escape-valve entertainment found in many summer resort towns and other vacation spots. Each of these events, and many more, uses the avenues of creativity and art to confront, to invigorate and, most importantly, to activate audiences. The issues are both particular and, sadly, universal. As the survivors of Parkland reminded us on Monday, their experience was just one of 24 school shootings in 2018 that in total killed 35 students and seven adults and injured another 79 people.

The beaches, of course, call, as they should, helping vacationers relax and escape from their daily lives and stresses. But it is good to know that on this small Island it is also possible to plug in — to emotions, to ideas, to inspiration and to action.

This does not happen by chance, and so a round of thanks goes out to all the arts organizations, from the executive directors to the summer interns and volunteers, who make such a broad canvas of creativity and meaning come alive each summer on the Vineyard.