February 2024 Newsletter

On this (snowy!) Valentine’s Day we’re celebrating our heart-felt passion for community education, and for all of you who make this Island such a special place to live, work and love.

Read on for some lovely upcoming events, workshops and exciting program announcements!

But first — a favor. Might you consider forwarding this newsletter along to someone you think would enjoy learning about ACE and community education on MV? What better way to spread a little Island love than by helping us grow our community, and introducing your beloveds to all things ACE MV?!

Happy February, friends,

Alex, Jeni, Courtney, Sonja and Garrett

Program Updates & News

Introducing CAMP!
Community Apprenticeship and Mentorship Program

CAMP! is a pilot program of ACE MV, launching summer 2024. With the mission of cultivating enriching career development and professional exploration, CAMP! will provide facilitated internship, apprenticeship and mentorship opportunities to all Island residents, with a particular focus on young adults.

The CAMP! model includes:

  • support for local employers interested in building summer internship and year-round apprenticeship opportunities
  • facilitated connections between community members and employers
  • career exploration services and workshops open to all community members

Are you an employer interested in offering an internship/apprenticeship for young adults? Do let us know!

Are you or do you know a young adult interested in learning about summer internship opportunities? Sign up for the CAMP! newsletter here!

Career Explorations: Wellness Workforce

“Health Professions on Martha’s Vineyard” 

Join Island healthcare professionals and frontline workers for a roundtable discussion about career pathways and employment opportunities on MV.

February 22, 2024 5-7 pm

MV Hospital Community Room

Career Explorations: Interpretation & Translation

“Empowering Interpreters: Navigating Insurance and Independent Contracting” free workshop

Topics will include:

  • Interpreter Insurance Importance
  • Costs and Benefits Evaluation
  • Independent Contractor Guidance
  • Insurance Options Exploration
  • Tax forms for Independent Contractors

Wednesday, February 21st, at 6:30 PM

on Zoom

Brazilian Portuguese Teacher Training Program

We are excited to be building a new Brazilian Portuguese Teacher Training Program to meet the high demand for language learning! We will be working in partnership with Maria Angela Moreira for Moreira Education Solution to build a curriculum to train new teachers.

SOS: The School for Off-Season Survival!

Our home for evening classes, workshops & weekend seminars

Coming this month at SOS…


with Claire Phelan

March 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th

Saturdays 2 – 4 PM

Haven Shared Workspace

Quickbooks Troubleshooting office hours with one-on-one support.

  • Software support
  • Data sorting
  • Reports
  • And more!

Book a time slot to get your Quickbooks questions answered with Claire. Each session is 2 hours long. Come prepared with questions!

Claire Phelan has owned her own bookkeeping business for the past 10 years and has worked as a bookkeeper for the past 20 years helping a wide variety of businesses, from artist to architects.  She has specialized in the use of Quick Books but has used other financial software.  While not doing bookkeeping, she is a part time librarian at both the Oak Bluffs Library and the Vineyard Haven Library.

Cost: $60 per session



    with Althea Freeman-Miller and Taylor Stone

    Learn skills and records to develop a healthy balance of artist heart and business brain.

    In this workshop you will explore:

    • Getting to know your individual style, strengths and weaknesses through journaling
    • Goal setting
    • Routines and resources for a healthy creative business
    • Scheduling a year of creative work on Martha’s Vineyard
    • How to sell art/craft on Martha’s Vineyard
    • Online is great, but it’s not the only way!

    This workshop is intended for creative business owner beginners, aka creatives and artists with a craft of some sort who would like to learn how to sell their art and to take the next step towards becoming a creative business owner.

Meet Althea Freeman-Miller!

Althea is a printmaker, creative wellness facilitator, and founder of Althea Designs. She creates colorful folk art, including carved paintings, linoleum prints, hand painted wood cut-outs and block printed apparel. She was raised by artists on Martha’s Vineyard. The mission of Althea Designs is to empower others to seek joy, celebrate life, and live connected to authentic purpose. You can find her studio and gallery at 34 Beach road in Vineyard Haven.

We asked Althea about her background, and learned more about her journey to becoming a creative business owner.

How did you get into printmaking? 

“My mother had a children’s clothing design business where she hand block printed her fabrics. It was called Island Children. She had a studio and store on Main Street VH. My father was also an artist. He had the etching press in our living room when I was a child. The same press is in my studio now. I have always been surrounded by people making art. I guess I was born learning that is what humans do.”

What is your favorite part about doing brand design? 

“Watching the after-effects once everything falls into place and the website goes live. It’s incredibly satisfying to see clients regain confidence in their businesses and take pride in showcasing their work to the world. That feeling is priceless. Being part of this growth is immensely fulfilling, and what’s even more fascinating is that I continually learn something new in the process. I have an innate curiosity, and working with clients from diverse fields keeps my work dynamic and constantly evolving.”

What is the story behind the birth of Althea Designs?

“Me deciding to live aligned with my passions and calling.”

What is your favorite part about running a creative business? What about the top challenge?

My favorite part is the freedom to follow my own joy and live outside the box. The challenge is navigating through small business overwhelm and burnout.”

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Journaling, tea with friends, beaching, summer floating, winter cold plunges, making playlists, traveling, spending time with my family and making zero pressure art.”

We are so happy to have Althea as one of our instructors!

Meet Taylor Stone!

Taylor Stone is a cut paper illustrator and founder of Taylor Stone Illustration. After graduating with a BA in Illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2013, she returned to Martha’s Vineyard and has been selling her paper art ever since.  She has been an artist at the Vineyard Artisans, the Martha’s Vineyard Center for Visual Arts (now the Galaxy Gallery), the Night Heron Gallery, and more.  She’s also very familiar with the online world since opening her Etsy shop in 2011 and now selling her art from her own Shopify website.

We asked Taylor a bit about her background, and learned some fun things about her!

What is your background in paper illustration?

“As an Illustration Major we’re taught the importance of preparation: research, composition, color, value, all these things need to be considered before ever thinking of starting the final illustration.  And as a more left-brained artist this really stuck with me, and cut paper was a perfect medium for balancing preparation with creating something very physical with my hands. My version of papercutting relies heavily on how well I prepare before cutting anything out, and the more prepared I am the more fun I usually have when I’m actually sitting down and creating.”

What is the most rewarding part of running your own creative business? What about the top challenge? 

“The most rewarding: when someone shares how much something I made resonates with them.  And the most challenging: the many months in the “off-season” where that just doesn’t happen on Martha’s Vineyard.  When you are creating in a vacuum from home, it’s too easy to feel isolated and forget the value of creating art.  Every year I’m shocked at how much better I feel after my first art market of the season: just being able to see people’s genuine reactions in person refills my cup so much more than I expect!”

How did Taylor Stone Illustration come into being?

“I think it’s still coming into being, honestly.  As entrepreneurs we are taught to separate ourselves from our business to a certain extent: “the success/failure of my business does not define the success/failure of me as Taylor Stone.”  Moving forward, I’m trying to be more aware of my own personal values and trust my gut feeling more. Taylor Stone Illustration is my business where I sell the things I make – so as long as I grow and change as a person, so will Taylor Stone Illustration.”

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

“I’m a big homebody: I love my video games and anime, and hanging out with my cat Vinci. But also come on… what artist doesn’t love being out in nature?? So whenever I can you will still find me on walking trails (shoutout to Polly Hill Arboretum!), at the beach, or wandering downtown Vineyard Haven.”

We are so happy to have Taylor as one of our instructors!

That’s all for now!

For up-to-date course announcements, instructor bios, and more be sure to follow us on socials (Instagram, Facebook) and check out our new website here.

– The ACE MV Team

(Alex, Courtney, Garrett, Jeni and Sonja)