NHA Announces Significant Events and Initiatives for this Fall and Winter

NANTUCKET, MA – The Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) is pleased to update the community on the activities taking place this fall and winter. Free admission to year-round residents continues, thanks to the support of The Community Foundation for Nantucket’s ReMain Nantucket Fund and Marine Home Center.

In commemoration of the sinking of the Essex, the NHA is hosting a virtual event with best-selling author Nathaniel Philbrick on Friday, November 20, at 5:30pm. This event will dive into the tragedy of the ill-fated whaleship that was struck by a whale on this date 200 years ago. The presentation will be live streamed and tickets are $25 for non-members, $15 for NHA members, and free for students. An auction will determine the lucky winner who can experience the event in person with a family pod of 6 or fewer at the Whaling Museum.

The NHA will host two of its beloved holiday festivals, with both adjusted to adhere to safety protocols and allow for more viewing time for visitors. The Festival of Wreaths will be on display Thursday, November 12, through Saturday, November 21, in the McCausland Gallery. All bidding will be held online. The Festival of Trees opens on Friday, November 27, and runs through December 31.

The Research Library will continue NHA University, a bi-weekly e-newsletter featuring in-depth stories on Nantucket history. New this fall is a corresponding series of virtual lectures, with November and December lectures highlighting Black history.

Members’ Evenings continue on October 14 and 21, November 11 and 18, as well as December 2 and 9. Please email membership@nha.org to learn more and join today.

The NHA has launched an array of community initiatives this fall, including “Study Hall” at the Whaling Museum, to provide students a safe place to study or for community members to relax indoors. Artists are also invited to sketch in the museum.    This will continue through January and the winter season, as the Whaling Museum will remain open for the community.

All 11th and 12th grade Nantucket High School students are encouraged to pick-up a complimentary copy of Disturber of Tradition: A Portrait of Anna Gardner at the Whaling Museum during visiting hours. This is a must-read book for any student interested in civil rights.

The Whaling Museum is open Monday–Saturday, (closed Sundays). This week hours are 9am–5pm, changing to 10am–4pm starting next Monday.  Reserving your visit time online is highly recommended. The Discovery Center is open for family play and learning. This space is ideal for younger kids.  Thanks to volunteers and teachers at the public school, the NHA continues to provide a new audio tour in Spanish.

And don’t forget to explore our featured exhibition in partnership with the Artist Association, An Island Seen: The Artists Association of Nantucket and the Women Who Built It on display for just two more weeks (closing October 24).

Finally, a Mentorship Program is now offered to 9–12 grade students. This twice-weekly program is perfect for burnishing that college resume. Students who attend after school receive a stipend.

Note that the NHA will close at the end of the day on Friday, October 30, through Sunday, November 8, to both prepare and provide our staff with some well-earned downtime.


The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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