Arts producer Caroline Cronson, who runs Works & Process, a performing arts series that runs at the Guggenheim Museum every season, has been coming to Martha’s Vineyard for 30 years. “As soon as you land on this magical island, you can take a deep breath and you’re transported into a different, kinder place,” says Cronson. She loves to sail around Edgartown and the Harbor and enjoys the unspoiled, pristine nature of the area including beaches like Lighthouse, Katama and Wasque, where she kayaks and takes long walks with her dogs. For Cronson and her family, spending summers on the island is a tradition and also helps inform her work back in NYC. “We first discovered choreographers Michelle Dorrance and Caleb Teicher on the island and went on to commission both at Works & Process,” says Cronson.
Here’s how Cronson spends her summers.
What are your favorite local haunts?
Menemsha Hills for hiking, the Agricultural Fair, Chappy for cycling, Arrowhead Farm for riding, the Flying Horses Carousel in Oak Bluffs and all the lighthouses.
What are some standout local arts organizations?
Vineyard Arts Project, which brings companies and individuals to the Vineyard for residencies from theater, musical theater, dance and filmmaking. The Yard, a year-round space bringing a slew of new and exciting dance to the island. The Martha’s Vineyard Film Society owns and runs three wonderful movie theaters and also organizes the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival in the fall.
How do you like to dine on the island?
I rely on my husband Paul to be in the kitchen most of the time. He loves cooking and he also has a great wine cellar! You can get fresh fish from Edgartown Seafood or Edgartown Meat and Fish, and the Black Sheep is incredible for charcuterie and cheese.
What’s your go-to hostess gift, and what’s your favorite gift to receive?
If I’m going to dinner, I might take something from the wonderful Martha’s Vineyard Glassworks. Personally, I love getting any scented candle from Jo Malone or Diptyque.
What’s your go-to hostess ensemble?
I love that nothing is ever too formal. I have a collection of very colorful shirts, tunics and caftans from Pucci and J. McLaughlin. I wear them with white pants, Jack Rogers sandals, Hermès wedges or Birkenstocks along with fun vintage jewelry.
What commissions are you proudest of over your tenure?
Ryan McNamara’s work with John Zorn, and bringing commedia dell’arte to our Rotunda Projects.
What commissions are you excited about this fall?
Ephrat Asherie, who is bringing her club dance sensibility to concert choreography with UnderScored, and Omari Wiles’ New York Is Burning with his Les Ballet Afrik. He synthesises contemporary dance, West African dance and the club scene into quite spectacular choreography, and both are going to be fun and informative and bring in a really interesting audience.