There’s only one Island event that annually brings drum circles, stilt walkers and more than 100 dancers — including belly dancers and hip-hoppers — to one of the Island’s most historic houses of worship: Built on Stilts, which returns to Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs the nights of Thursday to Saturday, August 11 through 13 and Saturday and Sunday, August 20 and 21.

The Vineyard’s homegrown festival of movement arts, which began in 1997 as a one-night showcase for seven choreographers, now embraces every kind of live performance over two consecutive weekends.

With about a dozen acts each night, Built on Stilts draws together Island choreographers and dancers — including schoolchildren and teenagers — with professional performing artists from Boston, Providence, New Haven, New York city, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

Dancers in this year’s line-up include co-founder Abby Bender, her frequent collaborator Jesse Jason, the Karam Belly Dance group, Island Hip Hop and Esther Richmond’s Martha’s Vineyard Line Dancing Polar Bears.

Drag performer and dancer Andy Jacobs does both on August 20 and 21, appearing first as Betty Bootleg and then in duet with Grace Hall.

Islander Roberta Kirn will lead circle singing on August 12 and 21 and RISE Vineyard Performing Arts will close this year’s festival on August 21.

Among other Vineyarders featured in this year’s Built on Stilts, Scott Crawford appears on August 11 and 20, Alex Habekost on August 12 and 20 and Jordan Muhammad on August 20, both solo and with her mother Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad.

All ages are welcome at the free concerts, which begin at 8 p.m. The Union Chapel doors open at 7:30 p.m., with live drumming as audience members take their seats.

The festival line-up is posted online at