Pathways Arts was founded in 2009 by Marianne Goldberg, a photographer, writer and dance choreographer who wanted to give Island artists a place to present their work at any stage of the creative process. Working beside her was Scott Crawford, an  former Broadway dancer and stage manager, and Keren Tonnesen, a multimedia artist, both of whom have continued to bring Pathways to life as co-directors since Ms. Goldberg’s death in 2015.

“Marianne had very, very grand ideas that she was always ready to realize,” said Ms. Tonnesen. “Today, we still follow a lot of her blueprints, and we know exactly how to answer the question: What would Marianne do?”

The answer to that question, judging by each year’s off-season lineup of visual artists, musicians, poets, dancers and writers, is ‘everything.’

Pathways takes up residence in the Chilmark Tavern after it shuts its doors in the fall. The building is then transformed from November to April from a bustling restaurant to an eclectic arts venue, with visual art adorning the walls and musical instruments replacing dinner tables.

Mr. Crawford used to work in theatre in New York City. — Ray Ewing

For both Mr. Crawford and Ms. Tonnesen, their first connection to Pathways served as unexpected career transitions.

After 15 years working in the Manhattan theatre world, Mr. Crawford moved to the Vineyard, where he had spent summers, in search of change and a more intimate arts community.

“I came here in 2012 with no job and no housing and a part in an Island Theatre Workshop musical — a non-paying gig,” said Mr. Crawford. “Then I met Marianne that summer while doing an event at The Yard. She said she needed a stage manager and everything just kind of slowly fell into place.”

Ms. Tonnesen, who has spent most of her life on the Vineyard as a self-employed artist, was hired shortly after on a temporary basis to help with the organization’s website.

“But what you often found when working with Marianne is that your job description wasn’t always accurate,” said Ms. Tonnesen. “I ended up doing a lot of different things, from poster graphics to film editing. Really anything that was needed that I knew how to do from just working for myself.”

Ms. Tonneson is also an artist when not curating the off-season schedule. — Ray Ewing

Today, Ms. Tonnesen and Mr. Crawford wear many hats and, with the help of social media and press coordinator Tanya Augoustinos, create a diverse lineup of talent each year.

They also receive help from other artistic Islanders.

Aquinnah resident and poet Ron Slate runs the Writing and Poetry Tuesdays, a weekly event for authors to share their work. Mr. Slate began orchestrating the evenings with Ms. Tonnesen over Zoom during the pandemic, when outlets for communal creativity were scarce. Now he is the sole curator and brings writers from around the world to Chilmark, both in-person and virtually.

“Here on the Island, if you throw a rock you’ll hit a poet,” said Mr. Slate. “This year, I wanted to make sure that we covered all different genres... and I also put an emphasis on craft so that people don’t just read and leave. We want them to say something about how they approach their work, their influences and the effects that they’re trying to achieve.”

This season has already featured many Island memoirists, novelists and autofiction writers, he said.

“Then, in early December, in what I call a blatant act of nepotism, my daughter Jenny Slate and her husband visited the Island to read parts of their books, which are works in progress,” Mr. Slate said. “I was so happy to see such a crowd for it.”

Later in the season, Pathways will host ballroom and salsa dancing classes, along with musical performances, film screenings and more.

In April the venue will change back into the Chilmark Tavern and Ms. Tonnesen and Mr. Crawford will spend the summer doing other jobs around the Island.

“I help with shorebird protection and work with BiodiversityWorks,” said Ms. Tonnesen. “I think I may be their most active and regular volunteer.”

“I work up at the Gay Head Lighthouse, which I’ve been doing for 10 years, and then take other odd jobs just to kind of survive,” said Mr. Crawford, laughing.

Summer is also an opportunity, they said, to spend time in vastly-different facets of the Vineyard — a critical part of generating a diversity of ideas for their artistic hub.

“We really do all this just to benefit the community,” said Ms. Tonnesen. “People know that we’re here and they ask what we have planned, and we’re just so glad to be able to keep it all happening in Chilmark.”

For a schedule of upcoming Pathways events, visit