Doors Are Closed, but Libraries Still Offer Services
The library is a lifeline for people who need internet access, public information, books, movies, or social contact. So, with all four Outer Cape libraries closed, what resources are available to library patrons?
Amy Raff, director of the Provincetown Public Library, emphasized that people should check the library website for updates, as information changes frequently. She can be reached by phone at 508-487-7094 during regular business hours, or email her at [email protected]
The Eastham Public Library will be staffed to answer phone calls from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, and the Wellfleet Public Library will answer phone calls from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Saturday. Library staff can answer questions and provide help setting up library cards, accessing online services, and providing tech help. Those wishing to reach the Truro Public Library can send an email to [email protected]
Patrons cannot check out books at this time. The Mass. Library Association cited curbside checkout services as creating an “undue risk for whole communities,” because materials cannot be sanitized.
CLAMS cardholders can check out e-books using the Libby app. If you do not have a library card, you can register online for free and access all library services at clamsnet.org.
The free wi-fi at the libraries continues to be available 24 hours a day without a password. All are welcome to use the wi-fi from the parking lot or by sitting outside the library while maintaining social distance.
All late fees will be waived during this period of closure.
Debra DeJonker Berry, director of the Eastham Public Library, said that she hopes to have some staff-led interactive programming on social media soon. She encourages people to use the many streaming services and resources for entertainment and education available through CLAMS. —Molly Newman
Ilona Royce Smithkin to Celebrate Her 100th
Artist, cabaret chanteuse, bohemian fashion icon, and Provincetown landlord Ilona Royce Smithkin will turn 100 years old on Friday, March 27.
Ilona, who lives year-round in the top-floor apartment at Karilon house on Commercial Street, has asked friends and well-wishers to call by phone and not visit, due to the current COVID-19 health crisis.
She was born in Poland and studied art in Berlin and Antwerp, and, after emigrating to the United States in the late 1930s, at the Art Students League of New York. She has painted countless portraits of the denizens of Provincetown and Greenwich Village, where she had a rent-controlled apartment that she gave up a few years ago.
Famous for her neon red hair and red eyelashes, which she made herself, and her exuberant personality, Ilona was one of the subjects of Advanced Style, a 2014 fashion documentary about older women. She was also known for her “Eyelash Cabaret,” performed with Zoë Lewis on piano. Her artwork has been on sale for years at the Karilon Gallery/Angela Russo Fine Art.
The name of the seven-bedroom Karilon house where Ilona lives is a portmanteau of her name and her friend Karen Katzel’s. They own the cottages and apartments at Poor Richard’s Landing next door.
Curtis Speer, who took the photograph of Ilona above, said he got to know her by taking her figure drawing class at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum. When he asked Ilona one Tuesday if he could photograph her, she told him, “If you wait until Friday, I will wear my eyelashes for you.”
“I wish her the very best, a happy birthday,” Angela Russo told the Independent. “I hope she lives another 100 years.”
Paul Lisicky to Give Live-Stream Reading
Paul Lisicky will read from his new book, Later: My Life at the Edge of the World, at East End Books Ptown on Friday, March 27, at 5 p.m.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the town’s shelter-in-place mandate, the store itself is closed but the reading will be streamed live on East End Books Ptown’s Facebook page.
Later is about Lisicky’s time in Provincetown in the early 1990s. It was published by Graywolf Press on March 17.
Children’s Art Goes Drive-by in Truro Center
TRURO — An exhibit of art by the Sustainable CAPE Children’s Community Garden Group, “Fabulous Fungi,” couldn’t be squelched by the coronavirus pandemic. Since all exhibition spaces have been closed, Sustainable CAPE set up the exhibit outdoors, at the corner of Depot and Truro Center roads, in front of Conservation Framing.
The artwork, depicting various species of mushrooms, was created by local children in the Community Garden Group, which met weekly at the Truro Public Library until it was closed due to the health crisis. A sign on the road said it all: “Social distance with a smile.”
WOMR Will Not Be Silenced
PROVINCETOWN — The threat of coronavirus may have stopped the volunteer DJs on WOMR, Outermost Community Radio, from coming in to the studio. But the show must go on, so many are learning how to prerecord shows from home.
John Braden, the station’s executive director, said he and the operations manager have put together lots of shows recently, but the technology exists to combine music and then drop in public service announcements and comments by the host from the comfort (and isolation) of home. Co-hosts are using the online platform Zoom to prerecord together from their homes, he added.
Operations Manager Matthew Dunn, a.k.a. Matty Dread, who hosts the show Soul Funky Train, also has the technology to do live shows from his house and he will try it soon, Braden said on Friday.
The importance of radio stations has been elevated now that so many people are stuck inside and there is the need to stay current in a constantly changing environment.
“We’re getting a lot of positive feedback,” Braden said. —K.C. Myers
Seventh Season of Twenty Summers Postponed
PROVINCETOWN — The five-week 2020 Season of Twenty Summers, originally scheduled from mid-May to mid-June, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis and tentatively rescheduled from Sept. 25 through Oct. 17.
The announcement was made over the weekend in an email to supporters from Kristina Kearns, the event’s executive director.
Most of the events of Twenty Summers are held at the Hawthorne Barn on Miller Hill Road in Provincetown. There are talks with writers, artists, architects, reporters, and designers, as well as musical performances and artist residencies. This spring would have been the seventh season of Twenty Summers.
In the announcement, Kearns suggested that enthusiasts of Twenty Summers programming can view past performances and talks on video at 20summers.org.