The third annual Captains Courageous Festival will be held all day Saturday, Sept. 22. This year’s expanded version offers many free events all around town, from the Fishermen’s Memorial to downtown to Rocky Neck.
The event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., was established to bring attention to the city’s maritime heritage, including its history steeped in literature, music, art and history.
The festival culminates with a 7 p.m. showing of the classic film “Captains Courageous” at Cape Ann Community Cinema, an event which requires a ticket purchase at cinema. The 1937 film stars Spencer Tracy, Freddie Bartholomew and Lionel Barrymore. The film was based on the 1897 novel of the same name written by Rudyard Kipling and based on a Gloucester schooner.
“This event has totally exploded this year with much more to offer,” said Beth Welin, an organizer for Schooner Adventure. “We are so amazed that people came forward to offer so many things for the festival.”
One such person is Don MacCuish who will talk about his grandfather, Capt. Donald A. MacCuish, the skipper of the camera boats that shot all the action scenes for the original motion pictures of “Mutiny on the Bounty” and “Captains Courageous.” He was also a fisherman. MacCuish will speak about his grandfather’s experiences at Art Haven at 3 and 4 p.m.
In another event, local actor Michael McNamara of Fishtown Players will give a presentation about a local historic hero, Howard Blackburn, based on Joe Garland’s book “Lone Voyager,” at the Cape Ann Museum.
“There will be multiple offerings throughout the day at many venues on both sides of the harbor to show off all Gloucester has to offer. These free events have something for the whole family. Tours, dramatic readings, movies, author talks, poetry readings, concerts, and more,” according to a press release.
For a fee, there is a water shuttle that will take people back and forth across the harbor, with a purchased boat ticket good for the day.
Venues for the festival include the Fishermen’s Memorial where Jeff Thomas will talk about maritime history. Cultural institutions will be involved, including Cape Ann Museum, Sargent Murray House, the Unitarian Universalist Church, Sawyer Free Library, Maritime Gloucester, Schooner Adventure and the Phyllis A at the Gloucester Marine Railways.
Several art galleries and shops will host poetry readings and book talks both on Rocky Neck at the Khan Studio and GMG Gallery, Rocky Neck Gallery and IMAGINE gallery, as well as the Jeff Weaver Gallery on Rogers Street and Art Haven. There will be events at the North Shore Arts Association.
“The Reminiscences of Aunt Tot,” to be presented at Art Haven at 2 p.m., is about the life of Charlotte Augusta Lane, the daughter of a sea captain, interpreted through her textile diary. The talk and visual presentation is presented by Elizabeth Enfield, who will celebrate the life of this historic Annisquam woman. An “album quilt” with signatures of her friends, each in a square, was a gift for Aunt Tot’s 50th birthday and will be part of the display.
The Society for the Encouragement of the Arts launched the inaugural Captains Courageous Festival in 2010, and the organization is pleased that it continues to grow under the auspices of Schooner Adventure.
More information, a full schedule and maps can be found at www.captainscourageousfestival.org or contact chairwoman Beth Welin at Schooner Adventure at 978-281-8079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gail McCarthy may be contacted at 978-283-7000 x3445 or email@example.com.