Sag Harbor to Celebrate Its Diverse Heritage

An image from "Black Leisure: Respite in Sag Harbor," which will be on view the Eastville Community Historical Society’s museum, opening Saturday.

Sag Harbor’s third annual Cultural Heritage Weekend will focus on the evolution of a diverse community over three centuries through a variety of events and programs presented from Friday through Sunday by the member organizations of the Sag Harbor Cultural District.

The Eastville Community Historical Society will open a new exhibition, “Black Leisure: Respite in Sag Harbor,” on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. Featuring vintage photographs from the society’s Johnson Family Collection, the show will illuminate the Black Leisure Movement, a national phenomenon that was primarily a resistance to Jim Crow and found expression locally in the Eastville, Sag Harbor Hills, Azurest, and Ninevah communities, which share 180 years of uninterrupted African-American ownership.

In addition, there will be a free walking tour of Eastville with Georgette Grier-Key, the society’s executive director, on Saturday afternoon from 2 to 3.

Programs at the Custom House Museum throughout the day on Saturday will include live music played on early colonial instruments, a demonstration of traditional boatbuilding techniques on the lawn, and “Surviving Political Turmoil,” a new guided tour of the Custom House that examines Henry Packer Dering’s 32 years as the village’s first customs agent.

John Steinbeck wrote “The Winter of Our Discontent,” his final novel, while living in Sag Harbor, and Canio’s Cultural Cafe will hold a marathon reading of that work, which is set in a village based on Sag Harbor, on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 to 3. Susan Shillinglaw, the director of the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, Calif., will kick off the celebration with a talk at Canio’s Books tomorrow at 5 p.m., and an after-party and silent auction will follow Sunday’s reading.

“Sag Harbor Through Letters, Journalism, Costumes, Art, Photos, Scrapbooks, and Local Voices” will be on view at the Sag Harbor Historical Society’s Annie Cooper Boyd House on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. The exhibition will include mannequins in vintage clothing, historical documents, early paintings of the village, and photographs by current residents. During the event, a videographer will be on hand to record attendees’ experiences and memories of life in Sag Harbor.

At “Sag Harbor: Past and Present,” an afternoon of rare film clips and slides on Sunday from 3 to 4:30 at the John Jermain Memorial Library, Jack Youngs, the president of the historical society, will discuss changes to the village’s architecture and population.

The library will host several other activities, including “Remember/Imagine,” an art workshop for children ages 7 to 11, on Saturday morning from 10:30 to 11 and “Record Your Sag Harbor Story,” an oral history recording booth that will be open from noon to 5 that day. Preregistration for both is required. An outdoor jazz concert by the musicians of the Jam Session at Bay Burger will also happen at the library on Saturday, from 2 to 4 p.m. In the event of rain, it will move inside.

The Whaling and Historical Museum will have “Our Town, Sag Harbor in Focus,” a free photography exhibition that sees life in Sag Harbor and on the East End through the eyes of Pierson High School students, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday.

At noon on Saturday, the Rev. Karen Ann Campbell will give a tour of Christ Episcopal Church that will focus on how changes in religious practice in Sag Harbor have followed the economic developments in the area, including the church’s heritage as the first Episcopal presence on the East End. Daniel Koontz will demonstrate the church’s organ at 12:30.

The Episcopal church’s lawn will be the site of Yard Sale for the Cinema: Clean for a Cause! on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hardcover books, new clothing and shoes, electronics, furniture, jewelry, purses, linens, kitchenware, small appliances, artwork, and new children’s toys are among the many items the sale of which will benefit the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center. The rain date is Sunday from noon to 2.

Rabbi Daniel N. Geffen of Temple Adas Israel will discuss the diverse customs and traditions that exist within Judaism as well as the diversity of the temple’s congregation tomorrow at 4 p.m. A tour of the temple will follow.