ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 3 * * All Arts News On the Web * * DECEMBER 9, 1999


      We have changed the ArtBits format from monthly to weekly. This issue includes the entire text of the weekly newspaper column
      ArtBits always features a calendar of the goings on of Franklin County artists. Check out these events around Franklin County.

      There is a free AAC Networking Meeting/Coffee House at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, and workshops every month at the The Northwest Transportation Network office in St Albans.


      Northwest Counseling and Support Services is hosting a semi-formal Holiday Concert and Reception to usher in the new season and the new year in their new digs, next Wednesday, December 15, at 7-9 p.m.
      The Vermont Brass Quintet of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra will play background music plus a short program of holiday music and standard brass numbers including a Stephen Foster medley and a Roaring Twenties medley. The Quintet includes David Brubaker, trumpet, James Duncan trumpet, Alan Parshley, horn, Peter Bouchard, trombone, and Mark Stebbins, tuba. Jim Duncan is an emergency room doctor at NMC and Peter Bouchard grew up in Franklin County.
      An exhibit of original fine art by All Arts Council artists will feature paintings by Alice Astleford, Corliss Blakely, Fred Campbell, Mary Harper, and Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard, as well as the sculpture of Diana Herder Bennett and Ania Modzelewski.
      Hors d'oeuvres by Jeff's Maine Seafood, complimentary champagne, and a cash bar will round out this evening of art and holiday music.
      With music underwritten by A. N. Deringer, the holiday concert will raise funds for programs for area residents in the new of NCSS facility, 107 Fisher Pond Road, St Albans. Tickets are $20 per person. Call Marie Badger (802.524.6555) for tickets or more info.


      You could go to Fiji for the first strike of the New Year's bell or to Attu in the Aleutian Islands for the millennial clock's last gasp, but Franklin County has a better offer: come to St Albans City Hall for Sterling Weed's last dance concert in this century (and his first in the year 2000).
      "I wanted to do a concert for everyone," Mr. Weed who celebrated his 99th birthday this year said.
      New Year's Eve with Sterling Weed and his Imperial Orchestra will feature swing music, hors d'oeuvres and refreshments by Chow! Bella, and good times for everyone. It will be an alcohol free event. Tickets are just $10 for adults, $5 for children, and are available at the St Albans Chamber of Commerce, the St Albans Recreation Department and other locations.
      Make your plans now.


      Dear Santa,
      My [uncle, grandmother, niece, best friend] is a [writer, musician, dancer, artist, actor]. What's the perfect gift this year?
      "Other than world peace and a winning lottery ticket?" asked Sue Nadeau. The actor or the dancer in your life could use a season pass to a theater series or a book about a favorite performer or a gift certificate for food.
      A subscription to a trade magazine is a boon to beginning artists and writers. Artist's Digest, Writer's Digest, and The Writer have useful features and how-to columns.
      Musicians love music. A CD or three of "other people's music" is a wonderful thing. You could also give some blank cassettes so the musician in your life can record some memories for you. A music stand or a metronome is good for young musicians.
      "If your child is studying one of the arts, check with his or her teacher for ideas," said Bill Karstens. Teachers know the specific leotard or skirt or valve oil they need.
      There is also the renowned gift membership in the AAC. This gift won't help you work off calories after Christmas (unless you volunteer to help Ryan St. Cyr move tables around for a fine art show), but memberships do bring networking with other artists and other members, "member night" celebrations, regular news of local cultural happenings, priority seating, discounts on art/music/performance supplies, and, of course, that warm and friendly feeling that goes along with supporting the arts at home. A gift membership starts at only $25. Click here for details.


RICHFORD--Santa's Stuck in the 50s is a musical with a cast of reindeer and elves from grades 4-6 of Richford Elementary School. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will host this rock-n-roll party with the fabulous toys and music from their 1950s attic. Richford Town Hall, tonight at 7 p.m. Tickets are $1.

HIGHGATE--The Traveling Storyteller returns to the Highgate Library with the story of Hansel and Gretel on Saturday at 10 a.m. This is the premiere for the Storyteller's new marionette show. Everyone will get a holiday treat. Call the Library (802.868.3970) for info.

ST ALBANS--Sterling Weed and his Imperial Orchestra will also play the American Legion Dance concert honoring World War II veterans on Friday at the Legion Hall, 19 Kingman Street, at 6 p.m. This private concert is for members and guests only, $7 per person. Call 802.524.5561 for info.

ST ALBANS--Christmas in the Park features Santa in a horse drawn sleigh, Jingle Bell necklaces, cookies and hot chocolate, and a petting zoo, all on Saturday from 1-4 p.m. in Taylor Park. WLFE/WWSR will play Christmas music in the band shell.
      Please bring a new, unwrapped toy for the Toys for Tots Campaign. Email the Chamber for info.

ALBURG--A Dinner Dance featuring the New Island Ramblers will benefit the St Amadeus Christmas Baskets. This event is open to the public at the American Legion Hall in Alburg on Saturday at 6 p.m. The menu include roast pork and ham. Tickets are $6 and are available at the door.

MONTGOMERY--The True Heart of Christmas is a Christmas concert featuring the vocals of the Children of Mercy, an 18-member choir from all around Northwestern Vermont. The concert is in the Montgomery Town Hall, Sunday at 6 p.m. Admission is free. There will be refreshments.

ENOSBURG--The Enosburg High School Jazz Band will play at the Annual Enosburg Lions Club Christmas Party, next Wednesday evening at the Country Club in Enosburg Falls. The private party is for Enosburg Lions only.
      The Lions bring non-perishable items to the party and pass the hat for a holiday Meals on Wheels donation.

JEFFERSONVILLE--The Cambridge Coffeehouse presents Open Mike Night (acoustic) at Smuggler's Notch Inn also next Wednesday, 7-9 p.m. The original art of Ben Barnes will be on display. There is no admission charge although donations are appreciated. Email Pete Langdell for info.


      Ready to surf?
HOLIDAY THEMES--Ben & Jerry's scoops up lots of holiday cheer. You will find likable links here for Christmas, Chanukah, Yuletide Kwanzaa, Ramadan, and the Winter Solstice.
SANTA SITE--"The Merriest Place in Cyberspace" is fancy and s-l-o-w (it takes forever to load).
      The Weather Channel serves up real-time weather conditions for the North Pole
SHOPPERS--This is a good time to remind your kids NEVER to send information about themselves to anyone on the net without your permission. Consumers will spend about $15 billion online this season. Get specific tips on What You Need to Know About Cybershopping from the Better Business Bureau.


      ArtBits features a quick weekly peek at the bookshelf or night stand of the folks you know in and around Franklin County. That popular feature has a page of its own at the Franklin County Bookshelf here on the AAC site.
      In honor of the Railroad Days Festival, Bookshelf has most of the volunteers from the steering committee online.


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Dick Harper, Chair

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