ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 4 * * All Arts News On the Web * * January 6, 2000


      ArtBits always features a calendar of the goings on of Franklin County artists. Check out these events around Franklin County. Each issue includes the entire text of our weekly newspaper column.

      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.


      Summer Sounds will celebrate its tenth anniversary this year with free concerts every other Sunday in Highgate and St Albans, and regular concerts in Enosburg Falls, Franklin, and Richford. We are already planning a year of really big shows for Summer Sounds 2000 with some of the favorite brass, classics, country, jazz, pops, and rock-n-roll acts from our first concerts. We are asking some original performers to return to play double bills and we will introduce many new acts. If your town would like to schedule additional summer concerts, e-mail the All Arts Council .
      The AAC will continue several other popular events, including the Vermont Youth Orchestra concert this month, the annual Arts and Eats Festival at Hamlen's Garden Center, solo recitals, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra in concert at St Lukes, a Franklin County-wide Grand Holiday Art and Crafts Tour, and ArtsAuction 2000.
      The Vermont Dairy Festival has asked the AAC to book its performers for this season.
      Our work on the new Arts/First Register stalled last year, but we expect to complete it soon. This "coffee table book" will include brief biographies, images, historical resources, and regular calendar updates for northwestern Vermont artists and activities. A matching Internet catalog will include the same biographies and resources, additional images, and a calendar with easy access for all local community groups to compare dates efficiently and post new events. Visitors and residents with Internet access will be able to find instant and up-to-date information about local activities.
      Art on the Walls and Music in the Halls will continue with fine art exhibits and great musical gigs in the Abbey, Bayside, the Boonys, Chow! Bella, Jeff's Seafood, the MacDonald Gallery at the Sugar Mill Antique Mall, Northwestern Medical Center, most Franklin County schools and libraries, other retail businesses, as well as many other local eateries and drinkeries.
      Our monthly Coffee House meetings will include show and tell by various artists, impromptu musical riffs, some business opportunities, and workshops. AAC members gather the first Thursday of every month.


      Exit Stage Left Players will present Noises Off, written by Michael Frayne, this spring. Matt Peck will direct.
      The Fairfax Community Theater Company is planning spring and summer shows now. Proposals for the spring show are due tonight and for the summer show are due February 3. All FCTC board members have a form to help guide producers through the process.
      The Green Mountain Wind Ensemble will play a new round of concerts this summer. This select group of student musicians is from Northwestern Vermont. They specialize in the major works of contemporary composers, classical overtures and transcriptions, and traditional marches.
      Island Arts will have events for everyone including six art galleries, a craft show, regular concerts, children's concerts, the house tour, and the international croquet tournament. They will host a performance in the Barn at Apple Tree Bay, a swing dance with lessons, and return to the Outer Island Tour on Savage Island.
      The Opera House at Enosburg Falls began major renovations on Tuesday. It will reopen May 19 with the Miss Vermont pageant. The 2000 lineup includes productions by Enosburg grammar school, middle school, and high school; the FNESU Art Show; the Dairy Princess Pageant; the EFHS Alumni Banquet and Ball; Opera House Talent Search; and the Winterfest. The summer schedule offers a History of Enosburg in Movement and Music, the Green Mountain Barbershop Chorus, and a Woods Tea Company concert. There will be other county-wide concerts, exhibits, and workshop/performances scheduled through the year including a possible Blue Grass Festival and the Vermont Youth Orchestra. The Opera House will serve as a rain site for Concerts by the Enosburg Town Band and for Summer Sounds during the summer months.
      St Albans Area Community Arts Network and the Flynn Theater will continue a residency project that has brought Liz Lerman, John O'Neal, and the late Lester Bowie to St Albans. The program presents Fontella-Bass in March, actor Marty Pottenger in April, stories of St Albans Seniors and Children in May, and a History of Enosburg in Movement and Music later in the year. These Audiences for the Performing Arts Network projects will include public concerts, workshops with K-12 students and with adults, as well as intimate shows for students, seniors, and other area residents in March, April, and May. The St Albans Area CAN meets this Wednesday, January 12, at 4:30 in the library at BFA-St Albans.
      South Hero Players will produce the Dining Room, a play by A. R. Gurney, with a full set and a full cast this spring.
      Ron Haskell is writing the Village Players' summer play now; he is also expected to direct. The play will include original music and will use an all-volunteer cast and crew. It is scheduled for July 27-30.
      Performing arts spaces are on many minds. The South Hero Players want a better theater in the Islands. "A whole group of organizations are trying to come up with a piece of property here for meeting space, performance space, senior and teen center, and perhaps a VFW Hall and parent child center," Mike Guernsey said. Exit Stage Left, Fairfax Community Theater Company and Gate Players need more permanent homes as well. The AAC also plans to find space and reopen a cooperative fine arts and performance gallery.


      All Arts Council members and friends are invited to the first AAC Coffee House in 2000, in the Northwest Transportation offices (home of the Purple Bus) tonight at 7 p.m. Coffee is free; munchies and other finger foods are pot luck.
      The Northwest Transportation Network office is at 44 South Main Street, St Albans.


      The All Arts Council needs members who want to attend concerts and shows, assemble art exhibits, support the arts, book bands, spread the word about events, and to paint or dance or sing or write. The annual membership drive begins at the January Coffee House tonight.
      Member benefits include networking with artists and other members, a member night celebration, regular news of local cultural happenings, priority seating or discount admission to AAC events, advance notice of events, educational and cultural opportunities, as well as other parties and discounts.
      Residents, businesses, and visitors can join at the saint, patron, donor, benefactor, sponsor, or general member level. Student memberships are free; our student members complete community service projects to fulfill their membership.


      We thought it might be interesting to explore the museums and galleries of the United Nations countries this year.
      The Harmony Hall Gallery & Restaurant, located near Freetown in Antigua, hosted an exhibition of works by Bob Williamson. Their virtual gallery includes both a short and a much longer, more intimate biography which includes important information about his girlfriend and dog.
      The Arts of Argentina links the museums of Argentina, painters, sculptors, reviews, exhibitions and galleries, and world art news. Humanist and artist of the month Federico Maculan offers a look at his iconography with descriptions in Spanish, Italian, or English. It is probably wise NOT to click on the button that says "click here."


      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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