ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 4 * * All Arts News On the Web * * February 3, 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.

      Regular AAC CoffeeHouses with networking time and "show-and-tell" are held in borrowed space at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, and workshops every month. This spring, we will gather in a different AAC member's home around the St Albans area starting February 6 at Corliss Blakely's. Watch this space for details.


      Regular AAC CoffeeHouses with networking time and "show-and-tell" are held in borrowed space at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. Tonight, the CoffeeHouse is at Corliss Blakely's home in St Albans (e-mail the All Arts Council for directions). Come to see Corliss' work, enjoy coffee and finger foods, and talk with Mark Montalban about how the AAC and the ElderArt program can work together.
      This spring, we will gather each month in a different AAC member's home around the area. Watch this space for details.


      The Super Bowl is over and we've gotten used to having snow on the ground, so it's time for some great music.
      Want to spend an evening with the joyous sounds of Cajun, Irish, Qu‚b‚cois, British, Old Time, and other traditions? Want to give to a good cause? Want to see and hear BeauSoleil, La Bottine Souriante and 21 other headliners? One Event for Tom is a special benefit concert at Ira Allen Chapel on Sunday, February 27, to help raise funds for a bone marrow transplant for 14-year-old Tom Sustic.
      "I call it roots music instead of folk music because there are electric instruments and the bands might do some rocking out. It's all based on traditional music," Tom's father Mark Sustic said.
      Grammy-winner BeauSoleil has preserved the rich Cajun musical traditions of Louisiana; their repertoire also includes elements of zydeco, New Orleans jazz, Tex-Mex, country, and blues.
      Yves Lambert, Michel Bordeleau, Andre Brunet and Regent Archambault of La Bottine Souriante have sold over half a million albums in their home of Quebec and headlined music festivals around the world, including the Soiree Grand Menage here in Franklin County. Their Acadian-French songs have the flavor of Celtic, Latin salsa, and New Orleans jazz.
      Tom Sustic, son of Deborah Travis and Mark Sustic of Fairfax, was diagnosed with high risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia last summer; he needs a bone marrow transplant to survive. Over 2 million volunteer donors have been tested, so far without success. Tom has shuttled between Fletcher Allen, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Milwaukee Children's Hospital in Wisconsin, and his home in Fairfax. His situation is serious and the prognosis poor for this extremely rare form of the disease. Tom will be hospitalized bi-weekly for the next year for intensive chemotherapy.
      The playbill also includes Savoy Doucet, singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester, tenor banjo Mick Moloney with Jimmy Keane and Robbie O'Connell, Big Table with Judy Hyman and Jeff Claus of the Horse Flies, plus emcees John Roberts and Tony Barrand, the premier singers of British traditional songs in North America. All the musicians are donating their time and talent.
      The last time this many traditional acts gathered in Vermont was for the Soiree Grand Menage in 1996.
      An Event for Tom is at the Ira Allen Chapel in Burlington on Sunday, February 27, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 and are available at the UVM Campus Ticket Store, Copy Ship Fax Plus in Essex Junction, and the Flynn Regional Box Office (802-86-FLYNN) and its outlets. More information is available at

      Lui Collins is one of New England's most gifted singer/songwriters. She blends Celtic and Appalachian influences with her own lyrical insight. This popular recording artist was born and raised in Central Vermont and is a national touring artist. She will perform the first benefit concert in a private home in Burlington next Thursday to help raise funds for Tom Sustic. Admission is $10.00. For reservations (required) and location, e-mail Ann Pearce for reservations and directions
      These concerts may just be the most fun you'll have all winter.


      The St Albans Messenger, Radio WWSR/WLFE, and the All Arts Council presented the Vermont Youth Orchestra in concert at Missisquoi Valley Union High School last week. A New Birth of Freedom featured music commemorating the battle for political liberty throughout the world, including Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait," Beethoven's "Egmont Overture," and the "Polovtsian Dances" by Borodin.
      A New Birth of Freedom will appear on Local Access Adelphia Cable Television, Channel 10 in the St Albans area, on Thursday, February 3, at 2 p.m. and on Saturday, February 5, at noon.


      The Elder Art Program is a statewide non-profit arts organization for artists age 55 and older. Artist educator Mark Montalban will hold beginning and intermediate classes at the North Hero North Station Firehouse on Wednesdays in Grand Isle County, February 2 -March 22. Beginning classes will be held at 9:30-11:30 a.m. Intermediate classes will occur in the afternoons, 12:30-2:30 p.m. The program costs $52 plus materials.
Each site also includes a month-long county-wide art show where students exhibit their work. Email or call 879-0685 for more information or call 372-4237 to register.


      This week, we continue to explore the art and music of some United Nations countries.
      Egyptian Art in the Age of the Pyramids, the most comprehensive exhibition of the art of the Old Kingdom will be on display at the Royal Ontario Museum February 13-May 22. From timeless statuary to intricate wall reliefs, these Old Kingdom works set our artistic conventions through the millennia.
      The Art Museum of Estonia in the Kadriorg Palace was founded in 1919. The museum complex contains more than 60,000 works of Estonian and international art.
      "Ethiopia has all the characteristics of a rich cultural mosaic," writes Ethnomusicologist Zenebe Bekele. "One reason for this is that the country has over 80 languages of which Amharic has become the Lingua franca."


      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.


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Dick Harper, Chair

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