ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 4 * * All Arts News On the Web * * February 17, 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.


      Novelist, children's author, and truth teller Reeve Lindbergh changes literary gears regularly. The youngest daughter of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh will be at the Swanton Free Public Library on Saturday to talk about her writing, libraries, and her exceptional family.
      "I do a lot of traveling and talking," she said of her appearances at schools and libraries with her children's books and the family memoirs. Last week she was in Arlington and Bennington. In one program she spoke mostly to preschoolers; the other was people in their seventies and eighties. "I get to talk to and listen to the people who were really influenced by my father's flight to Paris and who have read Mother's books."
      Her first project was a book of essays about the Northeast Kingdom with photographs by Richard Brown. She has written more than 20 other books including the generally autobiographical novels Moving to the Country and the powerful The Names of the Mountains.
      "People have asked me all my life to write about my family and I wasn't sure I wanted to do that until I figured out that I was doing it anyway," she said.
      Under a Wing is Lindbergh's intimate reminiscence of the unusually private side of her public parents. The memoir offers an affectionate but outspoken portrait of her parents, the stiff and loving father who captured the American heart with triumphs, trials, and, occasionally, outspoken bigotry and a mother who became physically and mentally impaired by strokes.
      Reeve Lindbergh arrived in Vermont in 1968 with a wave of incoming college grads. "There were quite a few teaching jobs in southern Vermont," she said. "I started out as a second grade teacher in Readsboro and did a lot with rhyme. There were a lot of us [who moved here then]. My husband says it's because we all read Stewart Little as children."
      "I want to hear about her life as a children's author," said Jane Bouchard at the Swanton library.
      Teaching in rhyme lead to the picture books The Day the Goose Got Loose, illustrated by Steven Kellog, There's a Cow in the Road and The Awful Aardvarks Go to School, illustrated by Tracey Campbell Pearson, and If I'd Known Then What I Know Now, a child's eye view of an un-handyman father illustrated by Kimberly Bulcken Root. These books are popular for ages 4-8 and "they all rhyme," she said.
      She enjoys writing fiction and non-fiction for a wide audience and for children. "It's fun to try all the voices. When you come out of a writing background, you do a little of everything. In my family we tend to be writers and tend to write a lot of different ways."
      Reeve Lindbergh has three children, six "rather elderly chickens, and a couple dozen sheep, plus the indoor animals, a couple of dogs, a hamster, a bird, and a hedgehog." A member of the Vermont Library Association Board, she reads and speaks regularly at libraries around the state. She also works with the Lindbergh Foundation in Minneapolis a non-profit group that works to balance nature and technology.
      The Swanton Free Public Library completed a new wing and a total restoration of the existing historic structure. It is now bright, airy, and handicap accessible with an elevator for all three floors. "With more room we've expanded our adult and juvenile collections," said librarian Marilyn Barney. The library focuses on best sellers, popular reading, and a variety of children's material.
      This program is part of an ongoing program to show what the libraries do and what they need from the state and the community to continue. Lindbergh will be in the Swanton Library Saturday at 2 p.m. Franklin County libraries hosted Archer Mayor last February and Joe Citro last fall. There will be refreshments and a chance to talk to legislators and librarians from around the area.
      "The libraries in the state do a terrific job," she said. "I really like the programs they are doing all over the state. As cold as the weather is, I take my hat off to the Vermont Libraries."


      The All Arts Council is a group of local volunteers who present concerts, benefits, exhibits, and educational programs from Summer Sounds to Railroad Days. To continue that level of programming takes your help. We are looking for more volunteers.
      If you visited the Artrain in St. Albans or came to the Vermont Youth Orchestra concert at MVU last month, you already know how your presence and your financial support helps make the arts happen right here in Franklin County.
      Our goal this year is to recruit 100 members and to raise only $5,000 in new funds to support arts programs here in Franklin County.
      The AAC will give members a free art reproduction by a popular area artist such as Alice Astleford or Del Bransfield. Members can attend celebrations, network with artists and other members, and go to free workshops. We publish regular news of local cultural happenings and offer discounts on art/music/performance supplies. Businesses also get an honor roll listing in our member booklet and on the Internet.
      Click here to join.


      The Cambridge Arts Council presents an African drumming and dance performance by Jeh Kulu in the Cambridge Elementary School auditorium on Wednesday, February 23, at 7 p.m. The school will hold "Open House" in the kindergarten, first, and second grade classrooms before the performance to show the student activities as part of Jeh Kulu's residency.
      Jeh Kulu will also present an African dance workshop in the Cambridge Elementary School gymnasium next Thursday, February 24, at 7:00 p.m. Pre-registration is not needed.
      There is no admission to either event, but donations are appreciated. e-mailMargo Rome for more info.


      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.


AAC dancing logo

Dick Harper, Chair

Support Free Speech on the Internet
All Arts Council of Franklin County
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460
e-mail us

Go to [ Dick Harper | All Arts Index | ArtBits Archive ]

Copyright © Richard B. Harper, 2000. All Rights Reserved.