ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 4 * * All Arts News On the Web * * April 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.

      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.


      "Tonight, tonight. It all begins tonight...
      "Tonight, tonight. The world is wild and bright...
      Tonight, tonight. I'll see you all tonight.
      Won't I?
      Members of the All Arts Council will hold an Annual Meeting in the Northwest Regional Transportation Network office (home of the Purple buses), 44 S. Main St, Thursday, April 6, at 7:00 p.m.
      Control of the Arts Council rests with the membership. Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard's term as a director expires tonight and Corliss Blakely was elected earlier to fill an open position. There are still three open positions to be filled. Members will discuss last year's projects and plan the 2000 season.
      All new members, current members, former members, potential members, and friends of the local arts of Franklin County are welcome. Free milk and cookies and I promise not to sing any West Side Story.


      The Fairfax Community Theater Company and the Fletcher Union Meeting House Association present three one-act plays Friday and Saturday in the Meeting House. Margie Cain is artistic director/producer with three first time directors, Sue Lamphere, Dennis Getty, and Ellen Isham. They will produce Overtones by Alice Gerstenberg, Infanta by Lewy Olfson, based on a story by Oscar Wilde, and The Music Lovers by Georges Feydeau.
      The cast includes Franklin County residents Margie Cain, Kathy Isham, Laura Isham Norm Lavallee, Amber Lescarbeau, Pat Lescarbeau, and Sylvia Morris.
      This benefit production will go toward the Meeting House restoration. The house opens at 7 p.m. both nights with appetizers served downstairs; desserts and coffee will be served during intermission.
      Tickets are $8 per person and $5 for children under 12 and are available only at the door.


      Last week, I made a few wild claims in our April Fool column. Or were they wild?
      Although Jimmy Buffett did not visit us Saturday, the Franklin County Performing Arts Center at the Field Days site in Highgate could certainly accommodate him if he did. If we had a Performing Arts Center in Highgate.
      And while we don't expect a northern wing of the Guggenheim Museum to open any time soon, a mobile museum to carry art to schools, libraries, and town halls around the County is a pretty good idea, even if it doesn't follow the cow motif.
      The Field Days site and the Franklin County Airport in Highgate have hosted the Grateful Dead, Floodstock, Tragically Hip, the annual Wings and Wheels, and all the entertainment that accompanies Field Days. The site is accessible, centrally located, fenced and gated, and well drained. Good electrical power is readily available and bathrooms are just a short dream away. The Town of Highgate and the Field Days committee are quietly moving ahead with improvements that will ease presenting the statewide cultural events we want. The Franklin County Performing Arts Center may be closer than we thought. Mr. Buffett, are you listening?


      The All Arts Council has upcoming exhibits in the Highgate Springs Welcome Center and in the Maple Festival. The Welcome Center will begin a permanent exhibit of painting and sculpture this month. We will also fill City Hall with an exhibit of works by Franklin County artists at the Vermont Maple Festival, April 29-30.
      We need painting, photography, sculpture, original music, and cute little wooden boxes. e-mail Alice Astleford for information.


      Mary Des Rosiers will call a contra dance with Sarah Blair (fiddle) and Tom Hodgson (guitar) at Edmunds School on Saturday. Mary, Sarah and Tom will be donating their time to help raise funds for a bone marrow transplant for Tom Sustic.
      Mary Des Rosiers has performed traditional music and dance for over 25 years. With appearances at hundreds of dance halls and festivals, she is one of New England's most popular dance callers. Irish and dance fiddler Sarah Blair honed her skills as a sought-after session leader in the Irish pubs of Boston She leads 'The Sevens' and teaches fiddle in Montpelier. Accompanist Tom Hodgson has performed at dances and concerts with some of the best fiddlers in the genre, including Martin Hayes, Donna Hebert, Rodney Miller and others. He is a masterful guitar player who has traveled and performed extensively in Europe and North America.
      This Event for Tom includes a family dance at 5:30pm, a pot luck at 6:30pm, a beginners workshop at 7:30pm, and the contra dance at 8pm, all at Edmunds School in Burlington on Saturday. Call 802-658-0832 or click here for updated information about this and other Events for Tom.


JEFFERSONVILLE--Join the Cambridge Arts Council at their Annual Meeting next Wednesday, April 12, at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of the Second Congregational Church. e-mail Margo Rome for more info.

ST ALBANS CITY HALL hosts the first ever collaboration showcasing the talent of K-12 art students of Franklin Central Supervisory Union and BFA-St Albans next week. Students will exhibit works in all media including sculptures from BFA-St Albans, print making from Fairfield Elementary, paintings and drawings from St Albans City Elementary, plus clay fountains and wind chimes from St Albans Town Elementary Center.
      There will be an opening reception at City Hall next Tuesday, 6:30-8 p.m. The show will be open April 11-13 at 11 a.m.-1 p.m. each day plus 3-6:30 on Wednesday only. Stop in during your lunch hour downtown.

MAN OF LA MANCHA--The world famous MVU Musical is only 7 days away. The story of Don Quixote, a difficult, cerebral, thinking man's show within a show, will be presented in the Trahan Theater April 13-15. The score offers one of the most moving moments in musical theater when Don Quixote sings his convictions in The Impossible Dream.
      Shawn McLaughlin plays the dual role of Cervantes/Quixote, Caitlyn Shumway plays Aldonza, and Michael McCarthy is the comic Sancho. The cast will hold dress rehearsals for local schools on Wednesday 4-12. "We usually get about a thousand students," said director Harold Mitchell.
      Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for students, $5 for seniors, and $5 for students at the matinee Call 868-7311 for reserved seats. Tickets are available at the door and from any cast member. You might want to get yours early.


      The National Museum of the Bargello owns the beautiful and ancient (c. 1255) headquarters of the Capitano del Popolo. It became the residence of the Bargello or head of police spies in the sixteenth century and the host of sieges, fires and executions. It is now the home of Michelangelo's Madonna and Child, the Brutus, and the David-Apollo.
      Founded in 1884 through a donation of foreign art works, The National Gallery of Iceland holds the national collection of 19th and 20th century Icelandic and international art. Sitting beside the country's most significant collection of major Icelandic artists is a growing collection of works by Pablo Picasso, Edvard Munch, Karel Appel, Richard Tuttle, and more.


      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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