ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 4 * * All Arts News On the Web * * April 20, 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.


      "The Americans of all nations at any time upon the earth have probably the fullest poetical nature," Walt Whitman wrote.
      According to Internet search engine Lycos, poetry was the eighth most popular of all search terms last year.
      Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is a celebration of poetry among publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools, and poets world wide. Thousands participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events. The Academy has distributed 175,000 posters to schools, libraries, and bookstores.
      Today is a good day to read a poem or to write one.


      "Give us continuous entertainment on the Main Street stage," said Maple Festival chair George Cook. The AAC has created a statewide showcase of popular Franklin County performers with some pretty good "ringers" run in from neighboring areas. We will have bands, a magician, individual musicians, martial artists, a classic ensemble, storytellers, dancers, and even a family of 3-foot puppets for the 34th annual Vermont Maple Festival, April 27-30 in downtown St Albans.
      The fiddlers of the Maple Festival Fiddler's Variety Show will fiddle around Friday afternoon. The nationally known educational puppet troupe Kids on the Block-Vermont will help us laugh and learn. Dairy Farmer and storyteller George Woodard joins the show from Waterbury Center.
      St Albans Tae Kwan Do will enthrall us with martial arts brilliance on Saturday. The Roxy Dance Studio Dancers and the Green Mountain Cloggers will keep your arteries clear. Merlin the Magician can magically make an audience appear.
      Music will begin next Friday at noon with acoustic alternative singer/songwriter Kate Barclay, and continue through the weekend with Absolute Zero, Bad Horsey, the Green Mountain Wind Ensemble, the New Country Echoes, the Nobby Reed Project, plus jazz and pop vocalist Meg Willey.
      Even we don't yet know the name of one act: the Ducham Award winner of the Maple Festival Talent Show will perform.
      The All Arts Council will fill City Hall with an exhibit of works by Franklin County artists. We will have painting, photography, sculpture, original music, and cute little wooden boxes, plus photography from the Girl Scout Council, impressionist works from VSA-Vermont, paintings from the Elder Art show, and Postcards from the Artrageous statewide exhibit.
      The Gate Players reprise the hit Broadway musical Godspell in St Paul's Methodist Church with evening performances next Thursday-Saturday plus matinees on Saturday and Sunday. This powerful rock opera sets the Book of Matthew to music, mime, comedy and slapstick. The score includes the hits Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and Day by Day.


BURLINGTON--Absolute Zero will join Boston bands Noah's Dove and Delvick to play Club 242 Main on Friday. There is a $5 cover charge. The show starts at 7 p.m.
      The band is doing well. Their CD, Fuzzy Goodness For Your Whole Family, has attracted the attention of producers in California and New York. It is available at Jukebox CDs in St Albans and on

CAMBRIDGE--The Cambridge Arts Council presents Taino in a multi-cultural workshop and performance. Taino, starring "Papo" and "Sano" Nickel, shares the music and cultures of Central and South America.
      Taino will hold a public workshop on Tuesday, April 25, at 7 p.m. at the Cambridge Elementary School gym. The workshop is free and open to the public; no pre-registration needed but donations will be accepted.
      Taino returns to the Cambridge Elementary School auditorium on Wednesday, April 26, at 7 p.m. for a public performance. Suggested family donation is $10 for non-members and $8 for AAC or CAC members. e-mail Margo Rome for more info.

BURLINGTON--Lyric Theater Company brings pixie dust, adventure, song, and Peter Pan to life at the Flynn Theater for six performances, April 27-30. Two Franklin County residents (Bob Cseh and Robert Root) are cast members and John Bielicki is on the Promotions Committee. Tickets are available at the UVM Campus Ticket Store (656-3085) and Flynn Regional Box Office (86-FLYNN). Click here for info

MONTPELIER--Understanding how to use art or craft materials safely requires awareness and training. Monona Rossol will give a one-day safety workshop on April 29.
      An expert on art health and safety, Rossol is a chemist, artist, industrial hygienist, and author of The Artist's Complete Health and Safety Guide. This workshop is geared for art teachers, artists, crafters, as well as students and parents. e-mail Lauren Traister at the Association of Vermont Recyclers for info.


      Last call for country bands and country singers to enter the True Value Country Showdown, held at the Vermont Dairy Festival in June. The winner of this first step in the nation's largest country music talent search will go on to the State Finals.
      "This is the single most important event of the Millennium," Matt Henry said. Entrants must have cassettes in Matt's hands at WLFE by tomorrow afternoon at 5 p.m.


      Some poetry does not come to pass on paper; we are used to song lyrics and, in our distant past, experienced the news recited in rhymed verse. E-poetry is the newest change, a merger of technology with an age-old literary form. Electronic poets around the world are creating works that evolve and "perform" on the computer screen, said Loss Pequeno Glazier, director of the University at Buffalo's Electronic Poetry Center. The Center displays the work of dozens of e-poets.
      The Academy of American Poets has contests, information, and resources online.


      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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