ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 4 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 18, 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 Simple Pleasures in St Albans.


      The Opera House at Enosburg Falls opens newly painted doors for the Miss Vermont Pageant Friday evening, May 19.
      That might not have happened.
      When Dr. B. J. Kendall built the Opera House in 1892, he envisioned world class cultural events, traveling and local entertainment, and important meetings. The stage is intimate and the acoustics match any of the great music halls. Unfortunately, Vermont's opera houses fell into disuse. Neglect shut many of them down. The Opera House at Enosburg Falls was unmaintained and nearly forgotten for a quarter century; the ravages of time and inattention nearly destroyed this Franklin County treasure.
      The first real restoration started in the mid-1970s when local patrons founded the Enosburg Opera House Association. Their efforts returned plays, pageants and other summer activities to the building. The Enosburg Selectboard appointed a formal restoration committee in 1993 to begin planning and fundraising to restore the building as our cultural jewel.
      There is no more peeling paint.
      "The first phase is a completely new infrastructure in the sense that we will be completely up to any code," said Facilities Manager/plumber/electrician/fundraiser Jon Scott. "We've spent a lot of money" to meet fire codes, safety codes, and handicap access. "It's not very exciting and glamorous but the glamour comes next."
      That unglamorous effort has repaired the roof and foundation; painted the exterior of the building, the auditorium, and the downstairs spaces; added a sprinkler system; installed accessible bathrooms that finally, after all these years, flush; and sanded the stage floor smooth and level. "Anyone who has performed there in recent years knows that's a real boon," Jon said. The stage is 30 feet wide by about 25 deep within the proscenium arch. Reinforcing the roof means more sets and lighting can be hung leading to large, professional productions.
      "We've also set the stage with wiring and conduits to upgrade the lighting and the audio. We're starting the summer with a good standard theater lighting system" and can supply whatever sound equipment is needed.
      The elevator was back ordered and will be installed in late July. "The House does have the shaft." The elevator shaft feeds from the lower level at the back of the building up to the auditorium level and to the stage.
      The lobby and an area from the front door to the back of the building has been transformed into a gallery space. "We'll be able to have art exhibits lining both walls of the corridor which has been opened up, so it's more than twice as wide. That gives more than 100' feet of hanging space," Jon said.
      The box office is now a real box office and there is a smaller meeting room/cloakroom. They are adding a bright and sparkling catering kitchen in the formerly grungy cage. The stud walls are up for dressing rooms, the green room, the performers' showers and bathrooms. That construction will be done soon.
      The Opera House currently hosts the annual Talent Search, Opera House Association plays and musicals, concerts such as the recent Constitution Brass, local variety shows, the Dairy Princess Pageant, and serves as the rain site for the Dairy Festival concerts.
      The Grand Opening will be July 8.


      Musicians playing the upcoming Vermont Dairy Festival have released a number of albums that we will introduce here and on the AAC-WWSR/WLFE Feature Artist Showcase.
      The Feature Artist Showcase spotlights songs from Fantangasmic String Thing Friday morning, May 19, on WWSR-1420 AM. String jazz/rock trio XB2000-Excessive Behaviour includes St Albans resident and Hurdy Gurdy Man Corey Cranston.
      The Feature Artist Showcase is broadcast on Fridays at 8:25 a.m., whenever there is a new release by Franklin County artists.


      The Franklin Chorus is recruiting cheerful singers to participate in the annual Franklin Memorial Day program. The Chorus will sing a a variety of popular music and the new Vermont state song.
      "We're glad to have folks from other communities who would like to sing with a Town Chorus," said Diane Gates. "We have pretty good songs. The more the merrier!"
      The Chorus will practice in the Franklin Town Hall on Monday, May 22, at 7 p.m Memorial Day is celebrated in the late morning on Tuesday May 30.

      The Elder Art Program is a statewide, member-operated, non-profit arts organization for artists age 55 and older. Artist educator Mark Montalban will hold beginning and intermediate classes this summer at the St Albans Barlow Street Community Center and in the North Hero North Station Firehouse. The program costs $56 with some materials included. Students will have the opportunity to show their work at a county-wide art exhibit. Transportation may be available.
FRANKLIN COUNTY--Classes will be held in the Barlow Street Center on Thursdays from June 8 - Aug. 3. Beginning pencil, charcoal, oil pastel classes at 9:30-11:30 a.m. and "Some Experience" classes in acrylic and watercolor at 12:30-2:30 p.m.
GRAND ISLE COUNTY--Classes will be held in the North Hero North Station Firehouse on Wednesdays from June 7-August 2. Beginning pencil, charcoal, oil pastel classes at 9:30-11:30am and "Some Experience" classes in acrylic and watercolor at 12:30-2:30 p.m.
      Each site also includes a month-long county-wide art show where students exhibit their work. e-mail or call 879-0685 for more information or call the St Albans Recreation Department (524-1519) to register in St Albans and the North Hero Firehouse (372-4237) to register in North Hero.


SUMMER INSTITUTE--The Vermont Arts Council sponsors a five day Summer Institute (July 9-13) to examine the use of computer technology to create and communicate about the arts. Courses are designed for music composition, visual imagery, and website development.       The Vermont Millennium Arts Partnership also has limited funds available to assist artists, musicians, performers, administrators and teachers. Click here or e-mail for info

51st Annual National Art Exhibit (June 30)--The Wind River Valley Artists' Guild of Dubois, Wyoming non-juried show is open to all artists including youth. Best of Show $2,000. Entry fee. e-mail for info.

CALL FOR ARTISTS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS (June 30) is a publisher and marketer of limited edition (80-250) fine art prints sold through a website and mail order catalog. Send labeled slides, resume, price list and SASE to Submissions, Visualize, 1355 Market St Suite 301, San Francisco CA 94103

ARTS FOR THE PARKS COMPETITION (June 1)--$100,000 in total cash awards. $50,000 First Prize. Open to all professional and amateur artists of original two-dimensional painted or drawn media (photographic and computer generated artwork excluded). All artwork must feature a qualifying national park area within its subject matter. Click here for info.


      Dance World in Luxembourg has links to two dance sites. Th‚ƒtre Dans‚ et Muet TDM (The Luxembourguish Contemporary Dance Theater) is an initiative of several Luxembourg dance associations and institutes. The Festival Cour des Capucins (The Annual Contemporary Dance Festival) is a Dance and Movement Theater festival in July.
      The Music from Madagascar is influenced by the surrounding cultures (Mauritius, Mozambic, Reunion Island, and South Africa) with strong effects from Southwest Asia and France. This site shows the rhythmic songs of the coast, and the relaxed songs from inland.


      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.