ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 4 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 25, 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.


      Really cool news.
      Over 99,000 people who visit the Welcome Center at the Highgate Springs Border station will see over a dozen Franklin County artists this year. We installed the first of our rotating art shows at the center with paintings and a display case full of sculpture. Each featured artist will be on display for one month.
      Mary Harper is hanging around on the wall with two portraits and a rustic barnside. Her exhibit continues through June 30.
      The display case holds three of Alice Astleford's lovely wooden boxes, Diana Herder Bennett's whimsical pottery, five of Patrice Havreluk Hemingway's Ukranian eggs, and Ania Modzelewski's plaster relief. That exhibit ends May 31.


      Thanks to Simple Pleasures Cafe, the homeless Arts Council has found a home. Singer-Songwriter Kate Barclay will perform next Thursday, June 1, from 7 to 8 p.m. and the original art of Franklin County artist Alic Astleford will be on exhibit. The artwork will remain at Simple Pleasures through June 30.
      Our CoffeeHouse always has music, networking time, and "show-and-tell" and is held at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. Watch the newspapers, check here, and look for posters for the performers and the art on exhibit.
      Directions to downtown St Albans: Interstate 89 to St Albans (exit 19). Follow the exit ramp through a 4-way stop to a T intersection with U.S. Route 7. Turn right onto Route 7, heading north toward St Albans City. Simple Pleasures is on the left, a few doors before City Hall.


BERKSHIRE--People Really Interested In Developing Education (Berkshire P.R.I.D.E.) present the second annual Berkshire Variety Show at the Enosburg Opera House on Saturday evening.
      Performers will include the bluegrass/old time music team of Ernie and Nathan Minetti on guitar and fiddle. Elizabeth Lauffer will perform a classical violin solo. Peter Garrow and Catherine Brodrous plan intricate piano solos. Dancers Bethany Ramsey, Jessie Gillman, and Helen McDermott will again prove to be real show stoppers. Maple Festival 2000 winner and Country Showdown contestant Lindsey Larivee will sing Tomorrow.
      Enosburg Talent show award winners Raff and David Bish currently at will each sing solos plus an extraordinary duet. Shayna Sherwood and Megan Willey will sing All That Jazz .
      Stand up comedian Lauren Hickey will entertain from start to finish. Harold Mitchell, bon vivant, world renowned comedian, Berkshire Elementary School Principal, and Director of the annual MVU Musical, will be the Master of Ceremonies.
      Come to see the newly renovated Opera House. Enjoy homemade refreshments served by the Friends of the Opera House. Tickets are $4/adults $2/children, and $10/family and are available at the box office. Call the Opera House (933-6171) for more info.

BAKERSFIELD--The annual Bakersfield Variety Show will also be presented on Saturday evening in Bakersfield. "The show is a benefit for the Bakersfield Community Theater," director Tadd Stone said.
      Donna Flanders will do a country folk song, Dale Cahill's bluegrass band will pick and grin, and past members from Bakersfield Drama will perform a medley of songs. Tadd Stone is Master of Ceremonies
      Area performers should come tonight or tomorrow evening to the Bakersfield Elementary School gym after 7 p.m. "We'll be figuring out the show, doing sound check, and have open mike time," Tadd said.
      The Bakersfield Variety Show will be held in the Elementary School gym at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $3/adults, $2/high school students and $1/grade school and younger and are available at the door.


SWANTON--The Abenaki Cultural Heritage Festival will fill Swanton Village Park this weekend.
      "We have dancers and drummers throughout both days," said acting chief April Rushlow.
      There will be a fashion show. Fred Wiseman will tell the History of the Abenaki culture. Storyteller Joseph Bruchac and Wobanaki dancers will perform Saturday afternoon. Patrice Havreluk, drum maker Grey Wolf, and People from Clan of the Hawk will perform and basket maker Jesse LaRocque will demonstrate. There will be 22 vendors and six informational tables.
      "The Grand Entry is at noon each day," April said. There will be handouts with information about each of the three songs of the entrance. "Please do not take pictures during the songs.
      "We also have three raffles," April said, "a quilt, a drum, and arts from all the artists." The full sized quilt is Bear Paws and the four-man drum includes a base. Each artist and artisan in the Festival donates a piece for the third raffle.
      The festival is open to the public 9-5 Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. Call April Rushlow (868-2559) for more info.

NEWPORT--Run for Cover plays the Nickelodeon Caf‚ on Saturday at 9 p.m.


      "In addition to the shows, parade, and dairy exhibits, we want to have great music going all weekend," said Enosburg Lions President Maurice Parent. The AAC has created a statewide showcase of popular Franklin County performers with some pretty good newcomers from across the Pond. We will have bands, for the 44th annual Vermont Dairy Festival, next weekend, June 1-4, in downtown Enosburg Falls.
      The 19th annual True Value Country Showdown will anchor the continuous entertainment. The winner of this first step in the nation's largest country music talent search goes on to the State Finals. Chad and Todd Rabideau won the local contest in 1999. National winners include current stars Martina McBride and John Michael Montgomery.
      The competition lineup includes Amy Barbour of Richford, Pat Murphy and Chris Conti of Blue Sky, duo Crystal Clear from Mooers, Bonnie Drake of Williston, Ducham award winner Lindsey Larivee, Sharyl Lariviere of Winooski, Candace Myers from St Albans Bay, Rabideau Brothers of Morrisonville, South Junction from Peru NY, and 1999 runner up David White of St Albans. Dark Horse is the host band and will perform Saturday evening as well.
      An interesting bit of trivia: The Don Campbell Band from Maine played the Dairy Festival last year. They entered the True Value Showdown through their home radio station and went on to win the National competition. Franklin County always gets great performers and gives them a "leg up."
      The True Value Country Showdown is sponsored and operated by Matt Henry and WLFE. Over 400 radio stations stage the local competitions for the nation's largest country talent search. Matt's favorite color is green.
      Dairy Festival entertainers will perform on two stages. The Lincoln Park bandstand will alternate hosting bands with a new Main Street stage.
      Friday evening features the EFHS Jazz Band, family favorite Jon Gailmor, and the country music of the Rabideau Brothers.
      Saturday starts with the Parade at 10:30 and the famed Fernald Lumber Yankee Hitch Show, followed by the Marching Band competition, the True Value Country Showdown, a two-set Fiddling Variety Show, three sets of country music band Dark Horse, and the fireworks.
      Sunday features new age string jazz trio XB2000, the Fernald Lumber Yankee Hitch Show, the rock and roll of Tin Pan Alley, and award winning singer/songwriter Kate Barclay.


      The Opera House at Enosburg Falls has begun the first of what will become an Annual Fund Drive to help cover the cost of everyday operating expenses. Friends of the Opera House will be calling on community members throughout this month. Their $38,000 goal is based on last year's cost of "keeping the doors open." The Year 2000 program will acknowledge donations received before June 10. Call the Opera House (802-933-6171) for more info.


      The complete rundown for the Dairy Festival and for the dual stage entertainment can be found on the Dairy Days site and here .


      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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