ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 6 * * All Arts News On the Web * * June 7 , 2002


      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.

      Stop in for the AAC CoffeeHouses at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month. These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and workshops. We come together on the second Wednesday for a booked musical performance and an art exhibit at Simple Pleasures in St Albans. On the fourth Wednesday come to the Kept Writer in St Albans for acoustic Open Mike Night featuring music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.


      Tim Stetson is the AAC treasurer, a community volunteer, an emergency expert, a jack-of-all-trades, and an astounding singer.
      "I sing a lot of different stuff," he said. Tim lists Gospel first, then Christian Country, and Country and Western. He also sings on stage, in the Enosburg Community Chorus, in the Methodist Church Choir. He made his AAC debut at the Maple Festival this year.
      Tim played Linus in You're a Good Man Charley Brown, a musical he also directed and produced at the Opera House in Enosburg Falls. "I liked to suck that thumb," he said. He has directed many smaller shows and was Executive Director and is now Executive Producer for the Miss Vermont Pageant. That pageant has outgrown the Enosburg Falls facilities; it moves to the Barre Opera House July 7.
      Christian Country--Christian music with a country flair or vice versa--is a new and expanding genre of music, as Southern gospel makes its way to the north. Tim plays Christian Country every Sunday morning at 11 on WLFE. Stations in Essex Junction and in Champlain, NY also have weekly programming.
      "The run-of-the-mill me listens to Country and Western and pop," he said admitting that he really listens to everything. Tomorrow morning he will probably have WLFE on for country in the car but he'll switch to one of the public radio stations for classical or jazz on his way to an afternoon meeting.
      Tim is working on his first CD. "Since I perform primarily Gospel music, the album will include old gospel, Christian country, and a broad assortment of music and musical styles. There will be some blue grass flavor, and some older hymns that people recognize, done in a Gospel style." Some original songs, written by another Vermonter, will also be on the CD.
      "Right now, I'm looking at ways to get air play." Air play is important not only to generate royalties, but also to drive retail sales. Tim has formed a publishing company so he can license his music to other singers and a record label to control the royalties. "Just call us Enosburg, Tennessee," he said.
      Tim and I both have written for the now defunct Themestream online. He wants to do more writing. The current Proptology Magazine features his article on the making of the scrolls for Once Upon A Mattress. He has started a screen play for a disaster flick ("naturally") and is "one-tenth of the way through the research for an Opera House history with Lou Hill." He also plans to write and produce a funny one- or two-Vermonter stage show.
      Born in Richford Tim grew up in a musical family that moved to northern New York when he was 10. "Not everyone has been a singer, but we've always had music around us." His grandfather played with Dixieland bands and bluegrass. Tim matriculated at Rochester Institute of Technology in graphic arts and photography.
      His first job was at Regal Art as a graphic artist where he also did the majority of the camera work and did all the stripping for pre-press, ran the press, and even handled the warehouse inventory. "They put all those college skills to use "
      In high school, he was one of the few junior fire fighters. Upon returning to Vermont, he became an emergency medical services volunteer and joined the emergency management program for what was then the Civil Defense. He responded to a newspaper ad for a volunteer county coordinator for the American Red Cross, where he is now the Director of Emergency Services. He coordinates emergency response with the other Vermont chapters, the state structure, and the national organization. Tim is also a member of the national Air Incidence Response team (the AIR team). The Red Cross is the independent voluntary agency assigned by the National Transportation Safety Board to coordinate all mental health and family services at air disasters. He recently handled the Egypt Air crash.
      "Nearly 100% of Red Cross funding comes from voluntary contributions," he said. They are a private, non-governmental agency with a Congressional mandate that requires them to provide the services they do and gives them the authority to do it.
      In their spare time, Tim and Kathy Stetson operate the TimKath Enterprises Group of Companies, a birthday cards-janitorial-party favors-production business. "We'll do almost anything," Tim said. "The primary business is production, the lighting and the sound. We do rentals, full productions, and we sell equipment and all the supplies and services that go with it." It grew out of Tim's love of music, the arts, and of being on stage and performing.
      Outside of the office, he stays "focused on growing the business. I'm the idea guru and [his son] David does the operations stuff." David graduates this month and plans to run the business full time. "Now I guess I'll work on how to pay for it all," Tim said.
      What else would you like to see about yourself in the newspaper?
      "That I'm sweet, lovable, and of course tall."


ST ALBANS--Folk singer Jim LaClair performs at the regular AAC CoffeeHouse at Simple Pleasures next Wednesday, June 13, at 7 p.m. Jim began playing guitar in the 1960s folk boom. Heavily influenced by Joan Baez, Gordon Lightfoot, and Bob Dylan, he likes traditional folk with a topical message. The paintings of AAC member Mary Harper will be on exhibit. The artwork will remain at Simple Pleasures through the summer.
      The All Arts Council sponsors the CoffeeHouse with music, networking time, and "show-and-tell" at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month. Admission is always free, but donations are appreciated.
      The watercolor paintings of AAC member Eric Bataille are featured this month at the Highgate Springs Welcome Center, immediately south of the U.S.-Canadian border crossing.


ENOSBURG FALLS--Tyrone Shaw and the Oleo Romeos will play a benefit concert tomorrow night, 7-11 p.m., at the Somerset Inn. Proceeds benefit the Rebecca Bennett Fund.

FAIRFAX--Mark Sustic leads acoustic instruments, and (mostly) traditional music at 1:30pm-4pm on Saturday at the Foothills Bakery. There will be musicians and singers playing fiddle, banjo, guitar, harmonica, and other non-amplified instruments.

FRANKLIN--Josh Brooks plays a mix of story based originals and folk songs at the Boonys Saturday night at 7.


      This year, we are wandering around the virtual state of Vermont to look at the online homes of arts organizations, galleries and artists, film and theater sites, and musicians.
      Home to some of the finest crafts people in the country, Vermont has more artists and artisans per capita than any other state. The Vermont Crafts Council spotlights some of the 1,500 professionals including quilters, printmakers, potters, furniture makers, metal workers, weavers, and glassblowers.


      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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      This article was originally published in the St Albans Messenger and other traditional print media. It is Copyright © 2001 by Richard B. Harper. All rights reserved. Archival material is provided as-is. Links are not necessarily maintained (if a link in this article fails, try or your favorite search engine).
      Thanks to recent misuse of copyright material on the Internet by individuals and archival firms alike, we emphasize that your rights to this article are limited to viewing it and printing it for personal use only. You must receive explicit permission from the All Arts Council and the author before reprinting or redistributing this article in any medium.