ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 6 * * All Arts News On the Web * * June 6, 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.


      The St Albans Historical Society presents Dorothy Canfield Fisher--A Vermonter for the World on Sunday at the St Albans Historical Museum. Helene Lang performs this living history portrait.
      Dorothy Canfield Fisher was a Vermonter with a cosmopolitan knowledge of humanity. She was a nationally popular novelist and the first woman to serve on the Vermont Board of Education. Her novel The Brimming Cup was the second most popular novel of 1921 (Sinclair Lewis' Main Street was that year's bestseller). The Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, Vermont's children's choice book award for students in Grades 4-8, was first presented in 1957.
      Many Vermonters think that Ms. Fisher wrote most often about Vermont, but in forty books of fiction and non-fiction she attacked discrimination, intolerance, brutality and fraud around the world.
      "To those of us who live here it is as familiar and life giving as air or water, and as difficult to define in terms of human satisfaction. Can any words bring home to a reader in New Orleans or Singapore the tang of an upland October morning, the taste of a drink from a cold mountain spring? Certainly it is nothing fixed. Vermonters are fiercely unregimented... They will argue with each other and with the road commissioner hour after Town Meeting hour, about where to put a culvert. They disagree with one another more often than they seem to agree. Yet, although you can't predict exactly what they will do in any situation, you can always make a close guess as to the sort of thing they will do, and--more or less--what they will say when doing it. And what they will refrain from saying." Ms. Fisher wrote in 1953, five years before her death.
      Dr. Helene Lang is a Professor of Literacy and Literature at the University of Vermont.
      The St Albans Historical Society will host a Victorian Tea following the performance.
      This living history presentation is sponsored by The St Albans Historical Society, the All Arts Council of Franklin County, the St Albans Free Library, and the Vermont Council on the Humanities. VCH programs encourage every individual to read, participate in public affairs, and continue to learn throughout life.
      Admission is free in the ADA accessible St. Albans Historical Museum on Sunday at 2 p.m. Call the Museum (802-527-7933) for info.


      The Opera House at Enosburg Falls presents the Champlain Voices in a choral and instrumental concert on Sunday afternoon. This concert is part of the venue's 2002 Emerging Talents Series. The performance will include Irving Berlin's Blue Skies and Robert de Cormier's arrangement of Turn the World Around, by Ben Peters plus the Ave Maria by Javier Busto, Vita da la Mia Vita by Hawley, Water under Snow Is Weary by Harri Wessman, Wir Eilen mit Schwachen by Johann Sebastian Bach, from Cantata 78, Jesu, der du Meine Seele, Just in Time, book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, music by Jule Styne, and the traditional spiritual Every Time I Feel the Spirit arranged by William L. Dawson.
      Champlain Voices is a vocal ensemble of students and graduates of BFA-St Albans, Enosburg High School, MVUHS, and Johnson State College. The ensemble has rehearsed and practiced for four years.
      There are seven Champlain Voices in this concert: sopranos Megan Willey, St Albans, and Heather Morse, Johnson State; altos Sarah Hayes, Johnson State, and Sally Turner, Bakersfield; tenor Samantha Jones, Bakersfield; and basses Riley Kempton, Franklin, and Brad Lamoureux, Enosburg. The instrumentalists are area high school students; Shelley Smith, flute, studies with Wendy Matthews; Sarah Watson, piano, studies with Marcia Perry; and Hillary Britch, clarinet. Megan Willey and Brad Lamoureux will solo. Marcia Perry is accompanist.
      "We rehearse twice a week in St Albans, sometimes in Enosburg and sometimes in Bakersfield," Director Donna Costes said. "Wherever the majority are."
      Ms. Costes has conducted the Champlain Chorus for 15 years. She was also the music teacher and choral director at BFA-St Albans, organist at St Luke's, and piano teacher to generations of area students. She now owns Champlain Music, a business that rents instruments and sells music to area schools. "I'm learning to be an entrepreneur," she said.
      "The Emerging Talents series makes this wonderful stage available to young people to display their skills in front of a live audience," OHEF manager Jon Scott said.
      The Champlain Voices are presented by the Opera House at Enosburg Falls on Sunday at 3 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3.50 for senior and students. Save a buck on advance sale tickets at the Merchant's Bank and Spears Pharmacy in Enosburg Falls, Swanton Rexall, and at the Kept Writer in St Albans. Call 802-933-6171 or click here for more info.


SWANTON--About 25 kids from the Headstart preschool at Mary S. Babcock school and from Angela Vallee's and Theresa Ledoux' daycare took part in the VSA-Arts Vermont "Start With the Arts" program. The results are on exhibit now.
      "We read a book then do an art-based project related to the book," said Peggy Rainville. "The kids remember what they read and want to read more."
      The artwork is based on Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, Mixed Up Chameleon by Eric Carle, The Wing on a Flea by Ed Emberley, My Many Colored Days by Dr Seuss, and Lacey O'Neal by Arlen Cohn.
      VSA-Arts Vermont offer programs in writing, dance, drama, music and the visual arts for people with disabilities. They are an affiliate of the international VSA-Arts whose programs serve 5.6 million people around the world, including 4.3 million Americans.
      Now through June 13 only at the Swanton Free Public Library.

FRANKLIN--The Boonys Pub and Grill presents the Hub Cats in an evening of contemporary folk music, smooth vocals, and light humor on Saturday starting at 7 p.m.


      Club Respite is a local adult day program that serves frail adults with memory loss or physical disabilities by providing therapeutic activities, health monitoring, supervision and respite. They need artists, musicians, and more to expand the horizons of their clients.
      "I arrange for visitors to come either at 10:30 or at 1 during the week to talk about what they do or what their interests are or what their job is or to play music or to read poetry," she said. "It's all volunteer."
      Call Christie Warnk at Club Respite (802-527-0548) 10:30-5 daily. "After 3 is best," she said.


      VSA-Arts invited children with disabilities from around the world to reconfigure identical 4" square boxes for display during the 2002 Cultural Olympiad held in Salt Lake City. The Children Beyond Borders' online exhibit is a collection of original boxes from over 52 countries that express these young artist's ideas, dreams, and visions.
      The VSA-Arts online gallery features members' work, topical exhibits related to disability, and resources for all visual artists.


      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 © 2002 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).
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