ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 7 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 6, 2003


      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 live music and more at the Fairfax Music Sessions at the Foothills Bakery in Fairfax most Saturday afternoons, at the Kept Writer in St Albans most Friday and Saturday evenings, at the Bayside in St Albans Town most Sunday afternoons, and the Cambridge CoffeeHouses at 7 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of every month.
     These gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and occasional workshops. The booked performances and acoustic Open Mike Nights feature music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.


      The Opera House at Enosburg Falls hosts a screening and discussion of Jay Craven's film, The Year That Trembled, on Saturday evening, March 15. An informal group of people in Enosburg has come together to bring this current movie about the Kent State shootings to Franklin County. Mr. Craven will lead a discussion after the movie.
      The Year That Trembled is a coming-of-age drama set in 1970. Part war chronicle, part unconventional love story, the film is a year from the life of three American teenagers awaiting the draft lottery. Caught up in the anti-war and anti-Nixon turbulence at Ohio's Kent State, they give refuge to a young activist at their summer farmhouse. Next door to the farmhouse, a young couple also struggles as she loses her high school teaching job and he launches a civil suit on behalf of the Kent victims.
      Director/screenwriter Jay Craven's previous films include Where the Rivers Flow North and A Stranger in the Kingdom. All of Mr. Craven's films have attracted an eclectic mix of Hollywood star power including Michael J. Fox and Rip Torn, as well as exceptional Vermont actors. This film features an ensemble of young talent, seasoned actors, and veterans from his previous films. This cast includes Fred Willard (Austin Powers), comedians Henry Gibson and Martin Mull, and in her screen debut, Kiera Chaplin the granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin.
      "I thought it was a good movie to be seen in Enosburg," said one of the organizers, forester Nancy Patch, about her first role as an impresario. "It's been a learning experience."
      "I like movies," she said. Set in America during the Viet Nam war, "this movie in particular was a result of the escalating anti-war movement. It gives people another chance to think about what we are getting into now."
      Next week, we will talk with Director Jay Craven about growing an arts council, why Howard Frank Mosher's books are good for the screen, gun slingers, and branching out from the Mosher/Vermont/Depression background to a storyline that is nearly contemporary (my own draft lottery number was 129).
      The Year that Trembled will be shown at the Opera House next Saturday, March 15, at 8 p.m. Admission is $5. Advance sale tickets are available from the AAC/Opera House ticket centers: Enosburg Pharmacy and the Merchant's Bank in Enosburg Falls, plus Swanton Rexall, and Better Planet and the Kept Writer in St. Albans. Call 802-933-6171 or click here for more info.


      Anna Perkins, flute, and Melissa Ewell, piano, present a piano/flute recital on Sunday at the First Baptist Church in Burlington. The two-part program opens with classical music in the and ends with a tribute to George Gershwin after intermission, all with a romance theme.
      "All the songs we picked are romantic music," Melissa Ewell said. The program includes Sicilienne from the mythological story of Pelléas and Melisandé by Gabriel Fauré; Opus 37 a romance by Saint-Saëns; and an arrangement of Clare de Lune by Debussy.
      "It's such a famous piece," Ms. Ewell said. "Every piano student learns it," although she never did and had always wanted to. "We found a really nice transcription for flute and piano and a wonderful story."
      Debussy fell in love with an older, married woman, a woman who was his singing student whom he accompanied on piano. He became close friends with the student and with her husband, such a good friend that he spent weeks at a time living at their home. He restrained himself from demonstrating his adoration openly but instead wrote three pieces of music inspired by his feelings.
      "It's a nice story," she said. "If you think of that when playing the music you can really find the right emotional connection. You can think about how he loved her so much that he was able to write this beautiful piece."
      Ms. Perkins and Ms. Ewell teach music at Swanton Elementary. "We planned this program first for our students and extended the program to make it a full recital. We've had fun working on it," Ms. Ewell said.
      The Perkins-Ewell Recital begins at 4 p.m. on Sunday in the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church, 81 St. Paul Street, in Burlington. Admission is free.


      The All Arts Council needs one or two celebrity voice impersonators for the Maple Festival and perhaps for other advertising. Email the All Arts Council for info.


BAKERSFIELD--Bakersfield Drama presents Anne of Green Gables, a musical, in the Elementary School Gym at 7 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday evening and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $4/adults, $3/high school students, and $2/K-8 students, at the door.

ST. ALBANS--The Kept Writer presents Open Mic Night tonight at 7. Tomorrow, the folk duo Hub Cats will play an evening of contemporary folk music, smooth vocals, and light humor on mandolin and guitar at 7-9 p.m.

FAIRFAX--The regular Music Session returns Saturday with acoustic instrumentalists playing traditional songs at the Foothills Bakery, 1-4:30 p.m. Admission is free by donation.


      Carve Magazine is a bimonthly online magazine of literary fiction with 10-12 short stories in every edition. The founders chose electronic publication to reach an audience of over 5000 readers per month in more than 40 countries. Carve Magazine is the home of the Raymond Carver Short Story Award.
      "'Carve' is the best example I've found of what an on-line literary quarterly ought to be." Appalachian writer and NPR commentator Bob Sloan said. "It's free, and the work is top-notch."


      Patrick and Karen McGovern live in Highgate. He is a pipe-fitter plumber thinking about starting his own business. "I'm a union pipe fitter and welder, that's where I gained my experience, so I'm certified in the trades," he said. He does heating, domestic water, and will take on smaller jobs. Karen works at the VSAC Resource Center.
CURRENTLY READING: "My wife got me the 'Idiot's Guide to Small Business' to help me get started," he said. "I don't read a lot of fiction. I do more reference type reading."
      "I'm just finishing up one of my favorite authors which is Anna Quindlen," Karen said. "Her latest is 'Blessings.' It's just wonderful." She is also reading Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck and recommends The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. "It's catching on and it would be great if people could grasp its idea," she said.
FAVORITE MAGAZINE: Patrick subscribes to Outdoor Living RE-READ: Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller.
FAVORITE KIDS' BOOK: Their youngest daughter, Olivia, "loves those 'Olivia' books" by Ian Falconer, Patrick said. "My older daughter likes the 'Junie B. Jones' books" by Barbara Park.
They read Stellaluna by Janell Cannon and just picked up the Aesop Fables. "They like to see which one the book will open up to when we read it," Karen said.


      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 © 2003 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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