ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 8 * * All Arts News On the Web * * January 15, 2004


      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 1 p.m., at ChowBella in St Albans 8-10 p.m. most Wednesday evenings, at the Kept Writer in St Albans mostly once each month, 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 Events for Tom series presents Randal Bays and Daithi Sproule at FlynnSpace in Burlington on Saturday, January 17. "We hope you'll come join us to kick off the growing season," Mr. Bays wrote. "OK, maybe it's a little early for that in Vermont, but we can start warming up." He obviously hasn't seen the weekend weather forecast.
      The concert will feature warm Irish fiddle tunes, hot rare songs in Irish and English including one from Celtic artist Tom Waits, guitar duets, and more.
      Their new CD, Overland, will be released next month.
      Randal Bays is an internationally known fiddler and guitarist in the Irish tradition, whose exquisite taste, grace, and musical agility have won him wide praise both in Ireland and the US. He played guitar on fiddler Martin Hayes' early albums.
      Derry native Daithí Sproule is a singer and guitarist. He is a pioneer in the use of ‘DADGAD' tuning, a first rank Irish singer, and one of the premier accompanists in Irish music.
      This former member of the Donegal band Altan, has been a member of Trian with Liz Carroll and Billy McComiskey, and has performed and recorded with the Chieftains, Dolly Parton, Ricky Skaggs, and many others. He has a rich repertoire of rare songs in Irish Gaelic and English.
      This performance is part of a continuing series that strengthen and sustain the Tom Sustic Fund. These high quality concerts feature "the best performers we can come up with," Mark Sustic said.

      Tom Sustic died July 4, 2001 after a 2-year battle with leukemia. Family and friends established a fund to support a bone marrow transplant for Tom, but a donor was never found. The fund now assists families with children with cancer.
      "Our intent is to sustain the fund at its present level," Mark Sustic said. Their goal is to growing an endowment with events like this concert, so that it will continue to generate revenue to support other families with terminally ill children, particularly those in need of transplants.
      Moneys from the fund have provided income support for a parent who left a job to care for a child; expenses for a family with a child diagnosed during the holiday season; airline tickets for a family to accompany their child traveling to treatment in another state; support for two families with children receiving bone marrow transplants in other states; support for a family to purchase computer equipment; and a car repair for a family who transports their child to Burlington for treatments
      Contributions to the fund, including donated ticket purchases, can be sent to: Tom Sustic Fund, PO Box 163, Fairfax, VT 05454. E-mail or click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--Fairfield artist Gail Salzman will lead three Healing with Visual Art workshops for women of any age who have faced breast cancer and want to experience the transforming qualities of art and self-expression. Beginning Saturday, January 24, in the St. Albans City School, the workshops will explore writing, verbalizing, movement, drawing and painting.
      Tuition is $15 and scholarships available. No previous art experience is needed; the maximum number of participants is 12. Call Healing Legacies (802.863.3507) or e-mail to register.

BURLINGTON--Randal Bays and Daithi Sproule will offer intermediate level workshops in Irish fiddle and guitar at the College Street Congregational Church in Burlington on Sunday, January 18, from 2-5 p.m. Reservations are requested; the workshop costs $40/person. Call Malcolm Sanders (802.859.0417) or e-mail for info.


THEATER CALL (now through March 6)--Theater artisans from Vermont can audition and interview for the state's professional theaters at The Royall Tyler Theater at UVM on Saturday March 6. The 16th Annual State Audition & Interview Day, produced by the Vermont Association of Theaters and Theater Artists (VATTA) also allows designers, technical production and management staff an opportunity to interview for summer and year-round positions in the state's theaters. Auditions and interviews are by appointment only and are open to actors of all ages, equity and non-equity. There is a processing fee. Note the date! Call VATTA Coordinator Veronica Lopez (802.862.2287) or e-mail for more info.

FOURTH GENRE EDITOR'S PRIZE (January 20)--Cash prizes plus publication for best unpublished essay or memoir up to 6,000 words. Entry fee includes one sample issue. Note the date! Click here quickly for more info.

ARTIST RESIDENCIES (February 2)--The Hall Farm Center for Arts & Education in Townshend wants applications for its 2004 summer program. They offer residencies to artists including fiction and non-fiction writers, poets, painters, sculptors, playwrights, photographers, musicians, and performers at all career stages. The time is an opportunity to work, relax, reflect, and be inspired by the quiet refuge. The Hall Farm is located on a 221-acre, 200-year-old former farm. There is no cost to artists except materials, transportation, and $20 application fee. Call 802.365.4483, click here or e-mail for more info and application forms.


      In the early 1990's, Bill and Sandra Penrose discovered the mysterious happenings in their house were caused by spirits. One of the spirits had a story to tell. Sandra finished one draft of the book in 1995 and began submitting to publishers. After years of "traditional" effort they decided to publish the book themselves. The Agatha's Journey self publication site describes how they "short-circuited the conventional publication process."


      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 © 2004 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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