ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 8 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 23, 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.


      From all of us in the All Arts Council of Franklin County, we wish you joy, happiness, and beautiful music throughout the holiday season.


      It takes more than a five-week Christmas shopping frenzy to sustain the households of Franklin and Grand Isle Counties.
      "The term Creative Economy was new to me," Liz Gamache said. She is part of a six-member team in Project L.E.A.D. that is looking at the community from a different perspective.
      "The [Creative Economy] label didn't mean anything although I know examples in other places I've lived," she said. "I think when people start understanding that premise and realizing that it's not something brand new or foreign, it's something that we have solid examples of what has worked in other places, it starts looking real."
      Jack McCarthy, FNWSU Superintendent of Schools, described Project L.E.A.D. as "a graduate-level course in community." LEAD is an acronym for Leadership, Education, Aptitude, Development. It is "a unique program in which participants explore community issues and learn directly from Vermont's business and public sector leaders who are on the front line of the issues," he said.
      Paved roads and the Internet will help Franklin and Grand Isle Counties to thrive as viable communities, but that isn't enough. Project L.E.A.D. is one more step toward the good leadership that businesses, government, school governance, and non-profits will need in the future. The participants are studying health care, fiscal policy, government and politics, communications and the media, education, law and justice, and human services through a series of interactive seminars. Each seminar includes discussion, tours, debates, project time, and presentations by leaders in the field. The classes also break into groups to work on projects on specific community projects.
      The six-member team of Brad Curtis, U.S. Border Patrol; Mike Curtis, Union Bank; Ms. Gamache, Franklin-Grand Isle United Way; Mary Garceau, City of St. Albans; Linda Morgan; and Dale Powers, St. Albans Museum, chose to examine the Creative Economy of Franklin County.
      "They're looking outside the box, saying if you expand the artistic venue in a community the economic thing starts happening as well," Dr. McCarthy said.
      "It's an interesting mix because we have quite a range" of arts knowledge on the team, Ms Gamache said. "Some people are more involved as a result of their jobs as well as people who are learning the role the arts play in a community. It's a great way to approach a project like this because of the possibility of really fresh ideas."
      In addition to the space inventory, the team is looking for "feedback from people what sort of spaces we might target" for arts development, she said. They will plan how to deliver a survey at our January meeting. In the next report in this column, we will look at the Project L.E.A.D. inventory and survey as well as St. Albans for the Future plans to maintain the historic fabric of downtown. Project L.E.A.D. is scheduled for completion in June.
      "When you start seeing examples of how creativity and economics work together, it gets you pumped up and pretty excited," Ms Gamache said.

      Advancing Vermont's Creative Economy, VCCI's Final Report and Recommendations is available online at . It is a one megabyte .PDF file; you will need the (free) Adobe Reader. For a printed copy, e-mail your name and mailing address to


FLORIDA OUTDOOR SCULPTURE COMPETITION (December 31)--This fifth annual joint project of Polk Museum of Art and the City of Lakeland is open to sculptors working in North America. 10 works will be accepted. Transportation expenses and cash Best of Show prize. Entry fee. E-mail or click here for more info.

ANNUAL PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST (January 13)--World Press Photo in the Netherlands invites press photographers and photojournalists to submit press photographs taken during 2004 and intended for publication. No fee. E-mail or click here for more info and a prospectus.

WOMEN IN FILM & VIDEO (January 15)--New England's third annual screenwriting competition promotes women in screenwriting and film roles for women. Entry fee. Click here for info and an application form.

2005 NATIONAL JURIED PHOTO COMPETITION (January 20)--Through A Lense - The Human Element is a Coastal Arts League competition open to all photographers, all photographic processes, traditional and digital. Cash prizes. Click here for an entry form and complete rules.

WRITING ABROAD COMPETITION (January 30)--The University of New Orleans has announced its first contest for study-abroad in Europe, Summer, 2005. Full fee waivers plus airfare will be granted to one writer each in the genres of poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. Winners will also be published in a major journal. Entry fee. E-mail or click here for more info.


      On Tuesday, the 24 Hour Museum announced the winners of the first Christmas Art Competition. The Christmas Art Competition invited artists between four and 11 to send in a picture of an exhibit they'd seen on a visit to a museum, gallery or science center in the past year. The 24 Hour Museum's kids site organized the exhibit.


      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).
      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.