ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 10 * * All Arts News On the Web * * February 23, 2006


      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 or at the Overtime Saloon in St Albans 8-10 p.m. most Wednesday 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.


      I need some help here. I have been pestered by the peccadillos of palette promotion and I am punning out of Ps. Please, please pick your pockets, pour through pouches, pummel the portmanteau, and plunk down a pannier to provide phrases to help me keep this going.
      Palettes of Vermont will be the largest Franklin County arts exhibit ever. Hundreds of local artists have ordered plain maple palettes for area events and for the statewide gallery showing from July through October. As of now, all 7,000 original palettes have been reserved by artists, arts organizations and community groups around the state (the state had to order an extra 1,000). "We expect to get the rest of the palettes from Vermont Wood Manufacturers in the next two weeks and are planning to have them to [the All Arts Council] around March third," said Diane Scolaro, Development Director at the Vermont Arts Council. The AAC and S.A.F.F. still have palettes reserved for area artists in all media.
      Petunia Palettes were indeed panned at the last Palette Pals Party but the committee did post a schedule of other events for the rest of 2005.
      "There will be at least one major event every month," said Karen Bresnahan, SAFF Executive Director.
      March begins the area events with a Palette Pickup Party in St. Albans City Hall. The party will include face (as well as palette) painting, contests, prizes, free food, and more. Watch this space for details.
      The Vermont Maple Festival, April 28-30, will include a World's Largest Palette record attempt, a giant Maple Festival float, and a featured Palette Place in the All Arts Council exhibit in the Robert Bliss Memorial Auditorium of the St Albans Historical Museum. Free elevator rides included.
      The Annual FCSU May Art Show will promote the World's Largest Palette and showcase palettes painted by art students.
      The World's Largest Palette will take on a milky appearance at the Vermont Dairy Festival in June.
      The statewide Palettes of Vermont will feature hundreds of exhibits large and small beginning in July and continuing through October.
      The World's Largest Palette will appear again at Bay Days and at the SAFF Community Park Sale in July, and at Franklin County Field Days in August.
      An Art Train Extravaganza in August will host all the Palettes of Franklin County plus other featured art.
      The Bishop Street Artists and St Albans Historical Museum Art Show will anchor September with a combined penultimate exhibit.
      Finally, the Passing of the Palettes will come to pass in October at a grand Palettes Art Gala and Auction.
      If you haven't yet arranged to participate, time is running out. Area artists can still request blanks from the Franklin County Regional Chamber of Commerce or the All Arts Council. Click here for your reservation form. Palettes will be held on a "First Come--First Gets" basis.


CAMBRIDGE--Cambridge Arts Council presents the Pontine Theater production of Dearly Earned in the Cambridge Elementary School Auditorium on Saturday at 7 p.m. Based on letters, diaries and newspaper articles of the period, this play captures the hopes, fears, and the disasters of mill life in 19th century New England. The suggested donation is $10.

JEFFERSONVILLE--Cambridge Coffeehouse hosts Jon Gailmor at the Jeffersonville Pizza Department at 158 Main next Wednesday, March 1, at 7 p.m. The series is presented by the Cambridge Arts Council. Call 802.644.6632 for info.


     This Spring, the Vermont State Legislature will consider several bills about creative economic development in the state. H. 690 and H. 763 stem from the ongoing efforts of legislators in the Rural Economic Development Working Group.
      H.690 identifies and documents the creative sector of Vermontís economy and provides for its promotion and advancement. The bill appropriates $25,000.00 for a new statewide economic study to track the creative economy in Vermont as well as greater investment in state programs that support creative economic development. It makes cultural and heritage institutions priority community investments in historic downtown and village centers and increases the annual cap on tax credits for historic rehabilitation in downtown and village centers.
      The bill establishes a creative goods and services marketing program within the "market Vermont" program. In addition to adding cultural ambassadors to trade missions and shows, the program will help cultural organizations develop products, then incorporate Vermontís creative products in all public relations efforts, develop a "buy local, buy creative" campaign, and create and support an artist-to-business network.
      H.690 also identifies Franklin County Regional Development as a "one-stop source of technical assistance and outreach" for the artists, inventors, entrepreneurs, and innovators in our area. That outreach includes technical assistance, advice on programs, and promotion of the assistance, support, and programs available. That includes advice and help with intellectual property issues, assistance on state regulatory programs, identifying and coordinating sources for grants, loans, and other financial assistance, and general assistance to small business start-ups.
      H.763, the Inventors' Assistance Act, authorizes the non-profit Invent Vermont to establish a program to attract inventors to Vermont, provide assistance such as patent searches, market analysis, product research and development, financing assistance, and business counseling to help the inventor develop a product to the commercial state. Invent Vermont can also help enable the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of the product.
      Some of InventVermont's success stories include the Ultimate Cookbook Holder, a sellout on QVCís Decade of Discovery, and MapTron, the interactive USA map software for websites.
      Both bills are currently in the Commerce Committee (no one in the Franklin County delegation sits on the Commerce Committee). The first Reading for H.690 was January 20; the first Reading for H.763 was January 31.
      Readers can track these and other bills at . Choose the Legislative Information Database links to look up a bill's full text and find its committee status. Visit InventVermont for more information for and about inventors in Vermont.


PALETTES OF VERMONT (Right Now)--Palettes of Franklin County is on its way to being the largest area art show as well as the biggest statewide arts exhibition ever. Artists in every possible media have pledged to adorn, bedeck, create, decorate, and embellish more than 7,000 palettes statewide.
      Although the state has no more palettes available, AAC and S.A.F.F. have reservations for only about half the palettes we ordered. Franklin County artists may reserve a palette now. Call Alisha Sawyer (524.2444), click here, or email to catch yours.

MAPLE ARTISTS NEEDED (March 15)--The AAC will again host a major arts exhibit of area artists when the 40th annual Vermont Maple Festival comes to St. Albans on April 28-30. More than 50,000 people attend this annual event, making it the largest Spring showcase in Vermont.
      For 2006, the All Arts exhibit at the Maple Festival moves to the St Albans Historical Museum. The show is open to all Franklin County area artists in any media except video and installations. No entry fee. Exhibit space is free. Commission is charged on sales.
      Entries can be downloaded at Artists' Calls page or email the All Arts Council for more info.

VATTA AUDITIONS and INTERVIEWS (February 24)--The annual statewide theater audition and interviews for performers, designers, directors, technicians, and management personnel will be held Saturday, March 4. Theater artists can "strut their stuff" for a Producers' Circle of 18-25 theater companies, ad agents, indie producers, and reps from area film/commercial/video. Produced by the Vermont Association of Theaters and Theater Artists will take place at Saint Michael's McCarthy Arts Center. The Producers Circle also wants to fill positions for summer and year-round work in the state's Theaters. They pay; many use some form of Equity contract.
      Auditions are by appointment. Performers are assigned a 3-minute time slot in which to present two contrasting monologues plus an optional song. Designers, technical and management staff will visit with producers and/or present portfolios. There is a processing fee. Call Veronica Lopez (802.862.2287) or email for the application today.

20th ANNUAL HOSPICE VOLUNTEER ARTS AUCTION--Artists and friends support Hospice Volunteer Services (HVS) by donating their time and talents to this traditional event. Hospice is a non-profit organization of trained volunteers who are companions to people living with a terminal illness and to their families. Proceeds from the auction constitute a significant portion of HVS's annual budget. In the past, artists and handcrafters have contributed fine sculpture, photography, paintings in pastels, oils and watercolors, charcoal and pen and ink drawings, jewelry and other fine juried crafts such as pottery, baskets, furniture, fiber items and clothing. The Auction will take place May 12 at the Basin Harbor Club. Email for more info.


     I went looking for a home for alliteration and found Beowulf. Early Poetry explains my penchant for pedantic prose and even takes us to an alliteration revival.
      Alliteration in Headline Poems at ReadThinkWrite offers lesson plans, standards, web resources and student materials.


      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 © 2006 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.