ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 10 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 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.


      Higher Ground presents a Bash for Cash with five area high schools showing off their best talent in a regional fundraiser for Moss Point High School in Mississippi tomorrow evening at 8 p.m. The performers and venue are joining together to raise money for student activities there.
      Stars from Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans and Fairfax and Enosburg High School, as well as from Champlain Valley Union High School, Essex High School, and Burlington High School will perform for cash prizes in four categories: dance, comedy, music and bands. Each high school team has a 30-minute group of acts. There will also be an art show hung around the performing space.
      JetBlue is flying seven Mississippi kids in for free to perform in and be a part of the Bash for Cash.
      The Franklin County acts include a Hip Hop dance group, vocalist Megan Benay, comedian Kyle Gagnon, vocalist Sylvia LaPelletier, vocalist Jen Nicholson, Nothing Better to Do, the original "jam-pop" band of Jacques Boudreau, Tyler Smith, and Nicholas Roby; and vocalist Elyse Woodsworth.
      "It's going to be a great show. It's for a great cause," Jacques Boudreau said, "and I'm so excited about it. There's a certain mystique about Higher Ground. It's like making it. It's a really exciting thing to have happen."
      "Burlington started their sister city relationship [with Moss Point] after Katrina hit," Khaki Hutchinson of BFA-St. Albans said. "They asked high schools if they wanted to be sister schools so we joined with them." School collaborations are part of this sister city vision.
      The City of Burlington established a full sister-city partnership with Moss Point last fall to support that city's long-term recovery. With a population under 16,000, Moss Point is about the size of St. Albans City and Town combined. The area suffered extensive damage from Katrina's flooding and winds.
      The Moss Point students will fly in tonight. "They are all distributed out to our communities. They will be visiting our schools Friday. On Saturday and Sunday we have them skating and skiing and a Ben & Jerry's factory tour, sugaring, doing Vermont stuff," Ms. Hutchinson said. Some Vermont students are going to Mississippi May 4-8.
      Last year, BFA-St. Albans and BFA-Fairfax held a combined fundraiser talent show to raise money for the Tsunami victims. "That really went well, so we decided to do it this year for Moss Point." BFA-Fairfax, BFA-St. Albans, and Enosburg HS held that talent show in February; the winners are going to Higher Ground.
      "We asked them what did they need down there and they asked, Could we help raise money so they could have a prom," Ms. Hutchinson said.
      Tom Roby is donating and delivering a piano to Higher Ground for the Bash.
      Admission is $10 or $5 for High School students (available only at the Higher Ground box office). Doors open at 7 p.m.


BURLINGTON--The Friends of Big Joe Burrell feature Will Patton, Rob Guerrina, Nick Aloi, and Nick Warner tonight 8-11 p.m. at Halvorson’s Restaurant.
      "It was Big Joe's gig at Halvorson's," Mr. Patton said. "They kept it going partly because they love jazz and partly as a homage to Joe." The performance tonight will be "straight ahead mandolin jazz." Look for the standards, be-bop and a little bossa/choro mixed in. Click here for more info.


9th L'OREAL ART AND SCIENCE OF COLOR PRIZE (March 31)--The 2006 theme is "the meeting of science and art in color." Major prizes, no commission. Winners will be invited to the awards ceremony in Tokyo or Paris. Email or click here for more info.

PAPER NAPKIN ART CONTEST (March 31)--Any paper napkin may be used for this Mama's Royal Café event in Oakland, California. Cash prizes for adult and kid categories. No entry fee. Email or click here for more info

LITERARY WORK TRANSLATION PRIZE (April 1)--The Modern Language Association Scaglione Prize seeks translations into English of a book-length literary work. Translations must have been published in 2005. Email or click here for more info.

ALLEN GINSBERG POETRY AWARDS (April 1)--Poetry Center at Passaic County Comm College seeks up to 5 unpublished poems for prize. Entry fee. $100-$1000 prizes. Call 973.684.6555 or click here for guidelines.

MAIL ART (April 5)--This unusual Studio Place Arts event is a Mail Art show on its second floor in Barre this spring. "Mail us anything wild, wacky, strange, beautiful, uplifting, funny, amazing and generally silly that you can think of." They mean it. Wilted flower bouquets. Plastic piggy banks. Insane envelopes. Squeaky toys. It simply has to fit in the mail. There are three entities in Mail Art: the receiver, the sender, and our friends at the USPS. It's very interactive. Will my art get there? Will it come back? Where might it go?
      Send your piece, whatever it may be, to YOURSELF (so it’s easy to identify you, the Mail Artist) at SPA, 201 N. Main Street, Barre, VT 05641. Call 802.479.7069 or click here for more info

PASSAGES NORTH (April 15)--Northern Michigan University seeks fiction and nonfiction under 5000 words and poetry up to 100 lines for annual publication with circulation of 1000. Submit hard copy. Email or click here for more info.

CLICK HERE: ART SITE OF THE WEEK is an online cultural marketplace that promotes New England's performing artists to the people and organizations who present them. The site is free. It features an easy-to-search directory of artists, performance spaces, and presenting organizations although you must register to search for presenters. New England Foundation for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council have developed the project with assistance from Vermont Arts Council, New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, Maine Arts Commission, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, and Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.


      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.