ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 10 * * All Arts News On the Web * * November 9, 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.


      Recent questions reminded me that some readers think that anything that appears in this space is an All Arts Council activity. That isn't true. The AAC does present events but the Council is are also charged with helping all area presenters with promotion and technical assistance.
      The good news: I write about the arts and entertainment that either happens here in Franklin County or that features Franklin County artists and performers, wherever they may be. If the Opera House at Enosburg Falls features dog wrasslin' on their renovated stage, I hope you hear about it here first. If the Fairfax Community Theater Company decides to take over the Miss Universe pageant, I want to break that news. And if Nobby Reed finally kicks off his Blues Tour of Red China, I want the first T-shirt.
      Let me assign the credit for some real events.
  • The All Arts Council is best known for art exhibits, the Summer Sounds concerts, the Concerts for Grumpy Grownups, and special events such as the ArTrain and Floodstock. Email for more info.
  • The Arts and Cultural Center grew out of the Creative Economy forums. It is a project of a community-wide steering committee. Call Mike Curtis (802.524.9000) for info.
  • The Bishop Street Artists host the St. Luke's Art Show to showcase area artists.
  • Organizer Mark Sustic keeps the Events for Tom series going with concerts by Huun Huur Tu, Patrick Street, Doggie Maclean and Greg Brown. Email for more info.
  • The eclectic Music at Grace series at Grace Church in Sheldon brings classics to the summertime. Email for more info.
  • The Northern Vermont Artist Association is in its 76th year of providing venues for aspiring and established visual artists. Email for more info.
  • The St. Albans Artists' Guild is the newest organization on the list with a master class under its belt and plans for upcoming exhibits. Email for more info.
      The bad news: I don't hear about everything which means sometimes I miss stuff. If you have an event, want me to cover an event, or are aware of one I may not know about, please email the All Arts Council.


      We saw last week how a steering committee of volunteers from four major groups (the All Arts Council, the Bishop Street Artists, the St Albans Artists' Guild, and St. Albans for the Future) as well as other interested groups, a newspaper reporter, and other individuals has begun planning the functions an Arts and Cultural Center needed to fulfill.
      The steering committee first defined an Arts and Cultural Center as a place but discovered that listing the actual functions the center would perform allowed a broader focus on arts and community needs.
      In a series of weekly meetings, the steering committee has "fleshed out" the function list. Two meetings served to add specific functions to the list of general functions. In this column last week, we examined the functions of making the center accessibile, nurturing the business of art with business services, and creating demand.
      Here is the second half of the list.

GATHER DATA--The committee will survey artists, residents, visitors, buildings, and assets in the community as well as inventory statewide solutions to the Arts and Cultural Center question.

EDUCATE, CONNECT, ENRICH, FACILITATE--Arts education for artists, community members, students, and teachers.

ENTERTAIN--Host public exhibits and performances including art shows, comedy, concerts, film, lectures, named series, niche, readings and poetry, and theater.

HOLD GATHERINGS--This function needs a consistent schedule and scheduled events in informal places as well as traditional space.

     Next week, this column will report on how the steering committee condensed those functions into the six primary functions and built a mission statement from that list. In the coming weeks I will look for arts centers and galleries in the Florida Keys.


      Bellows Free Academy and the All Arts Council of Franklin County will present Handel’s Messiah for the holiday season on On Sunday, December 10. The concert will feature 130 members of BFA’s chorus, BFA faculty members, plus the St. Albans Area Community Chorus. A professional orchestra of twenty-three, and four vocal soloists will compliment the combined choruses, all under the direction of Armand Messier.
      Performances at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. have been scheduled in response to the standing-room-only crowd in attendance at the 2002 concert. Both performances will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in St. Albans.
      Admission for advance purchase gets a to dollar discount with tickets at $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $4 for students. Tickets at the door will cost $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $6 for students. Tickets are available at the All Arts ticket centers: Enosburg Pharmacy, Swanton Rexall, and Better Planet in St. Albans. Call 802.527.6538 or click here for more info.


WATERVILLE--Cambridge Arts Council presents a Community Dance with caller Mark Sustic and Frank Heyburn, Michele Lajoie and youth fiddlers including members of Fiddleheads in the Waterville Town Hall on Saturday at 7 p.m. Call 802.849.6968 or email for more info.

BURLINGTON and MONTPELIER--Social Band plays an eclectic program at the College Street Congregational Church tomorrow and the Unitarian Church in Montpelier on Saturday. Both shows begin at 7:30 p.m. The band of lively a capella singers revels in the American shape note and the secular music from 16th Century Spanish choral traditions.
      Social Band singers include Marcia Brewster of Bakersfield and Deb Patton of Fairfield, both of whom are also members of the fabulous Spiders
      Admission to all concerts is $12 suggested donation. Tickets are available in advance from the Flynn Regional Box Office at 86-FLYNN (802.863.5966) or . Call Ann Pearce (802.658.8488) or click here for more info about the band itself.

ST. ALBANS--The BFA St. Albans Wind Ensemble will present a concert in the BFA Theater on Mondayat 7 p.m. The group will perform diverse works for full band and small ensembles by Vaughn Williams, Grainger, Mozart, Rossini, Byrd, and Lennon/McCartney. The group is conducted by Eric Bushey.
      Admission is free. BFA concerts are open to the public.


     will host a one-day retreat for communities engaged in advancing their local creative economy. The event will be held in Bellows Falls on Friday, November 17, from 9:45 am - 3:00 pm. It is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required.
      "Use the experience of Bellows Fall and a network of other communities working on the creative economy to advance your own local projects," Helen Labun Jordan said.
      The schedule includes workshops and presentations on funding strategies, incubators, the arts and downtown revitalization, using natural assets, town image, and current projects from other Creative Communities Program participants
      Lunch will be provided.
      The number of participants is limited to allow time for in-depth discussions. Call Ms. Jordan (802.223.3793) or email to reserve a place or for more info.


     Jazz vocalist Adele Nicols of Waitsfield began as a classical pianist but made a shift of focus from playing jazz piano to singing jazz in New Orleans. Her site has her bio and photos, discography, a guest book, a listening page with 20 cuts, press pages, and a calendar coming soon.


      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.