ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 12 * * All Arts News On the Web * * January 3, 2008


      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 various restaurants around Franklin County throughout the week, 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.

      Find links to these events and more in our Spotlight!


ST. ALBANS--The STAART Gallery will hold a reception to celebrate December artists Jesse Meunier, Milo Moyer-Battick, Madeleine Larrow, and Emily Duffy this evening from 5 to 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
      The gallery is located at 42 South Main Street in St. Albans.

BURLINGTON--Events for Tom and the Flynn Center present La Bottine Souriante and Le Vent du Nord on the Flynn Main Stage on Saturday at 8 p.m. This high-spirited double-bill bring their revitalized Quebecois musical heritage back to Vermont. They fuse the high-energy folk music of France, Scotland, and Ireland.
      Admission is $39/$30/$25. Children under 17 and students with ID can save $4 off top two prices. Tickets are available from

BURLINGTON---Events for Tom, Fiddleheads, and the Flynn Center present a David Boulanger fiddle workshop for intermediate to advanced players in a classroom at the Flynn Center on Sunday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. (look for signs). M. Boulanger is one of the best of a young generation of exceptional Quebecois fiddlers. He studied jazz violin and jazz/pop/electro composition and arrangement at Cegep de St-Laurent in Montreal, and was a founding member of La Part due Queteux.
      Admission is $15 payable at the workshop.


      2008 will be another busy year in the arts with over 250 concerts, exhibits, recitals, and shows from more than 40 organizations. Happy New Year!

      Volunteers and a permanent base make up the "back room" a Local Arts Service Organizations like the AAC need to offer marketing and technical help, have resources, store stuff, and to host meetings and exhibits, and concerts and workshops for artists, other groups, and local presenters. If you have space to lend for the year, email the All Arts Council .
      AAC will hold exhibits for artists in all media and pays actual cash money for bands and solo performers. If you are one or know one, email the All Arts Council .

      The AAC will celebrate its 23rd year with three main goals: continuing our popular programs, continuing our support of artists and other presenters, and creating partnerships.
      The AAC will maintain two permanent gallery exhibits: the AAC/Opera House Gallery in Enosburg Falls and the Highgate Springs Welcome Center Gallery. We will also have several one-time shows including a new month long exhibit at Union Station in Burlington. Email the All Arts Council if you would like to suggest or host a show.
      Summer Sounds, Franklin County's premiere outdoor concert series, continues with a lineup of bluegrass, classical, country, folk, jazz, pop, opera, and classic rock-n-roll. The concerts are always on a Sunday night, always in a Town Park, always at 7 p.m. and always free.
      The Grand Holiday Crafts and Fine Arts Tour of Franklin County will take Christmas shoppers to Enosburg, Fairfield, Franklin, St. Albans, Swanton, and more.

      The Opera House also plans a mix of major productions, touring, and community events. In conjunction with the AAC, they will host exhibits of artwork by Franklin County artists in the downstairs Gallery. Email for more info.

      The AAC helps promote many other Franklin County presenters and individual artists. Our regularly updated online calendar is found at
      Bay Day will celebrate again this year with continuous entertainment and family activities all day plus a Summer Sounds concert and fireworks to cap this July Fourth blowout.
      The Bishop Street Artists grew into a presenter last year. Their St. Luke's Art Show will showcase area artists at St. Luke's Episcopal Church.
      The 2008 Events for Tom series opens with La Bottine Souriante and Le Vent du Nord this week. Organizer Mark Sustic plans about one event per month in a series that supports the Tom Fund to assist families with children with cancer. There will be a Sarah Blair fiddle workshop and concert as well as the Irish Music Showcase in March, Mehr and Sher Ali plus 'Qawwali Music of Pakistan' and the Fourth Annual Young Tradition concert in May. Call Mark Sustic (802.849.6968) or email for more info.
      Community theater troupes including the Fairfax Community Theater Company need show proposals right now for plays to be produced this year. The FCTC plans its 2008 season during January. They will meet on Wednesday, January 9, to accept proposals from directors for plays for the season. The membership will make the final decisions at a meeting January 16.
      FCTC needs directors. This is your chance to join one of the great community troupes and to stage work that you want to do. Email or click here for more info.
      Island Arts is celebrating a quarter of a century of arts activities in Grand Isle County in 2008. New this year are the Island Arts Academy with a youth music summer camp, an arts summer camp, and an astronomy photography class in Alburgh. They also have a long list of craft shows, concerts, gallery events, scholarships, theater, workshops, and more. Click here for more info.
      County-wide, our public Libraries have a slew of plans including readings, lunchtime concerts, art shows, and kids' performers.
      The Lincoln Inn will continue with the most comprehensive music schedule in the area. Tonight, as is every Thursday, is WCLX Blues Night. This venue is off the beaten track in Essex Junction but they make it work, and work well, every night of the week. There must be a lesson in there somewhere.
      The eclectic Music at Grace series at Grace Church in Sheldon will offer exceptional performers to Franklin County for several concerts--"something old and something new"--each summer and fall.
      The St. Albans Artists' Guild will hold a Master Class with Corliss Blakely later this month. The board of directors and membership will meet January 15 at the Staart Gallery. Call chair Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard (802.524.6250) or click here for more info.
      The St. Albans Historical Museum will have a lineup of performances, exhibits, and educational programs in the newly accessible third-floor auditorium. Click here for more info.
      The Northern Vermont Artist Association enters its 78th year of providing venues for aspiring and established visual artists. They hold an annual June Juried show at the Bryan Memorial Gallery. Membership is open to all visual artists who live in the Northern half of Vermont. email Robert Waldo Brunelle for info.
      School art shows will include FNESU's annual Art Gala and the annual FCSU Art Show. The shows bring together hundreds of two and three dimensional pieces in schools and halls around the County.

      Franklin County Field Days swells Highgate with crafts, exhibits, agricultural exhibits, cattle judging, antique tractor pulls, rides, and more at the Franklin County Airport. This long running event fills a tent, the grounds, and the new stage with popular bands and solo performers from near and far.
      The 16th Annual Jig in the Valley will benefit the East Fairfield Community Center with a family day of music and picnicking on the last weekend in July. This concert helps raise funds and awareness for the NMC regional health center, pre-school, Head Start, Teen, and Senior Citizen programs.
      The 7th Annual Lake Champlain Bluegrass Festival brings a full weekend of pickin' and grinnin' plus a major fiddler's contest, a craft fair, music workshops, a bonfire, barbeque, camping, and jamming, all on a family farm in Alburg on the first full weekend in August.
      The 52nd annual Vermont Dairy Festival will spotlight Franklin County performers in a June benefit weekend for the Lions Club. The festival may reprise the national Country Showdown.
      The 42nd annual Vermont Maple Festival in April is the first major outdoor festival of the year. St. Albans hosts three days of family education and entertainment. The Festival includes a popular talent show, the sold out fiddler's variety show, a large craft show, embraces many other community events, and offers the biggest parade in Vermont.

      The Citizens Concert Band will celebrate its 59th year with outdoor concerts starting in June and alternating on Wednesdays between Swanton, St. Albans, and St. Albans Bay. Call Kevin Loomis (802.868.2684) for info.
      The Enosburg Town Band performs Tuesdays in the Lincoln Park Bandstand, starting in June. Call Alisa Martin (802.933.2062) for info.


     What better way to start the new year than by plugging the All Arts Council website, yes? The site is large and packed with current and historical info about the arts in Franklin County. It has this article and all ten years of its predecessors, some half million words about the regional arts scene, plus information about the All Arts Council and other arts organizations, annual reports, the AAC book shelf, calendar, and Christmas gifts, help wanted pages, links to area artists and to other interesting artsy sites, member benefits, and even looks back at the ArTrain, FloodStock, and the Palettes of Franklin County, Vermont. There is much, much more.


      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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All Arts Council of Franklin County

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      This article was originally published in the St Albans Messenger and other traditional print media. It is Copyright © 2008 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.