ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 13 * * All Arts News On the Web * * February 19, 2009


      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!

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      Chow!Bella and The Fabulous Spiders have teamed up with a delicious meal and great entertainment to benefit Franklin County Court Diversion on Saturday. Appetizers and cocktails (cash bar) will begin at 5 p.m. with jazz during dinner, then dancing, a silent auction, and entertainment ongoing until 9 p.m. Seating is limited to 200.
      Look for Motown, jazz, soulful ballads, and second line funk. The Spiders are Marcia Brewster, Pat Austin, and Debbie Patton, with accompaniment by Will Patton, mando; Dono Schabner, guitar; Joe Moore, sax; Lar Duggan, keys; and Caleb Bronz, drums.
      "We're doing a number of traditional Mardi Gras dance songs," Court Diversion Executive Director Pat Leboeuf said. "Everyone has a great time."
      The benefit includes Franklin County Court Diversion and the Teen Alcohol Safety Program.
      Admission is $35 per person or $70 per couple. There are also a very limited quantity of "Dancing Only" tickets available for $15 each or $25 per couple. Tickets are available at Chow!Bella, Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, or at Franklin County Court Diversion. Call Pat LeBoeuf (802.527.1112) or email for more info.


     The Arts should uplift us in times of trouble and they do. Sometimes the Arts also needs to clothe the Emperor. Or to point out that he is naked.
      This is one of those times.
      Unlike less than 28% of Americans polled and 60% of the United States Senate, I recognize the Stimulus Package as the Generations Ransack American's Financial Trust Act.
      Many experts, including Congress’ own Congressional Budget Office, say the stimulus bill will at best do no good.
      Many experts, including me, say the stimulus bill will hurt the economy in the long run.
      Apparently common sense makes more cents in the Arts than in Washington. I had some infinitesimally small hope that Congress would do what Congress does best: lock the grid and spend the remainder of this session worrying about Alex Rodriguez’ steroid use. Nonetheless the House vote was 246-183 and the Senate voted 60-38 to spend more in a single bill than the total cost of the War in Iraq. Interestingly, the G.R.A.F.T. Act is expected to cost less than the total cost of World War II, adjusted for inflation. President Obama signed the measure in Denver on Tuesday.
      The bill includes some potentially good news for the Arts since the $50 million of National Endowment for the Arts funding dropped earlier was preserved in the final version of the package approved by both houses on Friday.
      Truth be told, I'd rather give up the stimulus and go back to the normal funding scramble. After all, the NEA appropriation is not "new" money; it is simply a restoration of an item that was cut.
      The New York Times reported that Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-NY and Congressional Arts Caucus co-chair, said, "If we’re trying to stimulate the economy, and get money into the Treasury, nothing does that better than art."
      Arts advocacy groups report that every dollar of NEA money generates an additional seven dollars from public and private supporters. And every dollar in the local Creative Economy improves life here in Franklin County.
      That means the NEA appropriation could have stood on its own merits as it has in past budgets.


MIDDLEBURY--Carol's Hungry Mind Cafe presents Summer Sounds favorite Josh Brooks on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Call 388-0101 for more info.

MIDDLEBURY--The Town Hall Theater hosts a Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras Party with Summer Sounds favorite Mango Jam on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Call 388-1436, click here for the theater, or click here for more info on Mango Jam.


MONTPELIER (now)--Register now for spring classes at the Summit School of Traditional Music and Culture. The folk music school offers American Harmony Singing, Fingerpicking Guitar, Improvisation, Irish Reels, Scottish Fiddle, Beginning Old-time Banjo, Music Theory for Folkies, Varied Folk Styles on Banjo, Capoeira, Songwriting, and West African Drumming. Their faculty includes Hilari Farrington, Joanne Garton, Mark Greenberg, Dan Haley, Ted Ingham, Benedict Koehler, Colin McCaffrey, Deorsha McDade, Jordan Mensah, and Katie Trautz.
      Email or click here for more info.

DIVA SHOW (March 3)--The Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts (DIVA), a not-for-profit Center in Eugene, OR, invites individual artists working in any visual medium to submit exhibit proposals for July through December. Applications will be made online through CaFE. Click here for more info.

BROWARD COUNTY OFFICE PROJECT (March 16)--The Broward County Cultural Division’s Public Art and Design Program will commission an iconic exterior artwork adjacent to the Supervisor of Elections Office. Artwork themes that promote public awareness of voting are encouraged but are not a requirement for consideration. The total budget is not to exceed $165,000. Click here to download the prospectus and entry info. Applications will be made online through CaFE.

2nd ANNUAL CAMERAWORKS (March 18)--The Ridgefield Guild of Artists juried exhibition is open to all photographers and artists who make light drawings using photographic equipment, materials and techniques. Cash awards.
      Call 203.438.8863 or email or click here for a prospectus and entry form


     Some artist calls include the link, "Applications will be made online through CaFE." The CallForEntry (CaFE online artists' service is a free and relatively straightforward. Registering enables you to submit your work to organizations nationally using a simple, standardized online process. There is no charge for artists to apply to calls through CaFE although the organization sponsoring the exhibit or contest may charge fees. The site has an excellent FAQ that covers the application process, digital imaging, privacy, standardization, troubleshooting, and more. Newcomers should plan to spend at least a couple of hours on the site to register, prepare, and upload images.


      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 © 2009 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.