ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 14 * * All Arts News On the Web * * September 30, 2010


      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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      The Fairfax Community Theater Company fall production, The Curious Savage opened last night and continues through Saturday, October 2, at 7:30 p.m. each night in the Westford Brick Meeting House.
      The Curious Savage is playwright John Patrick's heart-warming 1950s comedy of the widow Ethel Savage whose husband has left over $10 million. Mrs. Savage’s three greedy stepchildren commit her to The Cloisters to get her money before she can spend it. The Savages are Western Union "tangible asset" Titus, played by Myles Cahoon; Cheri Gagnon as Lily Belle; Scott Mitchell as Samuel; and Peggy Bonesteel as Ethel P. Savage. The Cloisters residents include Fairy May, played by Carol Graves; Kathy King as Florence Williams; Paul Lavallee as statistician Hannibal; Harry King as fighter pilot Jeffrey; and Marilyn J. VanGraber as Mrs. Paddy. The Staff is Dr. Emmett, played by Walter Mahany; and Cynthia Little as Miss "Willie" Wilhelmina.
      Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens and children under 12. Call 802.876.7524 or email for will call tickets and more info.


     The annual Opera House Talent Search is right around the corner. The popular variety show offers cash prizes in both Junior and Adult Divisions. There is a new format and new prizes for Junior Division (ages 5-14) and Adult Division (15-24). The Opera House introduces a new annual segment, "Mud Light," Rising Star awards in each division, and a group finale. New prizes package for the top Junior and Adult acts includes studio time from West Street Digital and Armand Messier's Recording Studio, a professional photo shoot with Wayne Tarr, and a feature article in a local newspaper.
      The registration deadline is next Friday, October 8, and the first mandatory rehearsal will be held Tuesday, October 12, at 6 p.m. Bring your back up music, if any, on CD. To register, call Sarah Jo Willey (802.827.3297), or email for more info.
      The performance will take place October 16. Admission is $10 for adults or $8 for students and senior Citizens. Tickets will be available in October at all advance sites.


     St. Albans hosts the fourth annual Taylor Park Fine Wine, Food, and Beer and Art Festival in Taylor Park on Saturday afternoon, 1 - 5 p.m. Proceeds from the Festival will benefit the Franklin-Grand Isle United Way; the Silent Auction will benefit other local organizations.
      "One portion will be donated to the restoration of the fountain in Taylor Park, one portion will be donated to the pumpkin lighting at St. Albans City Hall to help with expenses and one portion will be donated to Lori's House," Karen Day-Vath said.
      The Silent Auction includes fine art prints by Harald Aksdal, Corliss Blakely, and Karen Day-Vath, and a ceramic piece by Chepe Cuadra.
      The art exhibit and sale will feature the fine art of local artists Lisamarie Charlesworth, Karen Day-Vath, Clair Dunn, Paule Gingras, Barbara Hamm, David Juaire, Tinka Martell, and Jon Young.
      St. Albans restaurants Chow!Bella, One Federal, Blue Acorn, Jeff's, The Wine Shop, Sweet Nothings, Mimmo's, As the Crow Flies, Cosmic Bakery, and Eastern Dragon will supply the culinary delights. The Festival will include Vermont made wines as well as other fine wines and beer.
      Admission is $25 per person. Advance tickets are available at Jeff's, The Wine Shop, As the Crow Flies, and Howard's the Flower Shop. The event is sponsored by Farrell Distributing, Heald Funeral Home, People's United Bank, and Total Home Center with generous support from Howard's the Flower Shop and Antiques, St. Albans Messenger, Karen Day-Vath, and Jeff's Restaurant. Email or click here for more info.


E-VERMONT--The Community Broadband Project offers Vermont communities the expertise and resources of e-Vermont's statewide partners as the local groups develop ways to take full advantage of the Internet for job creation, school innovation, providing social services, and increasing civic involvement. Each community will become part of the "Front Porch Forum" network which will link neighbors to each other and local services.
      The second round application for e-Vermont will open tomorrow with a November 17 deadline for submission. This final round will select the last 12 communities to receive e-Vermont services. Grand Isle County is one of 12 Vermont communities to receive services in the first round.
      Call 802.223.6091 or send your contact information to email to receive application info. Click here for more info.

PUBLISHING--Dorchester Publishing has stopped printing its bread-and-butter "mass market" paperback books as it transitions to e-books and "trade" sized paperbacks.
      The typical mass market paperback uses cheaper paper, has few illustrations, and smaller print, all to fit the story into the smaller (usually about 4" x 7") book. The larger trade paperback are usually printed on better paper and have font and line spacing similar to a hardcover book.
      E-book revenue has gone from 0.5 per cent of publisher revenue about two years ago to nearly 10 per cent now. According to a recent Harris Interactive poll of 2,775 American readers, 8% of the reading population uses e-books already and those reading electronically are reading more books more often. Popular e-readers are available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and applications are available for computers, iPads, smartphones, and PDAs.
      Founded in 1971, Dorchester is the oldest independent mass-market publisher in the U.S. Their romance line has included Christine Feehan, Jayne Ann Krentz, Katie MacAlister, Lynsay Sands, and more. The private company specializes in mass-market paperback fiction in romance, horror, Westerns and thriller genres. They also distribute pulp mysteries of the Hard Case Crime line and the Family Doctor series.
      Dorchester sees the market soaring as more devices, apps, and programs become available. They predict that e-reader and e-book sales will continue to increase. The company will also offer print-on-demand (paper) copies for selected titles through Ingram Publisher Service. Some e-books that sell well will also be released as P-O-D trade paperbacks.
      Dorchester's e-books are available at most major vendors and compatible with most platforms at an average price of $6.99. Trade paperbacks will be priced in the $12 to $15 range.
      Romance novels. Science fiction. Text books. Mainstream fiction. Are newspapers next?


This is the season for political events; many of them include the kind of artists, music, and entertainment that regularly appear in this column. Our policy is not to include such events in the editorial section. Candidates are free to purchase advertising. The local newspapers may also list happenings for which candidates have purchased advertising in their Coming Events sections. Fundraisers appear only in paid advertising.


     Eliska Adema, a writer and painter I know in Florida, is "having a love affair with small watercolor and with mixed media." She has found a new venue for displaying and selling her work at Her site there has a gallery, online store, her profile, and contact info.


      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 © 2010 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).
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