ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 14 * * All Arts News On the Web * * January 13, 2011


      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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MONTPELIER--The Summit School Folk Festival begins Friday and runs through January 16 in various locations. Look for a Friday night square dance, a Saturday jam session plus fiddle and banjo workshops with Pete Sutherland, and Sunday guitar and banjo workshops with Mark Greenberg. Concerts include Sheesham and Lotus and Mayfly in the Langdon Street Cafe on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Wood's Tea Company at the T.W. Wood Gallery on Sunday at 4 p.m.
      Click here for more info.

BURLINGTON--Dance Showcase: Strength of One, Resilience for All takes place Saturday at 7pm in the Black Box Theater at Main Street Landing. The benefit showcase features Maryellen Vickery and the Ballet School of Vermont plus Lida Winfield and Ellen Smith Ahern, the Raq-ettes with Amity Alize, Jeh Kulu Dance and Drum Theater, Joan Sanchez and Luminz Dancers, Lizzyann Lucena-Moore, Studio 3 Dance and Fitness, and Montpelier Movement Collective with Willow Wonder, Arunima Dasgupta, Yasmia and Kasia of Amarain, Shadhiyah and Naia, Irit, Rebecca Reil, Yuki and Dan Fascilla, Jen Stanley, and the Accaliae.
      Admission $20 in advance/$23 at door. Infants under 1 year are free. 100% of proceeds support Puppets in Education, a nonprofit program of KidsontheBlockVermont that teaches children how to keep themselves safe and healthy. Call Puppets in Education (802.860.3349 or click here for more info.
      Tickets are available at the Flynn Box Office,

ST. ALBANS--Chow Bella offers Music to Dine By with John Cassel on the piano on Wednesdays at 6:30 and the jazz and improv of Vern Colburn on the Piano on Fridays at 5:30. Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.


      2011 will be another busy year in the arts with over 250 concerts, exhibits, recitals, and shows from more than 40 organizations. This week we look at Major Presenters' plans for the year.
      Happy New Year!

      The AAC helps promote many other Franklin County presenters and individual artists. Our regularly updated online calendar is found at
      Art in Bloom Festival will bring a day of music, a gazillion exhibits, and plenty of food to Swanson's Farm and Nursery in Fairfax in July.
      Bay Day will celebrate on July 3 this year with continuous entertainment and family activities all day plus a Summer Sounds concert and fireworks to cap this Independence Day blowout.
      BFA-St. Albans hosts the 84th Annual All State Music Festival in May. The inaugural parade through downtown St. Albans will feature 40 bands from around the state. Events include the Allstate Scholarship Award Winners Concert, the Jazz Band Concert, and the full festival concert which features the Allstate Band, Chorus and Orchestra, conducted by Colonel Michael Colburn.
      The 2011 Events for Tom series will continue its evolution into collaborations with other presenters. The lineup already includes Kailash Kher at the Flynn in February, and many more. Call Mark Sustic (802.849.6968) or click here for more info.
      This is the Fairfax Community Theater Company's 20th anniversary season. "We will be deciding the season in the next couple of weeks," Margie Cain said. They plan a gala production this summer with a retrospective of all the shows they have done to date. FCTC needs directors, actors, stage hands, and more. 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.
      Franklin County Court Diversion's popular fifth annual fundraiser, the Mardi Gras Party at Chow! Bella will be held in March. The dinner and dance will feature The Fabulous Spiders.
      Island Arts has brought arts activities to Grand Isle County for 28 years. The group needs Island Arts Academy Instructors with a "particular passion ... to share with others." Any activity/hobby from visual arts, music, dance, photography, to theater is fair game. 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 eclectic Music at Grace series at Grace Church in Sheldon will offer exceptional performers to Franklin County for several concerts this summer and fall including the 10th annual Farewell Reunion concert, a perennial favorite, which kicks off the series on May 27.
      Karen Day-Vath is coordinating a theme show, Cityscapes, St. Albans, for the St. Albans Artists' Guild. The group show planned for late spring/early summer which will include, paintings, glasswork, sculptures and more and will reflect the beauty of Taylor Park, the architecture, streets, gardens, buildings and shops of St. Albans. Email or click here for more info.
      Restaurants in and beyond Franklin County have our art on the walls and music in the halls. Chow!Bella will continue to feature artists like Corliss Blakely and jazz piano by Vern Colburn. The Bayside, On Tap at the Lincoln Inn, and Overstreet all have a regular roster of Franklin County musicians. Shelburne Steakhouse 8 has Carol Ann Jones in a Wednesday gig.
      The St. Albans Historical Museum will have a lineup of performances, exhibits, and educational programs in the third-floor Bliss auditorium. Click here in the Spring for more info.
      The St. Albans Literary Guild publishes Route Seven, the literary magazine. They offer author readings and signings, classes on literature, writing, and publishing, a playwright competition, writing and book groups, and more. Click here for more info.
      Founded in 1931, the Northern Vermont Artist Association enters its 80th year of providing venues for aspiring and established visual artists with a search for a new president. The NVAA has a two-month long, non-juried show at the Red Mill Gallery in Jericho, the famous June Juried Show at the Visions Of Vermont Gallery, and several other venues including an online gallery. Click here for more details.
      School art shows should 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.
      The Vermont Youth Orchestra programs include three orchestras, three ensembles, and two choruses. They teach and showcase over 500 students of all levels of musical ability from Vermont, NY, and New Hampshire. The VYO Winter Concert takes place this month. Click here for more info.
      Young Tradition-Vermont and Fiddleheads have a monthly lineup planned starting later this month with the Young Tradition Showcase (including Hannah Beth Crary from Fairfax) at Farmer's Night at the State House in Montpelier. Fiddleheads will hold a benefit contra dance next month and will play at Chocolate by the Pound in March. The Young Tradition Weekend featuring players, singers and dancers from Franklin County and many other places. Click here for more info.


     Alison Dezotelle and Kelee Reichenbach Maddox run Mad Ox Designs in the Enosburg Falls building that also houses The Flying Disc, the County Courier and the recording studio for Farm. Their site is a blog with weekly updates about "the trials and triumphs of creating in northern Vermont."


      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 © 2011 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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