ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 14 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 5, 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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      Saturday is Green Up Day. Usually an arts column plugs more than one color. After all, Franklin County artists work in pixels and chemicals and magic when they photograph and paint and immortalize our land in song. High water or not, this weekend is our opportunity to make everything green and ready to tint again. And all it takes is one volunteer picking up one beer can from the side of the road. Who knows? You might just make a nickle on the job.
      Click here to find the volunteer Town coordinators for 12 Franklin County towns.


     Fairfax Community Theater Company celebrates its 20th season this year and will hold auditions for an Anniversary Gala production, starting next Thursday, May 12, at the Westford Brick Meeting House.
      The show is a celebration of all the works with songs from each musical they have presented. FCTC needs a full chorus for production numbers, plus a women's chorus and a men's chorus as well as more soloists for songs from many of the shows.
      The gala will be performed July 20-23 at BFA-Fairfax.
      Call 802-363-1336, email, or click here for more info.


ENOSBURG FALLS--Celebrating its fifth anniversary this month, the Artist In Residence Gallery presents different members in the gallery windows and "feature" wall each month. This month, the spotlight is on painters Corliss Blakely and Rebecca Anne Bennett, jeweler Holly Spier, and pastel artist Genie Rybicki-Judkins. The A.I.R. gallery hosts a free meet-the-artists reception with lively conversation, presentations, and refreshments tonight from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. The exhibit continues through the end of May.
      The Artist in Residence art cooperative features paintings, fiber arts, stained glass, sculpture, lamps, pottery, folk art boxes, scarves, hats and more by 40 Franklin County and surrounding area artists. It is owned and operated by the artists and sponsors. The Village Frame Shoppe is located within the coop as a resident framer. The Blue Crayon, a small private studio, is available there for individual or small group lessons. The gallery, located at 349 Main Street, is open Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

ST ALBANS--The Northwestern Medical Center Gallery hosts NMC employee Emily Dunsmore this month. Ms. Dunsmore is known for her animal photography.
      The show continues through the end of May.


AROUND VERMONT--Look for Cinco De Mayo parties everywhere tonight.

ST. ALBANS--BFA St. Albans presents the Vermont All State Music Festival with concerts tonight through Saturday. The Festival brings together the finest musicians from Vermont's high schools to perform in bands, orchestras, choruses, and jazz ensembles.
      The Vermont All State Music Festival is an annual event supported by the Vermont Music Educators Association (VMEA). Vermont high school musicians work under the direction of some of the finest conductors in the nation during three days of intensive rehearsals.
      Tonight is the Scholarship Concert at 8 p.m. in the BFA Gymnasium. Tomorrow the Jazz Concert takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. in the BFA Gymnasium. Saturday, the Band, Chorus & Orchestra Concert at the Collins-Perley Sports Center at 3 p.m.
      Sixteen BFA St. Albans students were accepted to the Vermont All State Music Festival: Angelo Barton (trombone-band), Rachelle Chevalier (alto-chorus), Alex Cullen (bass-chorus), Zach Cullen (bass-chorus), Elise Gunther (clarinet-band), Lauren Handy (soprano-chorus), Zach Hartnett (saxophone-band), Elizabeth Houston (oboe-orchestra), Isabel Larrow (cello-orchestra), Clayton Roberts (piano-jazz ensemble), Graham Garland (tenor-chorus), Will Roberts (trombone-band), Meghan Susslin (soprano-chorus), Matt Thayer (tenor-chorus), Ben Thieken (bass-chorus), and Jed Zawisza (tenor-chorus).
      Col. Michael Colburn has performed for every U.S. president since Ronald Reagan and is the 27th director of the 130 member President's Own United States Marine Band. Originally from St. Albans, his father, Vern Colburn was the long-time director of BFA band as well as the director of the 40th Army National Guard band in Vermont.
      Admission is $7 on Friday. For the Saturday afternoon concert admission is $8 for adults, and $5 for students and senior citizens; a family package (2 parents and 2 or more children) is available for $25. Tickets for all concerts will be available at the door.

ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap at the Lincoln Inn offers Blues Night with the Nobby Reed Project tonight at 7 p.m. Summer Sounds favorites the Phil Abair Band appears tomorrow at 9. Mr. Reed may play his famous Guitarra en mi parte posterior.
      Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

FAIRFAX--Dust off your poodle skirts and blue suede shoes, baby! The Fairfax Community Theater Company presents a Do Wop Hop, a community dance for all ages, at BFA-Fairfax on Saturday at 6 p.m. The proceeds benefit FCTC.
      There will be contests, raffles, refreshments, children's activities, and tunes from the B-Sharp Music Service.
      Admission is $10 for one adult or $15 for 2, $8 for seniors and students, or $20 for the whole family (don't push it; this is a benefit so your best friend's Labrador retriever has to buy his own ticket). Kids under 5 are free. Call 802.324.5637 for more info.

SOUTH BURLINGTON--Barnes and Noble Booksellers hosts a free in-store Mini Concert featuring Georgia singer-songwriter John Gibbons with Craig Anderson, Karen McFeeters, and Carol Hausner on Saturday at 3 p.m.
      Admission is free.

BURLINGTON--Still young? The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts presents David Crosby and Graham Nash on the MainStage on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in a benefit for the Tom Sustic Fund.
      The concert will mix acoustic and plugged-in performances with songs they have never performed live together before. They will also introducing brand new songs that have never been heard on stage or on record. The singer-songwriters are on their U.S. spring tour with backing band of James Raymond, keyboards; Dean Parks, guitar; Kevin McCormick, bass; and Steve DiStanislao, drums.
      Admission is $79.50/$59.50. Call 802.86.FLYNN or click here for tickets and more info.


NORTH ADAMS, MA--NEFA and Berkshire Creative will host the Creative Communities Exchange at MassMoCA on May 19 - 20. This day and a half of workshops prepared by creative and cultural community leaders, and plenty of networking.
      Each workshop -- 20 minutes of presentation, 20 minutes of Q&A, and 20 minutes of networking -- will focus on the implementation of successful creative economy work and presenters will provide participants with information and actionable tools that can be executed in their own communities.
      The $80 early registration rate ends tomorrow.
      Call Nella Young (617.951.0010 x529), email, or click here for more info and to register.
      Bluesman Albert Cummings is live in concert at MassMoCA tomorrow evening at 8 p.m.

ARTS IN EDUCATION--The FY 2011 appropriations bill included the federal Arts In Education program; it was the only terminated education program to be restored.
      Last week, Americans for the Arts published the final report of its National Arts Policy Roundtable. The report lists the need for increased research, strong public policy support, and better casemaking efforts from the field. click here for the report and click here for a podcast from AFTA.
      Two new studies appeared this week. The National Center for Education Statistics released a preview of a study on arts education. The full study will be a key measurement of access to arts education. The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities' Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America's Future Through Creative Schools identifies successful arts education models and practices. Click here for the National Center preview and here for the President's Committee report.


ST. ALBANS--The St. Albans Free Library Tuesday Night Book Group meets on May 10 at 7 p.m. to discuss Elizabeth Gilbert's post-divorce memoire, Eat, Pray, Love. The book chronicles her year-long journey through the gelato of Rome, the ashram near Mumbai, and a balance beam in Bali. The book spent 187 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list. The Columbia Pictures film version stars Julia Roberts.


     Radio Free Vermont is an online features locally grown Vermont music from the Green Mountains. The site has Music Blogs, commentary, ratings, and lots of music. Carol Ann Jones' Bullfrog Song from her new album Hope is on the list as is the music of much of the Patton family. You must register to play.


      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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