ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 17 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 26, 2013


      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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ENOSBURG--The Opera House at Enosburg Falls presents Silver & Gold, a musical variety show, on Saturday at 7 p.m.
      There will be cabaret seating and light refreshments.
      Admission is $10 at the door.

SHELDON--The Abbey will rock in New Year's Eve with Nightrain on Tuesday at 9 p.m.
      With Harvey Mayo, lead vocals; Andy Toussaint, lead guitar and keys; Brad, guitar; Eric Halbach (drums); and Justin Olds, bass, Nightrain is one of Vermont's longest running acts with decades of classic rock covers under their strings.
      Call 802.933.4747 or click here for tickets and more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs will ring in 2014 with Chameleon with Deana Paquette and Mike Trombly at the core on Tuesday, December 31 at 9 p.m.
      Tickets are $25 in advance or $35 at the door.
      Call 802.524.1405, email, or click here for more info.


     Franklin County artists and presenters had a busy 2013. This week, wrapping up All Arts Council and what the Other Major Presenters did.

      The All Arts Council serves northwestern Vermont as a presenter, an event producer, and as a technical resource for artists and other groups. Other Franklin County organizations continue to grow, which means we support more events.
      Summer Sounds, Franklin County's popular, long running, outdoor series, offered free concerts on summer Sunday evenings. 2013 marked the 24th season of the popular free concert series). The season began when the Keeghan Nolan Band played into the Fireworks at St Albans Bay. We brought back the Sky Blue Boys, Mango Jam, and the Joe Levesque Big Band. Dark Horse played the Highgate 250 Celebration on the only Saturday Summer Sounds ever. And "newcomer" Rick Davis Band opened for Dick Prescott.
      The free concerts in this series have been sponsored by the supporting Towns and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Desorcie's Market, Drummac Septic Service, O. C. McCuin and Sons, and Ray's Extrusion Dies and Tubing. We also received a special grant from Mylan Technologies.
      The community based All Arts Council brings the performing and visual arts to northwestern Vermont. The Summer Sounds concerts are always on Sunday evenings, always at 7 p.m., always in a Town Park, always in the summer, and always free.
      Did you miss any of the concerts? Fortunately, Northwest Access TV and the All Arts Council produce Almost Live, a series of live concerts that airs each week on Comcast Channel 15. The volunteer videography crew produced a "front row seat" show of all the Summer Sounds concerts and many more besides. click here for more info about Almost Live on Channel 15.

      The Artist In Residence Gallery in Enosburg Falls featured dozens of northern Vermont fine artists with a focus on four different artists each month. The Opera House hosts the Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union annual District Art Gala and houses a permanent art exhibit.
      Rotary Home and Recreation Expo continued a program of art for the home. The Rotary Club of St. Albans exhibited a new Fred Swan poster, photographer Chris Hungerford and more.
      The Village Frame Shoppe in St. Albans features artists from across Vermont and New England. They held the first plein air Missisquoi Paint Out in and around the Missisquoi Wildlife Refuge this year as well as ongoing exhibits including the third annual Sappy Art Show in conjunction with the Maple Festival.

      The Opera House at Enosburg Falls had a busy year with the Community Christmas Concert, the 19th annual Fundraiser Gala, the annual craft show, Hungry Heart, the Bess O'Brien Film, Annie Get Your Gun, the Dairy Pageant, Highbrow to Hoedown, the Vermont Comedy Club, the Girl in the Other Room, plus Mystery Dinner Theaters and Summer Music Camp, a Community Night at the Opera House, and the 21st annual Talent Search.
      The St. Albans Arts Council has organized a year-round community chorus and plans visual arts, performing arts, and written word projects. They have caroled and performed at the Festival of Trees this year.
      Summer Music at Grace opened the season before Memorial Day with "the umpteenth annual" Farewell Reunion concert (in conjunction with Events for Tom). They continued with Vermont singer-songwriter Patrick Fitzsimmons, the Klimowski-Matthews Ensemble, Chasing 440, and the Missisquoi River Band with guests Will Patton and Roland Clarke.
      Twiggs offers so much music and art that they fit the role of presenter. They have three stages with live piano, violin, or light guitar any day of the week in the dining room, the Window, or the main stage. The Cabaret offers live performances by touring musicians, visual artists, poets, and more and they continue to promote up-and-coming performers with monthly Open Mic Nights and Open Comedy Nights.
      Young Tradition-Vermont is a statewide presenter with more than a dozen major events each year including several Events for Tom.


BURLINGTON--First Night Burlington has a citywide, substance-free party of stage shows, musical acts, and arts activities to kick off the new year. Downtown Friday from noon on.
      A huge number of performers are either from Franklin County or are Summer Sounds favorites starting with Paul Asbell, Michele Choinere, Counterpoint, Gary Dulabaum alone and as PaDulabaum with Rebecca Padula, the Electric Youth Dance Company, Jon Gailmor, Green Mountain Chorus, Carol Ann Jones in the First Congregational Church Theater, PossumHaw, pianist Annemieke Spoelstra, the Starline Rhythm Boys, the Vermont Youth Orchestra and Chorus, and the Young Tradition Vermont Contradance Band. One of First Night's most popular features is the multi-feature Cartoon Fest at Merrill's Roxy Cinemas.
      Some events are free; buttons available at 65 button outlets including Hannaford, Price Chopper, and Vermont Federal Credit Union in St. Albans. (Buy your buttons early; Adult Buttons jump to $30 on December 31. Of course, they are far more expensive on December 32.) Most Flynn MainStage and Memorial Auditorium shows require $4 tickets in addition to the button. click here for a complete schedule.
      Let's be careful out there.


     Your site could be here.
      There's a truly obvious lapse in this round up the artists and dancers and presenters and performers of 2013: your name isn't in it. If you are a Franklin County presenter or performer, it isn't because I don't like you. It is because I may not be able to find you.
      I know and chase down happenings every week but if I can't find you online, on the phone, in the grocery, or in the paper, then the other people in your audience can't either. Success in the arts comes from the audience knowing you're in the arts. Email the All Arts Council or visit AAC web site to let us know what you may be doing in 2014.


      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 © 2013 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.