ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 19 * * All Arts News On the Web * * January 8, 2015


      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.

     Franklin County's arts and music gatherings bring new opportunities, gossip, "show-and-tell" and occasional workshops. There are also booked and acoustic Open Mic Nights that feature music, readings, and more from the best new artists in Vermont.

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ST ALBANS--The first ever Northwestern Medical Center calendar has a dozen images from area photographers (and some hospital info). Photographer David Juaire's Metcalf Pond image graces the cover.
      The NMC Gallery solo show of Mr. Juaire's work continues this month. He is exhibiting a mixture of different seasons with "at least two or three from Vermont Life including a farm in Fletcher from the most recent issue."
      The show continues through the end of January.


ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers Blues Night with the Nobby Reed Project tonight at 7 p.m. Vermont's best known blues trio includes Eric Belrose, percussion, Ray Bushey, bass, and Mr. Reed on lead guitar and vocals.
      Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

SOUTH HERO--Wine Down Fridays resume at Snow Farm Vineyard and Winery with Carol Ann Jones on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The evenings include wine, an optional catered box meal, and delicious music.
      Call Zach's Cafe (802.378.4591) for dinner selections.

SAINT ALBANS--The United Methodist Church 12th Night Celebration features Michele Choiniere with Fabio Choiniere on Saturday at 7 p.m.

FAIRFIELD--The Fairfield Community Center hosts an After Lunch Mini-Concert with Carol Ann Jones on Tuesday at about 1 p.m.
      The Georgia singer-songwriter will perform old favorites as well as many of her own songs.

ST. ALBANS--The Twiggs Open Mic Night is back on Wednesday with sign-ups at 6:30 and music at 7 p.m. in the lounge.
      The Open Mic at Twiggs is a comfortable and enjoyable stage for first-timers and local pros to share music with other musicians and with a live audience. The performers cover songs, debut originals, read poetry, and share.
      "You'll be in the window, but don't worry-we'll keep it closed," Jack Grimmer said.
      Call 802.524.1405 or Click here for more info or booking requests.


LIBRARY LOGO (January 15)--This is actually the last call for proposals to create a unique logo to be used to brand the Fairfax Community library. The logo should include and enhance the new tagline, "Where Community Connects." The competition is open to all area artists as well as high school or college art students. The winner you will receive "bragging rights and a $100 gift certificate to Artists Medium."
      Email or click here for the details of their Call for Proposals


FAIRFAX--Annette is leaving her position as Program Planner at the library in order to put more time into Make Life Cozy, her arts business.
      The Fairfax Community Library seeks an outgoing, positive, organized and imaginative person for 12 hour per week to develop innovative programs, promote library services, and facilitate programs. Call Debbie at the library (802.849.2420) or email for the full job description.

FRANKLIN--The Haston Library holds Adult Book Discussion on the second Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m.

MONTGOMERY--The Montgomery Town Library begins Freedom & Unity: One State--Many Visions every other Sunday at 2pm. The film screening and discussion series looks at our state with a six-part series of films. Part 1, this Sunday, explores Vermont's native and colonial roots with a discussion led by Dorothy Tod.
      Freedom & Unity: The Vermont Movie is a six-part documentary produced by several dozen Vermont-based filmmakers from personal stories, rare footage, interviews, and reenactments to explore the history and contemporary culture of the Green Mountain State. From Abenaki and other early settlers, fugitives from slavery, farmers, historians, politicians, and activists, to newcomers moving "back to the land," Vermonters tell how this small state has such a big impact.
      The Vermont Humanities Council program is hosted by the Friends of the Library. Call June Abramowitz (802.326.4239), email, or click here for more info.

SHELDON--The Sheldon Library is closed for its automation upgrade. The library will reopen on Tuesday, January 20.

ST. ALBANS--Tonight is Classic Movie Night at the St. Albans Free Library at 6 p.m. as the library screens 1943's Shadow of a Doubt. The Hitchcock psychological thriller was written by Thornton Wilder and stars Teresa Wright and Joseph Cotten.
      The library shows a newsreel, cartoon, and trailer of coming attractions before each weekly movie. All films are shown on the 4' by 6' screen in the upstairs conference room "cinema." Admission is free, along with popcorn and a beverage.
      The Tuesday Night Book Group meets Tuesday, January 13, at 7 p.m. to take up "The Other Boleyn Girl," by Philippa Gregory. The historical novel is based loosely on the life of aristocrat Mary Boleyn in 16th-century England. A limited number of books are available at the circulation desk.

SWANTON--The Swanton Free Public Library Book Discussion Group meets monthly with the January meeting next Thursday, the 15th; the group is reading The Lost Hours by Karen White this month. The mysterious novel combines Southern living and style with friendship, tragedy, and a quest.
      Call 802.868.7656 to join the discussion.


     2015 will be another busy year in the arts with another 250 concerts, exhibits, recitals, and shows from more than 40 organizations. This column has info about upcoming All Arts Council and Opera House events plus the Four Franklin County Festivals and Town Band plans. We will cover Other Major Presenter plans next week.
      Happy New Year!

      Summer Sounds, Franklin County's premiere outdoor concert series, celebrates its 25th anniversary with a lineup of bluegrass, classical, country, folk, jazz, pop, opera, and classic rock-n-roll. Assuming the Towns continue their support. The concerts are always on a Sunday night, always in a Town Park, always at 7 p.m. and always free.
      The All Arts Council's three primary goals haven't changed: continuing our popular programs, continuing our support of artists and other presenters, and continuing our partnerships. The AAC may also host several one-time shows. Email the All Arts Council if you would like to suggest or host a show.
      AAC will hold exhibits for artists in all media and pays actual cash money for bands and solo performers. If you are one or know one, email the All Arts Council .

      Every Franklin County presenter has planned another blowout year so we all need money and volunteers. From Art in Bloom to Young Tradition-Vermont, please remember that volunteers and a permanent base make up the "back room" that each of these groups needs to continue the programming you enjoy. The AAC needs volunteers to provide the marketing and technical help, have resources, and to host meetings and exhibits, and concerts and workshops for artists, other groups, and local presenters.
      If you have an advertising budget to spend or space to lend for the year, email the All Arts Council .

      The Opera House at Enosburg Falls plans a mix of major productions, touring, and community events from the Highbrow to Hoedown, vocalists in concert, musicals, theatricals, to talent shows and art shows. The new season begins in March and continues through December.
      The Opera House is soliciting production proposals for the 2015 theatrical season. The 300 seat historic center of the performing arts serves 14 communities. Productions are volunteer-based with small honorariums granted based on the proceeds of the show. Email for more info.

      Taken together, the four major Franklin County area Festivals attract around 100,000 people to extravaganzas of outdoor arts and entertainment here.

      The 40th Franklin County Field Days swells Highgate with crafts, exhibits, agricultural exhibits, cattle judging, antique tractor pulls, rides, and more at the Franklin County Airport. This long running event fills a tent, the grounds, and the stage with popular bands and solo performers from near and far on July 30-August 2. Click here for more info.
      The 23rd annual Jig in the Valley will benefit the East Fairfield Community Center with a family day of music and picnicking on the last weekend in July. This concert helps raise funds and awareness for the NMC regional health center, pre-school, Head Start, Teen, and Senior Citizen programs.
      The 59th annual Vermont Dairy Festival will spotlight Franklin County performers in a benefit weekend for the Lions Club traditionally held on the first weekend of June, on June 4-7. Click here for more info.
      The 49th annual Vermont Maple Festival in April is the first major outdoor festival of the year. St. Albans City and Town host three days of family education and entertainment. The Festival includes a popular talent show, the sold out fiddler's variety show, a large craft show, embraces many other community events, and offers the biggest parade in Vermont. Real Vermont Maple, Delicious and Nutritious! is a Top 10 Summer Event this April 24-26. Click here for more info.

      The Citizens Concert Band begins a new season outdoor concerts starting in late June and alternating on Wednesdays between St. Albans City, St. Albans Bay, Swanton, Highgate Springs, and Highgate Falls. Click here for more info.
      Enosburg Town Band rehearsals begin in the Enosburg Falls Elementary School Band Room on the first Tuesday every April at 7 p.m. The 2015 Summer Concert Series will begin in late June on the bandstand in Lincoln Park. Call Alisa Martin (802.933.2062) or click here for more info.
      New members (high school age through adult) are always welcome at both bands.


      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 © 2015 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.