ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 20 * * All Arts News On the Web * * January 7, 2016


      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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      2016 will be another busy year in the arts. First, the look at what's happening now.


ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers Blues Night with the Nobby Reed Project tonight at 7 p.m. Vermont's own 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--Snow Farm Vineyard kicks off a new year of Wine Down Fridays with singer/songwriter Carol Ann Jones on Friday, of course, at 6:30 p.m.
      Call 802.372.9463 for info or reservations.

BOLTON--Bolton Valley Ski Resort will be Rocking the Slope Side when Justice goes Late Night on Friday at 9 p.m.
      There is 12 inches of snow at the base and 24 inches at the summit and Late Night is back every Friday night. They keep the doors open and the lifts running until 10 p.m. and live entertainment every Friday from 9 p.m. to midnight.
      With Scott Belisle on bass and backup vocals; Rodney Bushey, lead guitar and vocals; Gary Greeno, lead vocals; Mike Stella, drums; and Scott Guptill, rhythm guitar and backup vocals, Justice hammers a strong mix of 70s, 80s, 90s, and current dance rock. The Justice League can shred the slopes.

Friday and Saturday
ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents Close to Nowhere on the Main Stage on Friday and Justin Panigutti on Saturday. Both shows begin at 7 p.m.
      Rich Furniss, vocals, and Mark Hagerstrom, guitar, of Close to Nowhere play "bluesyfunkrock with a dash of punk." Formerly in the Burlington band Bearquarium, Mr. Panigutti is a solo singer/songwriter guitarist with eclectic shows.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.


      2016 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, enters its 26th season 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 All Arts 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. And we've started a search for someone to be me.
      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 vocalists in concert, musicals, and theatricals, to talent shows and art shows. The schedule includes Prydein in March, Theater Camp in June, Lil Abner in July, The Odd Couple and a Rocky Horror Picture Show Shadowcast in October, and A Christmas Carol in December. The new season begins in March and continues through December.
      The Opera House already has productions for this year but wants proposals for the 2017 theatrical season. Productions are volunteer-based with small honorariums granted based on the proceeds of the show. The 300 seat historic center of the performing arts serves 14 communities.
      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 41st 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 August 4-7. Click here for more info.
      The 24th 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. July 31 (always the last Sunday in July). Click here for more info.
      The 60th 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 2-5.
The Lions are always looking for dedicated women and men to join because it is the people who serve who make the real difference. Click here for more info.
      The 50th 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, the best of Vermont music, and a large craft show; it embraces many other community events and offers the biggest parade in Vermont. Fifty Years of Golden Sweetness! is a Top 10 Summer Event this April 22-24. Click here for more info.

      The Citizens Concert Band begins a new season of outdoor concerts with two new directors starting in late June and alternating on Wednesdays between St. Albans City, St. Albans Bay, Swanton, Highgate Springs, and Highgate Falls. Jeremy Berger who also directs the FFW Band and Jennifer McConnell assumed the baton on the first. 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 2016 Summer Concert Series will begin around Memorial Day on the bandstand in Lincoln Park. Call Pat Evans (802.827.3970) 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 © 2016 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.