ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 20 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 17, 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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ENOSBURG--The House is open for 2016.
      The Opera House at Enosburg Falls begins the season with Prydein, Vermont's own Celtic Rock Band, on Saturday. Doors open at 7 p.m.
      Come get your Irish on. The Celtic bagpipe rock band features music teacher Aron Garceau who is still hopeful that he will be forced to take over the guitar work for Jimmy Page on Stairway to Heaven in a Led Zeppelin reunion concert. Piper Iain Macharg's dream is to be forced to take over Gordon Duncan's pipes to play Maggie's Pancakes and Dancing Feet in a Tannahill Weavers concert. Piper Dan Houghton also plays flutes, bouzouki, mandolin and more. Bassist Andy Smith fell for the tall tales. Drummer Caleb Bronz refused to explode. Messrs. Houghton, Smith, and Bronz all apparently dreamed they would be forced to wear kilts in a Prydein concert.
      General admission is $10 online at or at the door. The Opera House has more great stuff planned for the season. Click here for the lineup.


     Rotary Club of St. Albans opens the 24th annual Home & Recreation Exposition with free admission tomorrow. The EXPO annual fund raiser runs through Sunday at the Collins-Perley Sports and Fitness Center.
      Building a new home this year? Planning a home remodeling project? That new space can easily help showcase your own collection of art. Or perhaps you need, absolutely need, a dance studio? Or space for a wide format flatbed scanner and a seven-color, 36" printer.
      Rotary supports local organizations. Most of the proceeds from the fund raiser last year supported the $225,000 to restore the (public art) fountain in Taylor Park. They offer annual support to programs like Martha's Kitchen and Special Olympics. They particularly like to help the start-up or expansion of local programs or facilities such as the Hannaford Gift Box and the Taylor Park Fountain restoration.
      Admission is free. The doors will be open from 2-8 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday. The Collins-Perley Sports and Fitness Center is located just off I-89 at Exit 19. Click here for more info or visit them on for more info.


ST. ALBANS--St. Albans Community Arts Ballroom Dance Lessons and Community Dances continue this week in the Bliss Room at the St. Albans Historical Museum on Monday. Kevin Laddison's lessons begin at 6 p.m. and the Community Dances from 7 - 9 p.m.
      Admission is $15 per person per lesson; the Community Dance costs $5 per person or $8 per couple. Call (802.578.4716) or email to register.

SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council will hold a planning meeting for the 2016 SAC Pinwheel Art Installation at the Swanton Free Public Library on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. Anita Michele Parah is project leader.
      Email for more info.


St. Patrick's Day
ST. ALBANS--The spirited St. Albans St. Patrick's Parade has a new parade route beginning at the Court House Parking Lot on Lake Street, up Lake to Main Street, up Bank Street and over Church Street to the St. Albans Museum, all this evening starting at 6 p.m. sharp.
      There will be a post-parade party in the Bliss Room with Irish entertainment and dance by UVM's Celtic Cats, green punch, a corned beef and cabbage dinner available for purchase from The Clean Spoon, and a cash bar by JW Ryans.
      Admission is free but it will be half price if you're wearin' the green.

SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro presents Carol Ann Jones in a solo acoustic show this evening at 6:30 p.m.
      The Blue Paddle has limited seating and a small bar so call ahead (802.372.4814) for reservations.

BURLINGTON--The Vermont Symphony Orchestra will team with the Vermont Youth Orchestra for a side-by-side performance of Carnegie Hall's Link Up program: The Orchestra Sings at the Flynn today at 10 a.m.
      In a new program from Carnegie Hall's Weill Institute, 700 local students in grades 3-5 will also attend and participate. The students will bring recorders, which they have learned to play in the classroom and will perform with the VYO and VSO. This interactive program will culminate with Beethoven's Ode to Joy with the entire audience joining in!
      Admission is $8.50 Tickets are available at the Flynn box office or from

ST. ALBANS--Every third Thursday, Twiggs has an Open Band Night. The stage is open to bands of two or more people; they have six half hour slots. The free show is tonight at 7 p.m.
      Next up, Twiggs presents Dan McKeown and Ben Hook on Friday at 7 p.m. This energetic duo plays a mix of jazzy covers and old/new country.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

SHELDON--It's a live band full tilt as the Abbey presents Full Tilt Sham Rockin' for a cure on Saturday at 6p.m. This is the night to party with a purpose: show the green and give the green to help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis.
      Full Tilt is a Rock and Roll band.
      Admission is $50. There will be a prime rib buffet, drinks, an auction, a 50/50, door prizes, and more.

ST. ALBANS--Carol Ann Jones will lead a sing-along at Saint Albans health and rehabilitation on Tuesday at 2 p.m.
      The sing-along is a fundraiser for Parkinson's disease research through the Michael J Fox foundation. "I will have a guitar case out for any cash donations. It is in memory of several residents who I have played for over the year, and one in particular that I made a promise to," Ms. Jones said.
      Residents and family members at SAHR taught her many of the songs that have been popular.


RICHFORD--Guardian Angel Ministries holds a Movie Night to screen faith based film Mission Improbable at First Baptist on Sunday at 6 p.m.
      Admission is free. "We do take a love offering to support faith based films," Rev. Tim Stetson said. There will be free popcorn, thanks to their brand new popcorn machine, and other concessions by donation.


     The Vermont Humanities Council has started Standing Together, two new Veterans Book Groups to read the stuff that bubbles up memories, provokes them sometimes, and then talk about it in a group that's safe. And for some of them, it's the first time they've ever had that opportunity. The groups will meet in South Burlington and White River Junction.
      Michael Heaney leads the groups. He is a retired American History professor, lawyer, and a wounded combat veteran of the Vietnam War. In the book groups, veterans "get to read stuff that bubbles up memories, provokes them sometimes, and then talk about it in a group thatís safe. And for some of them, itís the first time theyíve ever had that opportunity.
      Click here to sign up by April 1 for the first group, which starts on April 13.


      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).
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