ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 20 * * All Arts News On the Web * * August 18, 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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FRANKLIN COUNTY--The Big Music Weeks of Summer continue today as some of our friends play multiple gigs. Summer Sounds concludes 26 years of concerts in Highgate with a national touring band and we find shows in Bakersfield, Burlington, Essex Junction, Fairfax, Milton, North Hero, St. Albans, and more.


      La Quinta Inn and Suites of St Albans, the All Arts Council, and the Town of Highgate conclude the 26th year of Summer Sounds concerts at home in Highgate with the Christopher Dean Band in the free Summer Sounds concert on Sunday evening at 7 p.m.
      The national touring blues/soul band is based in Central New Jersey and works up and down the east coast year round. Playing guitar and singing lead vocals, Chris Dean fronts the group which includes David Foti, bass, background vocals, and vocals; Chip Dixon, drums, background vocals, and vocals; and Vel Johnson, sax, percussion, and vocals. The band has a lot of depth. Mr. Dean joined Big Jack Johnson and the Oilers in 1997 and toured worldwide for nearly four years in some of the hottest blues venues with that band. Vel Johnson has been on the south Jersey soul/rock scene since the 70s. Bruce Springsteen opened for Mr. Johnson's bands back in the day. Their albums include Dogged 'n Driven, Three Times A Fool, Where I Need To Be, What I Need, and Call Me Later.
      Just before the concert, stop by for the Highgate Methodist Church-Summer Sounds Social in the Park starting at 6 p.m. The social hour is a chance to visit with friends and eat hearty.
      The Summer Sounds concerts are sponsored by the Town of Highgate and the All Arts Council, and underwritten by Chevalier Drilling Co. Inc, Desorcie's Market, Drummac Septic Service, La Quinta Inn and Suites of St Albans, O. C. McCuin and Sons, and Ray's Extrusion Dies and Tubing.
      The community based All Arts Council brings the performing arts to northwestern Vermont. The concerts are always on Sunday evenings, always at 7 p.m., always in Highgate Municipal Park, and always free. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair for the outdoor family music and festivities. The rain site is the Highgate United Methodist Church. Bookmark for more about Summer Sounds.


FAIRFAX--The Fairfax Community Theater Company's 25th Anniversary Costumed Gala takes place in the space where they started, the B.F.A. Fairfax "Old Gym" on Saturday at 7 p.m.
      The costume party and dance will have a DJ, a bit of musical theatre karaoke, refreshments both savory and sweet, and even "a photo booth of sorts."
      Admission is $10 per person, $15 per couple, $20 for trios, and $25 for families of four or more.

ENOSBURG--The Opera House at Enosburg Falls will hold auditions at the House for The Odd Couple--the Female Version on Wednesday at 6 p.m. and again on August 28 at 1 p.m.
      The hilarious show casts six women and two men: Olive Madison, Florence Unger, Manolo Costazuela, Jesus Costazuela, Sylvie Mickey, and Renee Vera. The House also needs volunteers to help with sets, costumes, props, and stage managment. email for more info and audition scenes.


ST. ALBANS--St. Albans Community Arts second annual Chair Affair is here, at the reception and auction in Taylor Park on Saturday at 6 p.m.
      The 6' x 6' giant Adirondack chair and the gorgeously hand-decorated, standard sized Adirondack chairs have been exhibited all over Main Street. There will be locally produced cuisine, treats, and local beverages for sale.
      Proceeds from the Auction will benefit the Franklin Grand Isle Bookmobile.

SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council seeks people to create the SAC entry for Northwest Nightmares. There are very few speaking roles, but the film may need a larger number of extras for crowd scenes. Filming will be in September. email for more info. Judy Paxman
      Work is progressing on the MakerSpace.
      Click here for more info.


Thursday ST. ALBANS--The One Fed Summer Concert Series presents Barbie-N-Bones this evening at 7 p.m.
      The summer concert series has performers under the tents and draft specials every Thursday, rain or shine.

ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers Summer Sounds favorites Jenni Johnson and the Jazz Junketeers tonight at 7 p.m.
      On Tap has Trivia on Tuesdays and music on Wednesday through Saturday nights. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Twiggs Comedy For A Cause series returns to the Main Stage Friday evening at 7 p.m. The evening will raise money to support Louis Young and family.
      Admission is $120. There are just 30 seats available at the restaurant. Call Kyle Horton (802.527.8129 ext 249) or Email for tickets which include an extravagant buffet dinner for two and dinner seating for a night filled with professional comedians. There will be giveaways donated by local businesses with a grand finale auction for the big prizes.
      Next up, Twiggs presents Bob Young this evening, the Smokey Newfield Project on $4 Friday, and Chris and Erica on Saturday. Music starts at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

BURLINGTON--The fully Justified Breakwaters Summer lineup has Justice for a Waterfront Wild Time on Saturday night at 6 p.m.
      The music continues with King Me this evening, Quadra on Friday, the Phineas Gage Project Sunday, and Red Hot Juba next Wednesday. Bands play from 6-9 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 6-10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3-6 p.m on Sundays.

MILTON--Arrowhead Golf Course presents a buffet serenade by Carol Ann Jones and Will Patton on the deck on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The meal includes meatloaf, mashed potatoes and maple glazed carrots, all you can eat, for $10.

BAKERSFIELD--The Lucas James Williams Memorial Youth Fund hosts the annual Volleyball and Horseshoe Tournament and Motorcycle Rally with the Nobby Reed Project at the Lucas James Williams Field on Saturday starting at 11 a.m. The rally starts at Harley D's in St Albans.
      Click here for more info.

NORTH HERO--Island Arts presents a BBQ, music, and barn dance at Island Arts Open Doors on Sunday starting at 1 p.m. The busy Carol Ann Jones and Will Patton will perform for the Barn Fundraiser and have a "hand in" Grand Isle County's Got Talent to be broadcast on Lake Champlain Access Cable Television
      The BBQ, prepared by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, is the first of the fundraisers and projects planned to transform the historic Homer Knight Barn into a Champlain Islands performing and creative arts center and a home for Island Arts. No reservations required.
      Call 802.372.8889 for more info or to donate to the Island Arts Youth Scholarship Fund.

ST. ALBANS--Rushmore continues the Downtown Summer Concert Series in the E.A. Loomis Bandshell in Taylor Park on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. The Road Grill BBQ serves food at all of this year's Summer Concerts Series events.
      Admission is free.

MORRISVILLE--The River Arts Wednesday Night Live Art Tent presents the Vermont Fiddle Orchestra and the free community corn roast in this season's final show in Oxbow Riverfront Park on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
      Make masks, crowns, sculptures and more during the live music series. It's free for all ages.


SWANTON--The Swanton Free Public Library hosts the world premiere of Bitter Losses, the original short film by Sam Caswell, tonight at 6:30 p.m.
      Lee Barnett, Sarah Mitiguy, and Michael B. Fisher star in the story of a transplant, an underground poker game, and the chance of being "scrapped for parts." Admission is by suggested donation of $5 per person. All proceeds to go to the Emerging Artist Scholarship Fund.


SWANTON--There will be Book Butchering at the Swanton Free Public Library again on Sunday at 9 a.m. It's a chance to upcycle, save the books from the landfill, and learn a craft with a big impact.


      ArtBits features a quick weekly peek at library events in and around Franklin County. That popular feature has a page of its own at the Franklin County Bookshelf here on the AAC site at We also take an occasional peek at the bookshelf or night stand of the folks you know in and around Franklin County. Those reviews can be found on the ArtBits Bookshelf.


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