A LOOK BACK AT ARTS EVENTS IN 2001
| The landscape of our lives
changed with the assault on America on September 11, 2001.
As the United States continued to prosecute a war with a scattered and contemptible enemy, the ordinary business of living went on. Emergency workers, soldiers, and volunteers from Franklin County have helped us recover from the terror and the arts continues to help us remember that our culture does indeed survive cowardice and hatred. Beauty, ideas, history, and the kindness of friends and strangers buoy us through the bad times and the good.
The AAC CoffeeHouse offered great music and the original works of Franklin County artists through the Spring. We are seeking sponsorship to pay the bands and continue this series next year.
The All Arts Council opened permanent gallery exhibits at opposite ends of the county. The AAC/Opera House Gallery started with Vermont Photographers; AAC member Darla White of Richford opened our solo artist series at the Swanton Library. Nearly 100,000 people saw 11 Franklin County artists at the Highgate Springs Welcome Center this year, thanks to a rotating show of paintings, photographs, and sculpture. We also held art exhibits at the Rotary Home Expo, the VYO and VSO concerts, and in City Hall for the Maple Festival.
An All Arts Council workshop focused on building and marketing a small business in the arts. Simeon Geigel of the Micro Business Development Program led the session.
Singer/songwriter and recording artist Michele Choiniere joined the All Arts Council and the Opera House at Enosburg Falls to collaborate on a series of traditional Franco-American Sessions at the Kept Writer Cafe and Bookshop in St Albans. These "Kitchen Sessions" offered an intimate look at the music and laughter of a French-Canadian and Franco-American kitchen soiree.
The All Arts Council joined other groups to present national recording artist Lui Collins in a coffee house concert at the Foothills Bakery as part of a week-long educational residency in Franklin County. Ms. Collins visited schools, libraries, child care programs, playgroups and other activities involving young children and their families, teachers and care givers all week.
The 9/11 Benefit Concert, held in the Collins Perley Sports and Fitness Center, gave the community a gathering to hold hands, enjoy 16 bands and solo artists in a full day of continuous country, bluesy, jazzy music, and to collect donations for the national September 11th Fund.
For the eleventh season, Summer Sounds, the All Arts Council and Franklin County's premiere outdoor concert series, opened with new performers, new venues, and even new sponsors. We held free live concerts every Sunday evening throughout the summer. Concerts always alternate between the Highgate Municipal Park and Taylor Park in St Albans. Bay Days and the Summer Sounds concerts teamed up to offer family activities all day and great music through the evening and into the fireworks. Although Summer Sounds has appeared at the Bay in prior years, 2001 marked the first year for regular concerts in St Albans Town. We will collaborate on several events in 2002. The popular series also placed individual concerts in Fairfax, Franklin, and Richford
The Summer Sounds lineup included a medley of a capella, bluegrass, classical, country, folk, pop, and classic rock-n-roll. Besides the music, food is a big part of the fun of an outdoor concert. Local community groups hosted each event with special activities, family fun, bake sales, grilled hot dogs, and ice cream socials. The sixteen voice Burlington Ecumenical Gospel Choir canceled to handle a family emergency, the first time in 11 years we have had to cancel a concert. They will be rescheduled in 2002.
The Vermont Dairy Festival celebrated Milk ... the Moo-ving Drink, with plenty of food, entertainers, family events, and three days of continuous Moo-ving Moo-sic. The AAC booked two stages of performers, a world class hypnotist, and the annual True Value Country Music Showdown. Last year's Showdown winner Candace Myers returned to win for a second time.
The Vermont Maple Festival had artists and food and entertainers and family fun everywhere. The AAC booked three days of continuous entertainment on Main Street. City Hall was jam-packed as the Vermont Specialty Food Producers and the All Arts Council brought together a taste testing and an exhibit of works by Franklin County artists. Behind the scenes Dave and Tim Stetson and their merry band did an exceptional job as they took over the sound production for Main Street and for the BFA shows. Electrician John Baraby is supervising a new power system that should ease the job of making good music and good food along Main Street.
Vermont State Colleges and the All Arts Council began an informal collaboration on programming and audience building projects with a Summer Sounds sponsorship. Johnson State College offers programs in the fine and performing arts, writing and literature, and a wide range of business, behavioral sciences, and the liberal arts majors.
The All Arts Council now has an exclusive online listing of Franklin County actors, artists, composers, dancers, musicians, photographers, poets, sculptors, theater companies, writers, and anyone else showing or selling in the arts. Click here for more infoto check out your neighbors.
OTHER ARTY PRESENTERS
The Belfry Restaurant held the Art of PMS, a new show of Vermont artists Paule Gingras (the "P"), Melissa Haberman (the "M"), and Sandra Vaillancourt (the "S").
Art shows included the Fourth Annual FNESU Art Gala in the Montgomery Grange Hall and the Second Annual FCSU Art Show in St Albans City Hall. The shows exhibited hundreds of two and three dimensional pieces with mobiles, sculpture, paintings, collages, and more.
The professional vocal group Counterpoint features soprano Claire Hungerford of St Albans and acclaimed composer-conductor (and VSO Chorus Director) Robert deCormier in concerts and in school programs around the state.
The Elder Art Program held St Albans area classes and hosted shows in St Albans storefronts and in City Hall. That program has unfortunately closed down operations to reorganize.
The Exit Stage Left summer production was A Bad Year for Tomatoes by John Patrick. They presented Peter Shaffer's Black Comedy this fall in a benefit for the Franklin-Grand Isle County Emergency Food Shelf. The ESL productions were funny, dramatic, and fun.
Expo 2001 put a spotlight on Art. The Rotary Club of St Albans filled both handball courts of the Collins Perley Sports Complex with fine oil and watercolor paintings, photography, digital art, and sculpture. Seventh Generation Vermonter Corliss Blakely was the All Arts Council's featured artist and Barre artist Fred Swan was the Rotary's featured artist in his largest exhibit in a decade.
The Fairfax Community Theater Company presented Brandon Thomas's classic and beguiling farce, Charley's Aunt.
The Fairfax Music Sessions began with acoustic instruments, and (mostly) traditional music every Saturday at the Foothills Bakery.
The Franklin Community Playground presented the Burlington Taiko Drummers in concert in the MVU Theater. The huge, vibrant sound of Japanese Festival Drums with the Burlington company's exceptional and athletic choreography raised money and awareness for the playground.
Green Actor's Guild presented Into The Woods a Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical of classic fairy tales.
A select group of student musicians from Northwestern Vermont, the Green Mountain Wind Ensemble held concerts in St Albans and Enosburg Falls. They specialize in the major works of contemporary composers, classical overtures and transcriptions, and traditional marches.
Island Arts hosted "events for everyone" including art gallery openings, Cabaret Shakespeare, a classical concert gala, children's concerts, a concert in the Barn at Apple Tree Bay, a craft show, the house-and-craft studio tour, an Improv Day at Camp Ingalls in North Hero, and the Outer Island Tour on Savage Island.
The Ninth Annual Jig in the Valley benefit concert and dance helped the Fairfield Community Center underwrite an NMC regional health center, pre-school, Head Start, Teen, and Senior Citizen programs.
The Liz Lerman Dance Exchange featured 27 Franklin County residents in Hallelujah, a dance performance at the Flynn Theater in Burlington.
The Montgomery Historical Society held their annual AugustFest fundraiser with watercolors, oils, photographs, and other media by local artists plus the Concerts By the Common with the classical sounds of the Craftsbury Chamber Players.
St John's Ministry of Arts continued its annual 3-concert summer series at St John's Episcopal Church in Highgate Falls.
A "bunch of humble musicians" presented the first Sheldon Folk Festival to benefit the Sheldon Ski Club as a part of the Jay Peak Ski for Schools program.
The Summer Music at Grace series at Grace Church in Sheldon showcased the restoration of its 1833 Erben pipe organ, the oldest known Erben organ in New England.
The Vermont Symphony Orchestra Made in Vermont Music Festival returned to St Albans with a world premiere of Lake Spirit Journey, a commissioned work by Brattleboro composer and St Albans native Laura Koplewitz. VSO Music Director Jaime Laredo conducted and performed.
On the 32nd anniversary of man's first step on the Moon, Vermont also celebrated the 100th anniversary of Sterling Weed's birth. Mr. Weed is the oldest active band leader in the United States.
A LOOK AHEAD AT ARTS EVENTS FOR 2002
FLASH: THEATER COMPANIES AMONG HOMELESS
Exit Stage Left, the Fairfax Community Theater Company, the Gate Players, and the Green Actor's Guild try to stage two or three productions each year but they depend on you to survive. The theater companies always need actors, stage crew, costumers, lighting people, and space. Email the All Arts Council to volunteer your time or location.
ALL ARTS COUNCIL ACTIVITIES
Our Concerts for Grumpy Grownups is a new mainstream performance series that kicks off 2002 with the Gustav Verderber's Sojourns in Nature this month and a full Vermont Youth Orchestra concert in February.
The All Arts Council books the entertainment for Franklin County's three premiere outdoor events: the Vermont Maple Festival, the Vermont Dairy Festival, and the Summer Sounds concert series. All together, about 80,000 people hear the bands we present at those venues. This year, we are going to use that drawing power to focus carefully on local talent in the two major festivals and book groups you haven't heard before for Summer Sounds.
Summer Sounds, the All Arts Council and Franklin County's premiere outdoor concert series, will continue with new performers from outside Franklin County, new venues, and some new sponsors. The 2002 lineup will include bluegrass, classical, country, folk, jazz, pop, opera, and classic rock-n-roll. The concerts always alternate between the Highgate Municipal Park and Taylor Park in St Albans and hosts additional concerts in Fairfax, Franklin, Richford, and St Albans Bay.
The All Arts Council and St Albans Town have several new arts events planned. We will host the Vermont Summer Arts Festival, a juried art and classical music weekend in the Pavilion in St Albans Bay. Bay Days will feature up and coming bands all day and finish with Summer Sounds and the fireworks. Saturday Arts Fests will bring local artisans and performers to St Albans Bay on alternate Saturdays in July and August. This craft fair and performance series will use the summer scenery of the Bay as its backdrop.
Vermont State Colleges and the All Arts Council are collaborating on programming and audience building projects. There will be college performances in local venues such as the Opera House at Enosburg Falls and increased cooperation with the public schools for arts festivals and more. Johnson State College offers undergraduate programs in the fine and performing arts, writing and literature, and a wide range of business, behavioral sciences, and the liberal arts majors. The graduate programs include an MFA in Studio Arts. AAC board member Bill MacLeay is Director of External Degree Programs at the College.
ALL ARTS COUNCIL WISH LIST
The AAC CoffeeHouse is a showcase for the music and original works of Franklin County artists. We are seeking sponsorship to pay the bands and continue this series. We hope to accomplish a major international sculpture competition in April. We will also organize the Grand Holiday Crafts and Fine Arts Tour of Franklin County with six great shows in November.
The Mid-Summer Gala in July will include birthday celebrations to honor the 110 years that the Opera House has been a part of the community. They will fill the day with Victorian events, a garden party supper, and an evening performance with a Victorian theme.
OTHER ARTY PRESENTERS
The statewide non-profit Elder Art Program has closed down operations to reorganize.
The Fairfax Music Sessions will continue offering Saturday afternoons of acoustic instruments, and traditional music at the Foothills Bakery.
County-wide, our public libraries have a slew of plans including readings, lunchtime concerts, art shows, and kids performers.
Launie and Jedd Kettler will keep the Kept Writer Bookshop and Café filled with music and merriment every week. There is music with singer/songwriters, folkies, unplugged rock, and blues on most Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings as well as a continuous exhibit of fine art and photographs by area artists.
The Tenth Jig in the Valley benefit concert and dance will be a big deal on the last weekend in July. This annual Fairfield Community Center benefit helps raise funds and awareness for the NMC regional health center, pre-school, Head Start, Teen, and Senior Citizen programs.
The Montgomery Historical Society will host its annual AugustFest fundraiser plus the popular Concerts By the Common series of classical music outdoors.
St John's Ministry of Arts plans monthly outdoor summer concerts in its annual 3-concert series at St John's Episcopal Church in Highgate Falls.
School art shows will include FNESU's fifth annual Art Gala and the second annual FCSU Art Show. The shows bring together hundreds of two and three dimensional pieces in schools and halls around the County.
The Summer Music at Grace series at Grace Church in Sheldon will reprise some of the area's favorite classical performers for three concerts this summer.
"Look for more local arts involvement from Vermont State Colleges," said AAC director Bill Macleay. Beginning this month, Johnson State College offers two arts/humanities courses in St. Albans: "Issues in the Arts" and "Issues in the Humanities." These one credit courses will feature guest speakers and attendance at arts performances. The lectures may be open to the public. Mr. Macleay is also working with the JSC Fine and Performing Arts department to bring student and faculty performances to Franklin County venues. The Dibden Center at Johnson State offers an eclectic range of programs to draw Franklin County audience and there will be a more student-centered presence in the Fine and Performing Arts department summer arts series.
The Vermont Maple Festival will spotlight Franklin County performers and include an art show in City Hall. The Vermont Dairy Festival will also spotlight Franklin County performers with a special emphasis on the True Value Showdown. The Swanton Festival will offer performances by well known musicians the last weekend of July and Franklin County Field Days will host some excellent Vermont country music in August.
The Franklin County visit of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Made in Vermont Music Festival may move to the Opera House at Enosburg Falls in 2002. Watch this space for details.
And we can expect exceptional live music with Franklin County entertainers at the Abbey, the Bayside Pavilion, the Boonys Pub and Grill, Chow! Bella, Diamond Jim's, the Highgate Manor, and Sha-Booms.
|Some Fine Print
ALL ARTS COUNCIL OF FRANKLIN COUNTY
|Anticipated Income/Expense (by Category)|
|General Fund for AAC||100||100|
|Awards or Prize given in shows||100||1,100|
|Grant from AAC to other organizations||0||0|
|Hospitality for performers||200||220|
|Marketing: Advertising & promotion||2,076||2,734|
|Miscellaneous Office Exp||360||396|
|Other Presenting Expenses||505||556|
|Theater or hall expense or Space Rental||1,280||220|
|Technical and Production salaries, fees||12,800||0|
Corliss Blakely 2002; Richard Harper (chair) 2002;
Joy Mashtare 2003; Kate Kinney 2003;
Melissa Ewell 2004; Anne Harper (secretary) 2004; Tim Stetson (treasurer) 2004; Deo Esguerra 2004; Jon Scott 2004
Dick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460