View images selected by our Featured Artists of Franklin County from our full graphics site index.
Find albums by our Featured Musicians of Franklin County from our full graphics site index.
Read our weekly All Arts column on Thursdays in the County Courier and the St Albans Messenger or click on ArtBits right here.
Our mission is to bring all the arts to Franklin County
and to showcase and develop Franklin County artists.
At This Site
Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and members, these pages can be a growing, transforming, kaleidoscope of art, design, and art news. You can expect the appearance and layout to change regularly as digital artists, web designers, musicians and other members of the AAC hammer together pictures and code.
Ever wonder what arts or cultural resources are available in Franklin County? Check out our super organized list of County assets.
Look on our other pages for the county's biggest and best page of links for people involved in dance, fine arts, music, theater, writing; our weekly newspaper column; events around Franklin County; our Featured Artist pages (artist portfolios plus student art from the Web project) and from our own members. Coming soon, we will have a book/movie/theater/concert review page for your participation and contests for new artists in all disciplines.
In the All Arts Council
Northwest Vermont has enjoyed Missisquoi Arts Council events such as the Franco Voyageurs, the Ketch dance troupe, Marionettes, McGill Jazz, the Summer Sounds series, Vermont Symphony performances, and more, since 1984. I'm pleased to have been a founder and chair of this small, all-volunteer arts agency.
A new name and a new logo reintroduced the All Arts Council of Franklin County in 1995. We added monthly "networking" membership meetings with show and tell by various artists, impromptu musical gigs, some business opportunities, film screenings, and sculpture debuts. The AAC also made no cost/low cost partnerships with schools and other organizations around the county.
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Bring all the arts to Franklin County...
showcase and develop Franklin County artists
Looking back...Floodstock, a benefit concert, was the All Arts Council's biggest undertaking, and our grandest success of 1997. April Wine headlined the concert along with 17 well known Vermont bands. 400 volunteers, music lovers, high school students, Rotarians, and 50 businesses pitched in. We had most of the materiel from two armories and much help from the Vermont National Guard. Missisquoi Valley Rescue, the Highgate Fire Department, the Sheriff, and local police officers were there. We netted a little over $24,000. As Sue Wilson said, "That buys a lot of new heaters."
Summer Sounds continues as a popular and successful outdoor concert series with free Sunday evening concerts in Highgate, St Albans, Enosburg, Franklin, and Richford. The lineup includes blues and bluegrass, classical and country, operatic, pop, and rock concerts geared to the whole family. Some favorites have included 8084, Banjo Dan and the Midnight Plowboys, Lisa Brande and Easy Street, many of Franklin County's excellent Town Bands, the Green Mountain Chorus, Dr Jazz & the Dixie Hot Shots, Nobby Reed, a couple of Pipers and Fiddlers concert, Southbound, the Stockwell Brothers, Through the Opera Glass, the Vermont Big Band, the Woods Tea Company, and the Zephyrs.
The Rotary Club of St Albans invited over 20 AAC artists to exhibit fine art at the Home Expo. We filled both handball courts; the exhibit is our best of the year. That was not our only involvement with the St Albans Rotary. Thanks to the Home Expo, they gave a financial boost to programs for kids, for the arts, and for other community-wide activities. The All Arts Council was one of 40 organizations to receive a grant.
King George III ascended to the British throne in 1760 and we took Franklin County back to that time with a Vermont Youth Orchestra concert. London 1760 celebrated the coronation with some of London's top 40 hits of the time. The VYO now appears annually in the MVU theater.
Art and flower lovers enjoyed bite size marvels from area restaurants, fine arts, and, of course, one or two flowers at the annual Arts and Eats Festival at Hamlen's Garden Center.
Mezzo-soprano Clarice Strauch Hearne performed in a solo recital of classical music, familiar favorites, and Rodgers and Hammerstein medleys in Richford Town Hall.
The Vermont Symphony Orchestra visits Franklin County each fall for a wonderful concert at St Lukes Episcopal Church.
Several excellent bazaars joined forces to fill your stockings with art and to give you a lovely day trip around our County in the annual Grand Holiday Crafts and Fine Art Tour in November.
The AAC's first auction was also a success. A small crowd came to Chow! Bella and took home two dozen pieces of fine art, sculpture, books, and theater tickets. The auction raised enough to underwrite five or six new AAC ArtsBoost grants.
The Sugar Mill Co-op Gallery, which hosted a monthly series featuring the artists of Franklin County, closed. Thanks to Paule Gingras, we reopened the AAC Gallery at the Gift Gallery in 1998.
We introduced some of the artists, dancers, musicians, photographers, thespians, writers, and friends of the arts who populate Franklin County in the ArtBits column.
The AAC incorporated as a Vermont non-profit [and a 501(c)(3)] in 1997.
Our monthly coffee house/"networking" meetings included show and tell by various artists, impromptu musical gigs, some business opportunities, and workshops such as Art as a Business. Members share information, material, professional expertise, and laughs, and can participate in new events, insider happenings, and celebrations. AAC members meet the second Wednesday of every month in a restaurant announced on our arts calendar.
Looking ahead...Franklin County organizations are moving from a calendar of "events when you feel like it" to a consistent presentation schedule. Naturally, we will continue with Summer Sounds concerts on Sunday nights, "networking" gatherings on the second Wednesday of the month, and rotating arts exhibits up all the time. This year, we also hope to begin scheduling one major event each month.
Some of our millennium projects are
The AAC will also build on several popular events, including the Vermont Youth Orchestra concert, the annual Arts and Eats Festival at Hamlen's Garden Center, solo recitals, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra in concert, and a Franklin County-wide Grand Holiday Craft and Fine Art Tour.
- Arts Auction, fine arts for sale to benefit Arts in School
- Art Exhibits at the Rotary Home Show, Town Halls, and other venues
- Small ArtsBoost grants to Franklin County teachers and community centers.
- Summer Sounds, our popular, free Sunday night outdoor concerts
- Workshops and seminars for artists
- Concerts and shows in collaboration with neighboring Arts Councils
- CoffeeHouse/"Networking" meetings, 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month
There are 8 local arts agencies in Vermont, each serving the area shown: our All Arts Council (Franklin), the Arts Council of Windham County, Bennington Area Arts Council, Burlington City Arts (Chittenden), Catamount Arts (Caledonia, Essex & Orleans), Crossroads Arts Council (Rutland), Onion River Arts Council (Washington), and Pentangle Council on the Arts (Windsor), and many other presenters.
Check out our 5 Year Plan
Dick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460