A LOOK BACK AT ARTS EVENTS IN 1999
| Summer Sounds '99 offered
free concerts every other Sunday in Highgate and St Albans, bonus concerts
in Franklin, and Richford, plus a series of three in Enosburg Falls. The
series featured 8084, Abair Brothers, Anderson-Gram, Banjo Dan and the Midnight
Plowboys, Lisa Brande/Three Way Street, Catamount Pipes and Atlantic Crossing,
Constitution Brass, Enosburg Town Band, Fairfax-Fletcher-Westford Band,
Jon Gailmor, Rik Palieri, Nobby Reed, Southbound, Stockwell Brothers, Wood's
Tea Company, and Yankee Pot Roast.
Artrain USA came to town in November for the Railroad Days Festival in St Albans. With an 80 piece Artistry of Space exhibit from the NASA collection, we saw the work of Deborah Deschner, Peter Max, Norman Rockwell, Jamie Wyeth, and many more. Our festival was its first-ever stop Vermont. Railroad Days included a major All Arts Council exhibit, the NASA Mobile Aeronautics Education Lab, two Gate Players plays, and train and model train memorabilia. We reenacted a Civil War Days bank robbery and a train robbery. Our financial backing was less than successful and we are still fundraising.
We offered a series of workshops starting in January with photographer Chuck Meunier.
93 Strings presented a new series of workshops and concerts in schools around Franklin County.
We started a new publicity feature called Art on the Walls, Music in the Halls to promote local exhibits, concerts, gigs, and other public performances. This more-or-less-monthly roundup shows who is hanging around our gallery spaces, the local library, and anywhere else there is a whitewashed wall, plus who's playing live at our renowned eatery/drinkeries. Regular exhibit spaces included the A. A. Brown Public Library, the All Arts Gallery at the Gift Gallery, ChowBella!, Jeff's Maine Seafood, the Northwestern Medical Center, and the Sugar Mill Antique Mall.
The Rotary Club of St Albans did not invited AAC artists to exhibit at the Home Expo. Many attendees asked that we return for next year.
The AAC had a sampler of Franklin County fine art at the Specialty Foods exhibit during the Maple Festival.
April is National Poetry month, so WWSR-AM 1420 and the AAC sponsored a live Poetry Read-In on the air. The readings included works from Vermont Poet Laureate Ellen Bryant Voigt of Cabot as well as spring poems by local writers. Voight read from her book length Kyrie, a sequence of persona poems with different speakers all connected by the 1918-19 influenza pandemic.
The fourth annual Arts & Gardens Festival included fine art surrounded by the floral and landscaping wizardry of Hamlen's Garden Center. The 1999 theme was Summer in Vermont with floral motif pieces in all media (floral paintings, sculptures, and arrangements) as well as scenes from the beach or the barn.
The Vermont Youth Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Troy Peters, brought its season finale to the MVU stage in May with Dvorak in America.
The annual Made in Vermont music festival returned to St Albans in September. The Vermont Symphony Orchestra program included Vermont composer Jorge Martin's new commission, Romance for Orchestra. Trumpet James Duncan of NMC, cellist Bonnie Klimosky of Fairfax, and violinist Caroline MacDoraki of Underhill are orchestra members.
The VSO musicians eat prodigiously; AAC volunteers have fed them before each performance for the past three years, a little extra they look forward to before each performance here.
There were excellent town band, town chorus, as well as school concerts throughout the year. Fine art was on exhibit throughout the county in restaurants, banks, businesses, libraries such as the A.A. Brown Public Library, and on the walls of the Northwestern Medical Center.
The Franklin Northeast Visual Art Teachers organized an art show and contest for all students in the FNESU in the Opera House at Enosburg Falls. This show attracted over 100 excellent pieces and will be repeated in 2000.
Our monthly "networking" meetings included show and tell by various artists, impromptu musical gigs, some business opportunities, and workshops. AAC members met the first Thursday of every month at the Collins-Perley Sports Center.
TWENTIETH CENTURY AAC
There have been 112 Summer Sounds concerts, featuring nearly every style of music. We have had the blues of Nobby Reed, country from Southbound, family fun with Jon Gailmor and Bill Shontz, opera and Broadway from Through the Opera Glass, pop from the Silvertones, and we have rocked with 8084. About half of the performers played their first concerts in Franklin County as part of the Summer Sounds series.
Starting with "Brass, Wood & Tom", a residency and concert featuring VSO ensembles and principal percussionist Tom Toner, we have put the best musicians and artists in New England on school stages and in classrooms. The programs included the Wildwood Marionettes, 93 Strings, and Claire Hungerford. AAC exhibits have featured student artists at the Rotary Home Show, the Opera House at Enosburg Falls, St Albans City Hall, area libraries and stores, and, most recently, at Railroad Days.
The Franco Voyageurs Soirée Grand Ménage was the first statewide festival to celebrate French-Canadian music and arts.
We introduced the Constitution Brass in Vermont and presented 76th Division Army Reserve Band. The Vermont Symphony Orchestra brought us Project Allegro and the 251 Project, concerts in schools and in every Vermont town. More recently, the VSO has visited for the Made in Vermont concert series.
Kids enjoyed our shows like the No Strings Marionettes and Tom Foolery and designed a series of outdoor murals in Franklin County. Three well known paintings are at the St Albans City Pool, Houghton Street Skateboard Park, and at the Marble Mill in Swanton. Young actors participated in Summer Stage, an intensive stagecraft residency.
In a series on art in Franklin County schools, we looked at fine arts programs that cover two and three dimensional art plus concert, band, and choral music. Prose, poetry, and literature are taught as individual courses and integrated throughout in the 20 schools in Franklin County.
The McGill University Jazz Band played at MVU. We presented the third annual visit of the Vermont Youth Orchestra on the same stage this year.
The Sugar Mill Mall regularly hosted our standing art gallery. Artists from Northern Vermont have participated in a dozen shows in businesses, schools, libraries, and sports centers. Our exhibits at the Rotary Home Show have been the most popular.
The Ketch Dance Company introduced avant garde dance to Franklin County and gave us our first reminder that most artists here have day jobs. The Ketch Troupe included plumbers, lawyers, realtors, and a cop. That was reinforced last week when trumpeter and NMC emergency room doctor Jim Duncan played in the Vermont Brass Quintet at the Northwestern Counseling and Support Services holiday concert.
The AAC/WLFE Music Spotlight has introduced 8 new albums by area musicians. We began All Arts Music Productions this year to help musicians develop and promote their works.
The Grand Holiday Crafts and Fine Arts Tour combined shows in Bakersfield, East Fairfield, Franklin, St Albans, and Swanton in an extravaganza of Franklin County gift buying.
Artists often donate time or work to the community. AAC musicians staged a little concert called Floodstock; 18 bands played all day at the Franklin County Field Days site to aid flood victims in Montgomery.
Exit Stage Left--"We enjoyed our first year bringing the Dining Room to the community," said Matt Peck. The popular play is a series of skits focussed on a varied group of people of all ages centered in a single Dining Room.
Fairfax Community Theatre Company--South Pacific was their very first show in 1991; they had a very good year this year. "Despite our constant struggle for venues, we continue to exist and put on shows," said Muffie Sterling. It's great because "we all have so much fun working together."
Gate Players--Formed in 1992, the Gate Players moved to the St Albans area last year. "The Carol Burnett Show was the most fun for me," Tanya Saunders said. The company also brought back Gone With the Breeze for the Railroad Days Festival.
Green Actors Guild--Founder Pat Willey formed a troupe in St Albans for teenagers to continue the summer musical tradition.
Green Mountain Wind Ensemble--played its inaugural concert in in Taylor Park. The ensemble specializes in the major works of contemporary composers, classical overtures and transcriptions, and traditional marches. Conducted by Eric Bushey, this select group of student musicians is from Northwestern Vermont. Verne Colburn was Guest Conductor for the concert.
Island Arts--"We have expanded our offerings to people," said Mary Jane Healy. They have events for everyone including six galleries, art shows, craft shows, concerts, swing dance, children's concerts, a house tour fundraiser, and an international croquet tournament.
South Hero Players--is now about 25 years old. "Probably the biggest happening is that we now have our own lights and sound system," said Mike Guernsey. "We are now getting calls from everyone to do production." They help most area troupes and did the light and sound for the Folsom School Christmas concert last week.
Opera House at Enosburg Falls--On the National Historic Register, the Opera House was built in 1892 and seats approximately 300 people. It is now completing a major fund-raising effort to renovate the structure, ventilation, heating, and electrical systems, add dressing rooms, meeting space, a sound system, and an elevator. When the Opera reopens this Spring, it will be the County's premiere space to host performances and exhibits.
Outdoor Art--Vermont sculptor Kate Pond placed Sun Fix for Judy, a major sculpture, at the new border station in Highgate Springs. (Judy is sculptor Judith Brown who died of cancer in 1992.)
St Albans Area Community Arts Network--Burlington's Flynn Theater chose the St Albans area for an audience building project and St Albans CAN! was born. They have presented an ongoing St Albans community residency featuring world class dancer Liz Lerman, the late Lester Bowie, actor/storyteller John "Junebug Jabbo Jones" O'Neal and more.
Three generations developed Locomotion II, a performance piece created from the rich history of Taylor Park and St Albans. Dancers Manon Pellman and Judith Karstens and visual artist Gail Salzman led the project.
Service Bands--The President's Own United States Marine Band performed triumphantly in St Albans with a rousing welcome for the assistant director, First Lieutenant Michael J. Colburn.
Suitcase Theater: The St Albans Rotary's famed troupe has combined an intense workshop week with a performance week to put summer shows in nearly every library in Franklin and Grand Isle Counties and in South Burlington every year since 1994.
St John's Episcopal Ministry of the Arts celebrated five years of free summer afternoon concerts in Highgate Falls.
Town Bands: Citizen's Band has played concerts every other week in Taylor Park and Swanton Park for fifty years. They are most proud of their Christmas concerts with the Franklin County Choral Association. The Enosburg Town Band under the direction of Alisa Martin celebrated its 141st anniversary this year. Their Christmas concert drew 200 people; they now have an exchange concert program with the Harmony Band of Milton, PQ. Formed in the 1930s, the Fairfax-Fletcher-Westford Band members range from 12 to 85. Their regular concerts include the Underhill Market Fest, the Champlain Valley Fair, concerts on Craftsbury Common and the Belvidere Old Home Days. Westford has built a new gazebo with excellent acoustics. Each of these bands gathers together for the sheer joy of playing.
Traveling Storyteller: Ernie Hemingway launched the Traveling Storyteller with the help of the Community Cares Committees and the AAC. The Storyteller reached over 700 people last year, in 28 sites including libraries, schools, and bookstores.
The Vermont Good Time Country Music Club made its St Albans debut with a honky tonk band for singing, dancing, and playing along. The alcohol free, non-competitive club plays monthly.
Village Players--Helen Kenney founded Village Players 25 years ago. "Last year was really special, and a coming together," she said, "but our 1984 production [Say it With Music, the life of Irving Berlin] starred people of all ages and I think that was my favorite."
A LOOK AHEAD AT ARTS EVENTS FOR 2000
| Summer Sounds will celebrate
its tenth anniversary this year with free concerts every other Sunday in
Highgate and St Albans, and regular concerts in Franklin, Richford, and
other towns. We are soliciting a major sponsor to improve the reach of this
We have booked a year of really big shows for Summer Sounds 2000 with some of the favorite brass, classics, country, jazz, pops, and rock-n-roll acts from our first concerts. We are asking some original performers to return to play double bills and we will introduce many new acts.
The AAC will continue several other popular events, including a major exhibit filling City Hall during the Vermont Maple Festival, the Vermont Symphony and the Vermont Youth Orchestra concerts, the annual Art and Garden Festival in St Albans, solo recitals, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra in concert at St Lukes, a Franklin County-wide Grand Holiday Art and Crafts Tour, and ArtsAuction 2000.
The Vermont Dairy Festival and the Vermont Maple Festival have each asked the AAC to book performers for this season. The entertainment lineup includes a four star blues band, famed choruses, classical ensembles, popular country bands, dancers and cloggers, fiddlers, family magic, jazz and pop, storytellers, martial arts, puppets, great Rock & Roll bands, and singer/songwriters, and a special presentation of the musical Godspell.
Our work on the new Arts/First Register stalled last year, but we expect to complete it soon. This "coffee table book" of professionals in the literary, media, performing, and visual arts, plus cultural events and other local resources will include brief biographies, images, historical resources, cultural centers and performing spaces, and regular calendar updates. A matching Internet catalog will include the same biographies and resources, additional images, and an events calendar with easy access for all local community groups to post events.
Every artist, dancer, musician, photographer, sculptor, theater person, and writer living in Franklin or Grand Isle County is eligible. The artist's work must be available for sale, performance, or exhibit. Listings are free.
Art on the Walls and Music in the Halls will continue with fine art exhibits and great musical gigs in the Abbey, Bayside, the Boonys, Chow! Bella, Jeff's Seafood, the MacDonald Gallery at the Sugar Mill Antique Mall, Northwestern Medical Center, most Franklin County schools and libraries, other retail businesses, as well as many other local eateries and drinkeries.
Starting in April, we will have a permanent display in the Highgate Springs Welcome Center.
We hope to initiate a new touring Town Band concert series for weekday summer evenings and to help the theater companies put on a touring series of one- act plays around the county.
Talk of a new outdoor performing arts center percolated to the surface in three towns last fall. Look for more serious discussions this year. If you want to participate in the planning, call Dick Harper (868-3351) or talk to your Selectboard.
Our monthly "networking" meetings will include show and tell by various artists, impromptu musical gigs, some business opportunities, and workshops for artists in all genres. We have planned workshops such as photographing your work, appraising and valuing your work for sale; copyright law; matting and framing; how-to market artwork and music; publishing and more. AAC members meet the first Thursday of every month in a member's home.
|The Fine Print
ALL ARTS COUNCIL OF FRANKLIN COUNTY
|Profit & Loss Statement (unaudited)|
|1/ 1/99 Through 12/31/99|
|Concessions, product sales, etc||0|
|Entry fees or tuition for workshops, shows, etc|
|Local Town appropriations or gift||12,250|
|General Fund for AAC||15|
|Awards or Prizes given in shows||100|
|Grant from AAC to other organizations|
|Hospitality for performers||1,762|
|Marketing: Advertising & promotion||1,576|
|Miscellaneous Office Exp||360|
|Other Presenting Expenses||505|
|Theater or hall expense or Space Rental||200|
|Technical and Production salaries, fees|
| Please note:
|More 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|
Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard (vice-chair), 2000;
Melissa Ewell, 2001, Anne Harper (secretary), 2001, Tim Stetson (treasurer), 2001, Lyle Glidden, 2001, Albert Perry, 2001;
Christopher Bouchard, 2002, Richard B. Harper (chair), 2002, David Kiefner, 2002, Ania Modzelewski, 2002, Corliss Blakely, 2002
Dick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460