ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 22 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 20, 2018


      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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      2018 was another busy year in the arts. We've had so many events every month that it will again take two weeks to summarize them. First, the look at what's happening now.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council hosts a Floral Design workshop with Nicole Nappi at the at the Swanton Village Complex on Friday at 6 p.m.
      Ms. Nappi will teach how to create a long lasting fresh flower holiday centerpiece using seasonal products. All materials will be provided including flowers, scissors, aprons and containers.
      The class costs $40 per person and pre-registration is required. A portion of the proceeds will support the SAC. Email for more info or to register for this workshop.


ST. ALBANS--14th Star Movie Nights continue in The Room this evening at 6:30 p.m. Doors at 6.
      14th Star has a poll to choose the movie they will screen. Thursday's choices are Home Alone (1990), A Christmas Story (1983), or How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000). Find them on Facebook for more info to vote for this month's featured presentation and for more info.
      Come early to claim a seat and enjoy some movie trivia. There will be plenty of seating, or feel free to bring a blanket and pillow and get cozy on the floor. Free popcorn for all who attend, a full dinner menu from Grazers, and, of course, craft beer.


SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro presents Carol Ann Jones solo tonight at 6:30 p.m., ringing in the holidays for the seventh year in a row.
      The Blue Paddle has limited seating and a small bar so call ahead (802.372.4814) to assure a seat.

ST. ALBANS--The Open Mic Comedy Showcase continues on the Main Stage at Twiggs on Thursday at 7 p.m. Doors at 6:30. This is a free show for mature audiences and space has been filling up quickly; call Twiggs to reserve a table. Make dinner reservations prior to the show since only drinks, appetizers, and desserts will be served during the show.
      Next up, Twiggs presents self-taught multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Jesse Taylor from Gray, ME, on Friday and the Smokey Newfield Project deals with their mid-life crises with folk rock, classic rock, country, and pop on Saturday. Shows begin at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers Bethany Conner and Friends on Friday at 5 p.m.
      On Tap has music on Tuesday through Saturday nights. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star Brewing Company opens Winter warmly by hosting the sixth annual Home for the Holidays benefit show for Autism Speaks with Citizen Bare, Chris & Erica, and Troy Millette & the Fire Below, all on Friday beginning at 5:45 p.m. Taproom doors open at 4 p.m.
      Admission is free by donation.

ST. ALBANS--Bayside has Just Phil live on Friday at 6 p.m.
      The leader of The House Rockers and a local favorite, Phil Graziano brings his blues background to share .

ST. ALBANS--Nelly's Irish Pub presents Holidaze with Omega Jade in a free adult comedy show live loungeside on Friday at 9 p.m. The show will be followed by DJ ARA$.

ESSEX JUNCTION--Justice will be Jingle Bell Rockin' and Reindeer Tippin' at Backstage Pub on Saturday at 9:30 p.m. This is the last Justfication of 2018 at Backstage. Call 802.878.5494 for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Eloquent Page has Pat Esden's newest book, His Dark Magic, Book 1 of her new Northern Circle Coven series. Ms. Edsen will sign books on Saturday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
      She spent her childhood exploring abandoned houses and old cemeteries. Now she lives in northern Vermont writing the contemporary paranormal Dark Heart series from Kensington Books and the Northern Circle Coven series. Her short fiction has appeared in Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society's Mythic Circle, George Scither's Cat Tales Anthology, and the Fragments of Darkness anthology.


      Franklin County artists and presenters had a busy 2018. This week, the Franklin County Festivals and Libraries. Next week, wrapping up All Arts Council and what the Other Major Presenters did.

      The 52nd edition of the Vermont Maple Festival ("Life Is Sweet with Maple") was the first major outdoor event of the year with more art, more books, more food, more music, and more maple for everyone.
      More arts! The Village Frame Shoppe hosted the annual photo contest. The Crafts and Specialty Foods Show had music, face painting, Pipsqueak, artwork, fine photographs, and more. There was chainsaw carving and a Student Art Show in the Bliss Room. Downtown windows were decorated. There was a new Paint Nite with sap buckets and lid
      Andre Maquera of 8084 and West Street Digital managed the free Main Street entertainment with Chad Hollister, Morgan Myles, YoJoe! What a Guy! the Annie Band, the Dave Keller Blues Band, Bob Young, the Electric Youth Dance Company, Rocking' Ron The Friendly Pirate, Spider Roulette, Shake the Band, O'hAnleigh, 8084, and The CopOuts. The Kids' Center in BFA PAC was Face Painting Central and had the No Strings Marionette Company, Yo Joe, and more. The BFA PAC filled up with the Youth Talent Show and the Fiddler's Variety Show. The famed Foothills Fogies and other acts appeared around town.

      June is National Dairy Month! The popular Scholarship Pageant opened the 62nd Vermont Dairy Festival which followed up with almost unlimited entertainment and family activities with a weekend lineup that featured two stages with Local Talent at its Best. They had the Mountain Says No, Troy Millette, Dark Horse, Gypsy Wind, T Bone, Marko the Magician, Buddy the Clown, Leah Gervais, the Nobby Reed Project, Chris and Erica, the Tim Brick Band, George Richard's Johnny Cash Tribute Show, Chasing 440, and Chordination.

      The 43rd annual Franklin County Field Days had a lineup of music, arts and crafts, antique tractors, and of course cows. The eleven performing groups were worth the price of admission alone with up-and-coming performers as well as seasoned stars Troy Millette, Maple Creek, Buddy the Clown, the Old Man Garage Band, Chris & Erica, Night Hawk, Rockin' Ron the Friendly Pirate, George Richards and the Johnny Cash Tribute Band, Rosie Newton, Dale and Darcy, and then Keeghan Nolan closed the gates on 2018.

      The generous appropriations for our Town Libraries do not cover all expenses. A donation will help your community library continue offering not only popular reading but also a wide range of the arts. Stop by your library to pick up a donation form or just hand them moolah.

Vermont Reads was again a big theme throughout the year. This was the sixteenth year of the Vermont Humanities Council's statewide, one-book community reading program with

Bread and Roses, Too, a novel of historical fiction by world-renowned children's author and Vermont resident Katherine Paterson. County-wide, our public Libraries also had community activities, Backpack Theater, readings, lunchtime concerts, art shows, summer reading programs, online public access catalogs, storytimes, and kids' performers.       Collectively, the libraries hold and have lent thousands of books this year.

BAKERSFIELD--The H.F. Brigham Library has LEGO Little Hands every Saturday, Sewing on the second and fourth Thursdays, and book discussion on the third Thursday of each month. They offer online services, ECHO passes, and more.

ENOSBURG--The Enosburgh Public Library Mitten Tree is up again at the Library. They celebrated the Hour of Code week, had a new Paint & Tea with Victoria Vining, and regular Children's, Teen, and Adult Programs.

FAIRFAX--The Fairfax Community Library is "Where Community Connects." They read to a dog, have a monthly book discussion group, books for all ages, magazines, DVDs, board games and more, STEAM kits, snowshoes, games for all ages, and Kindle.

FAIRFIELD--The Bent Northrop Memorial Library never closes. They have book downloads, over 500 continuing ed classes online, and a bookvan full of mostly free events for all ages. They are a HomeCard library.

FRANKLIN--Friday is Family Movie Night at the Haston Library; they will show two classic Christmas specials, A Charlie Brown Christmas and Garfield Christmas. The curtain goes up at 4:45 pm. They've had Music and Movement with Miss Molly, the Fall Festival (Tractor Day), Nature Walks with Mr. K, a tea party and fairy homes, STEAM programs, and more.

GEORGIA--The Georgia Public Library has a monthly writers' group, weekly story time, weekly ukelele, Brick Builders Club, and more. They are a HomeCard library.

HIGHGATE--The Highgate Public Library is a community center with storytime yoga, birds of prey, STEM nights, Music and Movement with Ellie Tetrick, Summer Art Expressions, Backpack Theater, ocean explorations, Science and Nature with Mr. K, and even community gardening.

MONTGOMERY--The Montgomery Public Library has a children's room, the Jim Abbott biography reading room, and an expanded young adult section. They offer the weekly Building Brighter Futures, the book-film series, summer reading program, extensive online services, Project Gutenberg, and even Chilton auto repair manuals.

RICHFORD--The A.A. Brown Library has had February Break Programs, Cailey's Closet, book discussions, a live reptile visit, story walks, Modern Times theater, a Book of Zoo concert, the rooted in Vermont foraging walk, the recent Elves Workshop, and more.

SHELDON--The Sheldon Public Library had wiggle worms, maker space, Fin-tastic Storytime, a digital photo club, teen crafternoons, book clubs, movie time, the Hansons, O'Brien County Naturalist, tinkering, and even a pool party.

ST. ALBANS--The St. Albans Free Public Library offers a used book sale every Tuesday, book clubs, fiber arts socials, Movement and Music story hour and 1,00 books before kindergarten. The new mobile printing service means you can use a personal computer or mobile device to print to the Library’s copier from anywhere. The library has cool things to check out with your library card including binoculars, a Dutch oven, exercise kits, a Go Pro, sphygmomanometers, a stereo microscope, and more.

SWANTON--The Swanton Free Public Library hosts card game Tuesdays, history camp, yoga storytime with Ms. Liza, knitting group, the Swanton Writers Group, a peer-led anxiety group, 90 Second Newbery Film Festival, and a Food Drive for the Abenaki Food Shelf. They are searching for a full time children's librarian.

      Most libraries in Franklin County will be closed on Monday and Tuesday to observe Christmas Day. click here for more info about all the libraries.


     May your holidays be filled with friends and family and joy and the arts.


      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.

Good News!

There are so many events around the region that we miss some of them.
Be sure to check these calendars for what's happening near you ...
All Arts Council of Franklin County
Cambridge Arts Council
Franklin County Regional
Chamber of Commerce
Island Arts
St Albans Community Arts
Swanton Arts Council
Young Tradition Vermont


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All Arts Council of Franklin County

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