ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 23 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 26, 2019


      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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ST. ALBANS--Last Night St. Albans celebrates the New Year with a one-night-only party in locations throughout St. Albans City and Town on Tuesday starting at 1 p.m. with Spider-Man at the Eloquent Page. The day includes Paint & Sips, a children's carnival, cheese and beer tasting, a glow party, snowman building, tea time, comedy hour, prohibition party, fireworks, and the Gala.
      Admission to most vents is with a Last Night Button for $5 per person or $20 per family; some events, such as the Paint & Sips and the Gala require an additional ticket. The fireworks are free. Call Andrea Gagner (802.528.5988) or click here for more info.


MONTGOMERY--The Montgomery Center for the Arts concludes the Figure Drawing Workshop in the LAB at MCAKeltonHall today at 5 p.m. The workshop has carried on every Thursday. Each week a very groovy group of artists have gathered to work and socialize.


Friday, December 27
ST. ALBANS--Eleven wraps up the year with a Post Christmas/End of the Year Release Party at Bronson's Landing on Friday at 8 p.m.
      Scott Guptill, guitar and vocals; Taylor Arsenault, vocals; and Scott Belisle, bass and vocals make up the rock n roll trio with a musical barrage of hits from the 70s to the 90s.

ST. ALBANS--Nelly's presents Jason Corbiere's Blue Christmas Bash on Friday at 9 p.m.
      Dave Keller, Rob Meehan, and Mr. Corbiere have a night of Blues and Soul music on tap. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Friday-Saturday, December 27-28
ST. ALBANS--The Old Foundry at One Federal presents Woedoggies' former lead singer Wylie Shipman on Friday and songwriter Carol Hausner and pianist Jonathan Doc Kaplan on Saturday. Shows begin at 6:30 p.m.
      Call 802.524.0330 or find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents guitarist, singer, and songwriter George Murtie on Friday and old school blues player Blue Fox on Saturday. Shows begin at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

Saturday, December 28
ENOSBURG--The Opera House at Enosburg Falls holds Silver & Gold on Saturday at 7 p.m.
      The annual Cabaret-style event features musical performances from the stars of the Opera House stage. There will be light fare as well as a pouring.
      Admission is $19.99. Tickets are available at the door on the night of the performance or at (there is an online ticketing fee).

New Year's Eve, December 31
ST. ALBANS--Last Night St. Albans celebrates the New Year with a one-night-only party in locations throughout St. Albans City and Town on Tuesday. Call Andrea Gagner (802.528.5988) or click here for more info.

RICHMOND--Folknight Richmond 2020 presents Peteís Posse, Spintuition and others in a New Yearís celebration of roots at the Richmond Congregational Church on Tuesday at 7 pm.
      Some of the finest New England folk music performers will be accompanied by Vermontís own roots power trio, Peteís Posse, as the host band. The lineup includes Spintuition, 2019 winners of the Young Tradition Contest, Shady Rill (Tom Mackenzie and Patti Casey), Dana & Sue Robinson, and more.
      Find them on Facebook for more info tickets and .

SHELDON--The Abbey celebrates their customers with a "fun and free" New Year's Eve Party on Tuesday at 8 p.m. Tickets will be "available in the pub until they're gone." Tickets include a champagne toast, midnight buffet, and masks for anyone who wants to wear one. Click here or Find them on Facebook for more info.
COLCHESTER--The Spanked Puppy presents the Nobby Reed Project for New Year's Eve on Tuesday at 8 p.m. Highgate is sending the legendary Vermont bluesman to close out the year in Colchester. There will be party favors and a champagne toast at midnight.

ST. ALBANS--Nelly's presents a Cozy New Year's Eve on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.
      Ring in the new year with the funk, soul, and brass of Cozy O'Donnell. There will be party favors, a champagne toast, and an available shuttle. Cover is $6 in advance or $7 on New Year's Eve. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ArtBits News Photo


HOMEGROWN MUSIC--Summer Sounds favorite and "Vermont's Grandfather of Rock and Roll," the outlaw Jimmy T Thurston died December 15, six days after "his best show." He was just 78.
      A celebration of Jimmy T's life is planned for January 5 in the Ballroom of the Hilton Burlington Lake Champlain. We can count on plenty of music.


     Franklin County artists and presenters had a busy 2019. We'll start with the Arts Councils, check in on the Franklin County Festivals and Libraries, then wrap up with the Other Major Presenters.

      The All Arts Council serves northwestern Vermont as a presenter, an event producer, and as a technical resource for artists and other groups. Other Franklin County organizations continue to grow, which means we support more events.
      Summer Sounds, Franklin County's popular, long running, outdoor series, offered free concerts on summer Sunday evenings. We began when George Richard took the stage as the Johnny Cash Tribute Show. We introduced the Trop-Rock of the singing Mayor of Marathon, John Bartus, and the new old Banjo Dan and the VT Bluegrass Pioneers. Jenni Johnson and the Jazz Junketeers and Anderson Gram returned. Mark Shelton completed the season as Elvis and more.
      The concerts in this 29th season have been sponsored by the Town of Highgate and the All Arts Council. The series was underwritten by Chevalier Drilling Co. Inc, Desorcie's Market, Drummac Septic Service, La Quinta Inn & Suites, O. C. McCuin & Sons, and Ray's Extrusion Dies Tubing.
      The community based All Arts Council brings the performing and visual arts to northwestern Vermont. The Summer Sounds concerts are always on Sunday evenings, always at 7 p.m., always in a Town Park, always in the summer, and always free.
      Did you miss any of the concerts? Fortunately, Northwest Access TV and the All Arts Council produce Almost Live, a series of live concerts that airs each week on Comcast Channel 15. The volunteer videography crew produced a "front row seat" show of all the Summer Sounds concerts and many more besides. click here for more info about Almost Live on Channel 15.

      St. Albans Community Arts is a City presenter and promoter of arts events in St. Albans. They held the monthly Community Arts MeetUps and the Mayor's Photo Competition. This year, they brought artists and musicians to the downtown sidewalk sale and produced Make Music Day, the Maker Fair, the Downtown Summer Concerts, the Festival of Trees, and more.

      Swanton Arts Council works to build an artistic presence and develop the artistic community in Swanton. This year, they have produced the arts classes, the Art Journaling Group, Meet the Writers and the Swanton Writers Group, Dance Lessons, Swanton Sound Stage, Artisan Jewelry Show, the Swanton Arts Spectacular, the Art Nook Gallery, Year of the Salmon, the Harvest Handmade Craft Show and the Handmade Holiday Craft Show, live entertainment, workshops, and much more.

      The 53rd edition of the Vermont Maple Festival ("the Reason for the Season") 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 Sappy photo contest. 14th Star had Paint and Pint and City Hall, Paint and Sap. The Crafts and Specialty Foods Show had music, face painting, Pipsqueak, artwork, fine photographs, and more. St. Albans Museum had a special maple history display. Downtown windows were decorated.
      Andre Maquera of 8084 and West Street Digital managed the free Main Street entertainment with Sean Ashby, Shake the Band, the Phil Abair Band, Jay Taylor and Morgan Myles, the Electric Youth Dance Company, the talented Talent Show Winners, Spider Roulette, the Jay Taylor Band, Morgan Myles, and Dark Horse. The Kids' Center in BFA PAC was Face Painting Central and had the No Strings Marionette Company and more. plus the Youth Talent Show and the Fiddler's Variety Show. JoePetto's Magic Toy Shop, the BFA Comedy Improv Team, Yo Joe What A Guy!, juggler Bryson Lang, O'hAnleigh and Curley the Clown found around town. 14th Star held Sweet on Nashville, the Vermont Maple Festival Afterparty.

      June is National Dairy Month! The popular Scholarship Pageant opened the 63rd Vermont Dairy Festival which followed up with almost unlimited entertainment and family activities with a weekend lineup that featured three stages. Isaac French, Chris and Erica, Son of a Gun, PirateMan Dan, Sylvia Fletcher, Chad Rabideau, Marko the Magician, Farmer Tom, Robert Clarke, Troy Millette and the Fire Below, Isabella Elkins, Martin and Kelly, Moviní On, the Old Man Garage Band, Rusty Bucket, Root 7, Boom City improv, and the EFMHS Jazz Band all kept the music flowing.
      The Enosburg Lions volunteer their time to conduct service projects and raise funds for the local community. They contribute to senior citizens' programs, area school projects, community health services, the Enosburg public library, family assistance and drug/alcohol programs, fire and ambulance services, other non-profit organizations, scholarships, as well as to the Lions International sight and hearing programs. The Dairy Festival is their primary funding source.

      The 44th 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. Jamie Lee Thurston started the shows with a bang. Buddy the Clown, the Old Man Garage Band, Chris & Erica, Night Hawk, Rockin' Ron the Friendly Pirate, Friction, Neon Spoon & Company, and Darcy Cahill kept us hopping. The Keeghan Nolan Band closed the gates on 2019.

      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 seventeenth year of the Vermont Humanities Council's statewide, one-book community reading program. 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 tens of thousands of physical and electronic books this year.
      Most libraries in Franklin County will close early on Tuesday and be closed on Christmas Day. Click here for more info about all the libraries.

      The Artist In Residence Gallery in St. Albans featured dozens of northern Vermont fine artists with a focus on up to four different artists each month. The art cooperative features paintings, fiber arts, stained glass, sculpture, lamps, pottery, folk art boxes, scarves, hats, and more, and is owned and operated by the artists and sponsors.
      The Montgomery Center for the Arts hosted Women's Work Is Never Done at MCAKelton Hall.
      Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge held Art on the Refuge, the annual Friends of the Refuge exhibit of Vermont artists working in oil, acrylics, watercolor, pen and ink, pastels, photographs and fabric of the over 200 species of birds that live on or stop at the Refuge.
      The Northwestern Medical Center Gallery continued solo shows of the work of area artists. Painters Rita Myers and El Towle and photographers Connie Boutin, Sandra Ferland, Jim Greene, Alicia Guilford, David Juaire, Christine King, and Sharon Radtke were 2019 exhibitors.
      The Saint Albans Museum hosted photographer Richard Brown's exhibit, The Last of the Hill Farms, in the Bliss Room.
      The Village Frame Shoppe in St. Albans featured artists from across Vermont and New England. They hosted the annual Maple Festival Amateur Photo Contest and the Northern Vermont Artists' Association exhibit, and had promotions and shows for individual artists, and more.
      The BFA Performing Arts Center hosted Maple Festival concerts, dance performances, the Spring Band Concert, an Instrumental Concert, the Choral Review Concert, and the Jr. Jamboree.
      The Church Street Sounds of the Season concert series continued with spring and fall events at the First Congregational Church and St. Luke's Episcopal Church in St. Albans with the Keene State Concert Choir, Beethoven, Reicha, & Ries, Va-et-vient, 8 Cuerdas, and the Citizens Band and Community Singers Holiday Concert.
      The Opera House at Enosburg Falls had a busy year. They held Theater Camp and Rock Camp, craft shows, and Silver and Gold, the annual fundraiser held this Saturday. The Community Holiday Concert, Community Christmas Party, annual Craft Fair, Boom City Improv and Root 7, the annual Pumpkin Party, a Closer Walk with Patsy Cline, ALL THAT, the Old Man Garage Band, Affectionately Yours, the Music Man, a benefit film screening of Farmer of the Year, Insider with special guest Prohibition, King of Glory: A Community Passion Drama, Prydein, and a St. Patrick's Celebration all filled the House.
      Summer Evenings with Vermont Treasures, the Meeting House on the Green music series, gave us six months of exceptional performers with the VT Bluegrass Pioneers, Young Traditions Vermont, Patti Casey & Colin McCaffrey, David Mallett, David Rosane & the Zookepers, Paul Asbell, the Revenants, Shake the Band, and the Oleo Romeos in a "somewhat rare public appearance." Proceeds from the series help fund the restoration of the building.
      Summer Music at Grace opened the season before Memorial Day with Pete's Posse in the "the umpteenth annual" Farewell Reunion benefit concert plus Chasing 440, Village Harmony, Va et Vient, and David, Permelia, and Rebecca Sears.

      14th Star Brewing Company, the Bayside Pavilion, Mill River Brewing, and Twiggs competed to offer more music and art than any other Franklin County presenters. We won! Here's some of what happened, Town by Town.
FRANKLIN COUNTY--The Enosburg Town Band played a weekly free summer concert in Lincoln Park on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Citizens Concert Band played a free concert in Highgate, St Albans Bay, St Albans, or Swanton every Wednesday through the summer
MILTON--Arrowhead Golf Course hosted the Friday Night Live Music and Buffet
MORRISVILLE--The Wednesday Night Live summer music series took over Oxbow Riverfront Park with live musi and a rotating mix of food vendors every week. River Arts held a Farmers and Artisans Market.
SHELDON--The Abbey had weekly parties with music, drink specials, and prizes.
ST. ALBANS--The Bayside, 14th Star, and Mill River each had month-long "residencies" in which popular local artists played weekly gigs. The Old Foundry began its Thursday Night Music Series and had live music Friday and Saturday nights. Twiggs continued music on Friday and Saturday nights and many Mondays and Wednesdays. The Downtown Summer Concert Series played the E.A. Loomis Bandshell in Taylor Park every Wednesday.
SOUTH HERO--The Snow Farm Winery summer concert series Music in the Vineyard had live music every Thursday evening. The Blue Paddle Bistro had regular appearances from Carol Ann Jones and other popular performers.


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

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


Links to the Summer Music series in Franklin County
Summer Sounds
Summer Music at Grace
Downtown Summer Concert Series
Summer Evenings with
Vermont Treasures
Citizens Band
Wednesday Night Live
Enosburg Town Band


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All Arts Council of Franklin County

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