ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 24 * * All Arts News On the Web * * April 2, 2020


      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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      The Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant offers interim financial assistance to qualified painters, printmakers, and sculptors whose needs are the result of a catastrophic incident. Each grant is given as one-time assistance for a specific predicament such as a fire, flood, or emergency medical need. The program does not consider situations resulting from lack of employment although the combination of loss of gigs or jobs and a qualifying emergency are exactly what they can fund. There are no deadlines.
      Click here for more info and to apply.

      The New Music Solidarity Fund is an artist-led initiative that aims to grant emergency funding to new/creative/improvised music freelancers whose livelihood has been threatened because the COVID-19 crisis has canceled so many performances. Click here for more info and to apply.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council fifth annual Youth Art Show exhibit includes 2D and 3D artwork by youth in K-post grad from Swanton, MVU, Highgate, Sheldon, Franklin, and Alburgh. Originally planned to run March 20-27 the show has gone online. The event page also has all of the Emerging Artist Award Entries: Julia Horton, Zoe Kelley, Mallory Bohannon, Grace Kinney, Samantha Fagga.
      Click here to view.

AROUND THE STATE--The Middlebury College Museum of Art has partnered with Vermont Curators Group to create Vermont Art Online. The virtual exhibition lets families, students, teachers, and the public enjoy Vermont's museums and galleries all across the state from the comfort and safety of their own homes. It includes Bryan Memorial Art Gallery, Cold Hollow Sculpture Park, the Saint Albans Museum and much more.
      Click here to view.


     Luis Guzman wants you to stay home and make a film. Known for his character work, Mr. Guzman has played character roles as sidekicks, thugs, policemen, and more. He lives in Sutton, VT. Click here for his promo.
      Staying home is the "big thing" right now, so the SOCAPA and Catamount Arts' annual Film Slam is going online this year, virtual, viral and global. The event is open to families "living and filming in isolation" anywhere in the world. There are cash and scholarship awards of over $6,500 and counting. Click here for more info.


     As far as I know, Daniel Matarazzo of Drexel Hill, PA, has never played Franklin County. He is active as an actor and music director around Bucks, Chester, and Philadelphia Counties. His Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (with new lyrics!) adds some levity to our quarantined world with a song about a "super bad transmittable contagious awful virus."

      I've got nothin'. With all venues shut down, we have to rely on ourselves for entertainment so sing out the bedroom window. Record yourself in the shower. Paint your house mauve and gloss black. OK, maybe not that.
      You're housebound? Your show is cancelled or postponed? You're bored? How about putting on a show?
      Get the band together and video or livestream a rehearsal every day. Or set up your easel and video a painting coming together. Read a few pages from your novel or a short story or a poem. Get in costume and video that play or the dance. Do some improv in your living room.
      We're locked down, too, and missing you. You'll get in a session and we'll like seeing you. Please share your efforts with your local arts council, too. And if the artist has a donation button, the audience can express appreciation through PayPal, Venmo, or other services.
      Here's a roundup for this week.

      Burlington's melodic indie-pop singer-songwriter Francesca Blanchard has released several official videos. This is her Did It To Myself .

      Summer Sounds favorite John Bartus will perform a new Social Distancing Concert Live from the Florida Keys from his studio in Marathon, Florida, thanks to Facebook Live on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
      He thanks everyone who tuned in to last week's first event. "I'll be doing one of these every Friday at 7:30 Eastern until we get back to normal and we can all enjoy live music in person again," he said. "Get your requests ready--I'll be a bit more interactive as we go along!"
      Find him on Facebook for the link.

      Jacob Green of Island Pond is popular at 14th Star. His latest music video, Bring the Blues Back, has almost 60,000 views on Facebook .

      George Murtie may look a little different but it's still him, minus the beard. Here's his new original, Jesus Strong .

      The Living Room Lounge is a virtual venue on Facebook where musicians share their songs from their living rooms or studios to yours. Think of it as your private "house concert."
      The focus is to support local musicians who are suddenly without gigs. This lounge posts FaceBook Live streams from musicians homes exclusively; there will be no other platforms or rebroadcasts of old content. Check the page regularly to find upcoming and current streams and scroll the group feed to find recently completed broadcasts. And please remember to support the artists. Find them on Facebook for more info. will host a Virtual Benefit Concert with pianists Emanuel Ax and Jon Kimura Parker, mezzo-soprano JíNai Bridges, violinist Rachel Barton Pine, clarinetist Anthony McGill, harpist Bridget Kibbey, and others on Saturday at 8 p.m.
      Streaming live from their homes, the performers will give an intimate view into some of their favorite pieces. Fred Child will host the event.
      The artists are donating their time; all proceeds will go to the Artist Relief Tree, a new fund created to support artists who are affected by cancellations due to COVID-19. Tickets are available at . Contributions begin at $5, and viewers are encouraged to give what they can. You must get a ticket before the concert begins! Email Jody if you need help troubleshooting.


     Mayor Tim Smith proclaimed April 1 through April 30 as National Poetry Month in the City of St. Albans. He called upon public officials, educators, librarians, and all the people of St. Albans to observe this month, to celebrate the cultural riches our community has to offer, and to recognize the important role poetry has in creating and sustaining this great nation by hosting appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.
      St. Albans Community Arts has cancelled its public plans for National Poetry Month but has started "National Poetry Month - St. Albans, Vermont" as a Facebook group. They encourage all residents and friends to post their poetry in our group, or read any poem in the public domain and post it to the group. Find them on Facebook for more info.

      Today is Day 8 of Poets House and Dave Johnson's 10*10*10, a poetry workshop by video for teens and adults. It's a chance to join Dave Johnson to write a new poem in just 10 minutes. The new videos go up every weekday for 10 days and are posted to Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and .
      Days 1-7 are on the site as well.

      Click here for the Social Distance Reading Series from the Vermont School and Green Mountains Review or find them on Facebook for more info.
      The collaboration comes thanks to so many book event cancellations due to COVID-19. The pop-up series offers poets a platform for launching new collections and is mostly focused on book events that have been cancelled between January through May 2020. There will be new readings each Wednesday and Sunday.

      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


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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