ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 24 * * All Arts News On the Web * * April 23, 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.

E-Mail Delivery
Sign up to receive the free weekly ArtBits
newsletter by e-mail
or by RSS feed.

Search ArtBits


      Americans for the Arts estimated that nationwide, the arts and culture sector would face a $3.6-billion economic loss just to date, due to closures required by Covid-19.
      The $2 trillion emergency COVID-19 relief package passed last month included provisions supporting the arts sector and creative workforce. The law includes direct support for nonprofit cultural organizations and state and local arts and humanities agencies, as well as economic relief for gig workers and artists.
      The Act includes federal arts funding to supplement their annual appropriations with no matching grant requirements, community development block grants, SBA loans, and unemployment insurance. The small business assistance was quickly drained.
      The Act includes $300 million to support nonprofit cultural groups.
      $5 billion of Community Development Block Grants goes to cities and counties. Arts groups should work directly with their mayors and local economic development offices for grant support. An "above-the-line" charitable giving tax deduction will now allow all standard deduction taxpayers to take charitable contributions on their tax return, an incentive previously unavailable to them. The legislation also lifts the existing cap on annual contributions for itemizers from 60% of adjusted gross income to 100% of AGI.
      Many have or will receive $1,200 checks from the government as part of the Act.
      The Act has extended the reach of regular unemployment benefits by 13 weeks and applies to many whose benefits lapsed after previously submitting a claim. Pandemic unemployment assistance is a new form of unemployment and is available to self-employed artists, freelancers, and gig workers. It's funded federally by the Act, but administered by Vermont. In addition to unemployment insurance, those whose work was directly impacted by the pandemic are eligible for an extra $600 per week through July 31, 2020. This payment will be administered automatically as long as you're eligible. Pandemic unemployment assistance and the 13-week extension to regular unemployment assistance will last through the end of December, 2020. Pandemic unemployment compensation will last through the end of July, 2020.
      Establish your initial claim by completing the electronic form, or by calling the Vermont state claims center (877.214.3330 or 888.807.7072). The claims center is open Monday-Friday 8:15am-6:00pm. Benefits will be available through the end of 2020 and the loss of work doesn’t need to be directly related to the pandemic. Click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Artist In Residence Gallery is an art cooperative featuring paintings, fiber arts, stained glass, sculpture, lamps, pottery, folk art boxes, scarves, hats and more by 40 Franklin County and surrounding area artists. It is owned and operated by the artists and sponsors. The gallery on South Main Street will reopen when the pandemic crisis is over.
      AIR artists are making videos in their studios of the works they create. Click here or find them on Facebook to catch up with some of your favorites and meet some new ones.


     The Art Garden With Ms. D is Fairfax Resident and BFA Fairfax Elementary Art Teacher Kim Desjardins' YouTube channel. She offers art lessons that are fun for everyone as well as great for distance learning. Click here for the entire selection.


FAIRFAX--The Fairfax Arts Council asks that members and local artists share photos or videos of work on their Facebook page with the hashtag #KeepArtsAliveFairfax. Let us know about live-streamed performances so they can help promote them.
      They continue to conduct some virtual activities and do legwork on activities they plan to pursue when socializing and in-person engagement is encouraged again. Email or find them on Facebook to lead an online activity or help set plans in place for community programs after distancing.


ST. ALBANS--The 54th annual Vermont Maple Festival was scheduled for this weekend; it has been canceled. The Trustees and sugarmakers hope you will join them next year and will continue to support your Vermont maple sugarmakers who are have collected and boiled and bottled through this season.
      Click here for more info.


     With all venues shut down, we have to rely on ourselves for entertainment so sing from a manhole. Record yourself in the garage. Paint your fence purple and gold and Kelly green. 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:

      Kelsey Walsh writes and performs a Dance Monkey cover with household instruments. Click here to watch.

      The Havana Fairfax Connection with host Toni Basanta is "A kind of carnival of music, happiness, joy and very danceable tunes" streamed on LCATV. Click here to watch.

      Andrew Lloyd Webber will stream his musicals in the free YouTube series, The Shows Must Go On, every Friday at 7 p.m. for 48 hours. A new show begins tomorrow. Clips of famous performances and behind-the-scenes footage also appear on the channel beside the full shows.
      Click here for Mr. Webber's YouTube channel for all the details and to subscribe.

      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 every Friday at 7:30 p.m.
      Find the link for this week on Facebook.

      Carol Ann Jones should be live on Sunday with another kitchen concert. Check her Facebook feed for other events and for this Sunday's kitchen concert.

      Lindsay Beaver and Brad Stivers live streamed a porch concert on Tuesday. The blues-rocking, soul-singing songwriter comes from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and lives in Austin, Texas. They plan to go live every Tuesday. She notes that she just had another tour canceled. Watch them almost live on Facebook.

      Mando-meister Will Patton is "dealing with this need to remain apart [by] trading tracks with some of my favorite players." He posted a "social but not musical distancing collaboration" of Maiden's Prayer with Jerry Bowers on guitars. You'll find them on his Facebook page.

      The Pine Leaf Boys posted a daily dose of solo accordion with Wilson Savoy broadcasting from his side porch in Louisiana (disclaimer: not for people who hate solo accordion). He's almost live on Facebook.

ONLINE--Vermont Humanities Council presents Edward Gorey’s Morbid Nonsense on Facebook and the Vermont Humanities website on Wednesday.
      Critics never knew quite what to make of Edward Gorey (1925-2000), the author and illustrator whose picture books full of murder, mayhem, and discreet depravity influenced Tim Burton, Lemony Snicket, and Guillermo Del Toro. In this illustrated lecture, cultural critic Mark Dery reveals the surprisingly serious themes woven through Gorey's whimsically sinister work. His event will now be offered as a video. Click here or find them on Facebook.


     Dave's Ice Cream Social appears regularly at Twiggs with Jeremy's special ice cream cart.
      Northwestern Medical Center has counted the votes and has a winner. Jeremy Murray started Dave's Ice Cream Social as a fund raiser for the Franklin County Area Cancer Network. He has raised more than $28,500 so far; 100% has been given as grants to community members going through cancer treatments. Click here to see the announcement.


     The Center for Women and Enterprise will conduct Getting Started on E-Commerce as an e-commerce webinar today from 9 - 10 a.m.
      Jacob Dubois of Uptown Cow will walk you through the options for ramping up your e-commerce capacities. This webinar is for people who are already making sales (online or off). It includes e-commerce platforms; theme and branding; how to setup products, shipping, tax and more; setup and strategies for email marketing; paid advertising, and a Q&A session. This webinar will be followed up with a workshop for those who want a hands-on approach. Click here to register and for more info.


      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

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


AAC dancing logo

All Arts Council of Franklin County

Support Free Speech on the Internet
Dick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460
email us

Go to [ Dick Harper | All Arts Index | ArtBits Archive ]

      This article may also have originally been published in the traditional print media. It is Copyright © 2020 by Richard B. Harper. All rights reserved. Archival material is provided as-is. Links are not necessarily maintained (if a link in this article fails, try or your favorite search engine).
      Thanks to recent misuse of copyright material on the Internet by individuals and archival firms alike, we emphasize that your rights to this article are limited to viewing it and printing it for personal use only. You must receive explicit permission from the All Arts Council and the author before reprinting or redistributing this article in any medium. Visit our Trademarks and Copyright page for more information.