ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 24 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 14, 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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      Still a little snow in Vermont but the rainy season has started down here so I'm thinking summery thoughts.
      Gatherings in homes are now allowed as are small gatherings of 10 or fewer people. But even though playgrounds, and ball parks are reopening, recreational leagues are not allowed. And the 14-day quarantine is still in effect.
      Vermont is starting to ease the pandemic restrictions but we remain concerned for the health and safety of our musicians, our music lovers, our social hosts, and our volunteers so the Town of Highgate and the All Arts Council have decided to cancel the 30th annual Summer Sounds concert series for 2020. Summer Sounds will return in 2021.
      Stay well, and thanks from all of us at the Town of Highgate and the All Arts Council.

      So far, this spring, the annual Rotary Home & Recreation Exposition rescheduled for this weekend and the 54th annual Vermont Maple Festival have been cancelled. Both organizations look forward to seeing everyone next year with even bigger and better events.
      The 18th annual Farewell Reunion concert will take place on line (we'll have the details next Thursday). The Vermont Dairy Festival, Bay Day, summer shows at Burton Island, Evenings at the Meeting House, and many Young Tradition events have been cancelled. The Opera House at Enosburg Falls voted to cancel its entire 2020 season. 20/20 Visions, the Montgomery Center for the Arts Summer Art Show and Fundraiser, will not be happening as planned.

      Although so many of our favorite activities won't happen this year, all the volunteers will stay as active as possible and this weekly column about the arts and entertainment around the region will continue to serve up live and almost live events and artists from around the region. Read all about it here every Thursday.


     With performances, festivals and tours now cancelled across the globe, many artists have lost their source of income for the foreseeable future. The Levitt Foundation's Reverb has compiled a list of organizations providing emergency funding to artists who've been impacted by COVID-19. Click here for the list.
      The Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation offers grants, resources, and support to build and help sustain permanent Levitt music venues and to present the annual Levitt AMP Music Series. That series takes place in 20 small to mid-sized towns and cities with 10 free concerts in each. Every year, nearly one million people of all ages and backgrounds gather to mingle, relax or dance in those settings.


     Concerts, live events, and other mass gatherings have been cancelled here but the city of Aarhus, Denmark, has launched a series of drive-in music. Easy to do anywhere you can mow the grass (or shovel the snow) in a drive-in theater. Click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--St. Albans Community Arts hosts its regular Community Arts MeetUp on the second Tuesday of each month; they have a Board Meeting and a Creative Meetup. The gatherings discuss new and ongoing business, and any creative ideas that crop up. SACA is holding its meeting through email. Email to attend. Click here for the minutes and reports of prior meetings and more.
      St. Albans Community Arts needs you to help bring arts into the community. Their events include art walks and Make Music Day, an art wall in Houghton Park, and more.

SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council Art Journaling Group which normally meets on the second Tuesday of every month is now meeting virtually.
      Art journals, junk journals, art pages and more are on the table and make for fun for artists, writers, scrap bookers, and more. The group meets to share ideas and to take time to create. Email to participate or learn more about art journaling or creating your own junk journal.


     With most venues still 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 to keep your chops 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.

      Summer Sounds favorite John Bartus will perform a Social Distancing Concert #8 Live from the Florida Keys from his studio in Marathon, Florida, thanks to Facebook Live on Friday at 7:30 p.m. This will be an "all requests" show. Find his page on Facebook for the link.
      Last week's concert, #7 with many of his original songs about life in the Islands and life in general, is on Facebook. The Perpetual Island Tour resumed last Thursday at Sparky’s Landing.

      Linda Bassick was live with her eighth Friday Morning Sing Along at home. Find last week's on Facebook or find all of her videos on Facebook .

      Blackwolf will be Live Behind the Club in Robot Dog Studio via Higher Ground on Find them on Facebook .

      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.

      The Dead Shakers will do a solo show Live Behind the Club in Robot Dog Studio via Higher Ground on Facebook .

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

      Troy Millette was Live Behind the Club in Robot Dog Studio via Higher Ground on Tuesday on Facebook

      The iHeartRadio Living Room Concert Series is back again on YouTube and Facebook on Wednesday at 7 p.m. to raise money for the American Red Cross. Find the concert on Facebook or see the whole series on YouTube.
      Yesterday's performance was Brett Eldredge. The country music singer-songwriter and record producer has received multiple American Country, Academy of Country Music, and CMT awards and nominations, and plenty of ASCAP categories.

      Joe Adler hosts LiveStream: Burgundy Thursdays from the Blue Bunker. Week 8 was live on Facebook.

      The Bellows Free Academy Choir has recorded a "virtual performance" of We Are The World on Facebook .
      Written by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson, the chart-topping hit was performed by students who created the individual video and audio recordings. The music project was organized by BFA Choral director Armand Messier who mixed and edited the virtual choir performance.

      Allen Church of Morrisville was live on Mother's Day with a song he wants everyone to share on Facebook .

      Summer Sounds favorite Jon Gailmor is recording a song a day from home or from the goat pen or from what looks like the Phillies and Fliers isolation spring training camp. "I have to play music," he told me. And we get to sing along. Donations are always good. Find his links on Facebook or go direct to YouTube for the whole recent kit and caboodle YouTube .
      Mr. Gailmor was scheduled to play Summer Sounds again this year which would have been the 25th anniversary of his first appearance in the series. We've already booked him for 2021.

      Rik Palieri was live on Facebook. Find his other videos here on Facebook as well.

      Larkin Poe posted a "Tip o' The Hat" video series starting with a cover of the Beatles' Daytripper right here .

      The Wheeland Brothers' Treetop Couch Concert was live overlooking the Pacific Ocean on Saturday. The two Southern Californian brothers "grew up in Orange County surfing, scarfing down hole-in-the wall Mexican food, and jamming around beach bonfires." They call their music "Beach Rock Reggae." Find them on Facebook.

      Waiting is the hardest part. Seth Yacovone was Live Behind the Club in Robot Dog Studio via Higher Ground on Facebook .


      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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