ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 24 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 9, 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 updated executive order extended the State of Emergency in Vermont to July 15. Indoor dining in restaurants is limited to the greater of 25% of regular occupancy limits and outdoor dining is allowed at maximum licensed seating capacity, up to 50 people. Inns, hotels, and other lodging continue at 50% capacity or 25 guests and staff, whichever is larger. All gatherings, indoor and outdoor, continue to be limited to 25 people. The state is set to begin a campaign to encourage people to wear masks.
      70,024 people (about 11% of the Vermont population) have been tested although a negative test result last month is not an indicator an individual's health today. Vermont's seven-day average test positivity is 0.4 percent, the lowest in the United States. Vermont has not had a COVID-19-positive patient in the ICU since May 24. Still, St. Albans City and Town remain the hot spot of Franklin County.
      The state 14-day quarantine limit continues. Out-of-staters who travel to Vermont from a county in the Northeast with less than 400 cases per million population do not have to quarantine but others, especially those from high-risk areas, do. The number of individuals eligible for travel to Vermont without a quarantine fell from 19 million to 13.5 million last week mostly because active cases rose in counties in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia.
      Vermont plans to reopen K-12 classrooms in the fall. Some Vermont museums will reopen for summer. The Saint Albans Museum has delayed its traditional seasonal opening but their "virtual doors" are open.

      The Snow Farm Concert Seriesis back. They will sell tickets in advance, starting the Friday before each concert. The Meeting House on the Green will launch Live at 5 on July 17 with the Will Patton Quartet. August will feature Beg, Steal or Borrow. September brings Christine Malcolm and friends and the "always tasteless" Oleo Romeos will wrap up the season in October.
      Vermont has canceled all county fairs, field days, and festivals for 2020. The 30th annual Summer Sounds concert series will return in 2021. 20/20 Visions, the Montgomery Center for the Arts Summer Art Show and Fundraiser, summer shows at Burton Island, the summer season of the Citizens Concert Band, the entire 2020 season at the Opera House at Enosburg Falls, the entire Enosburg Town Band Summer Concert Series, and many Young Tradition events have been canceled. Summer Music at Gracewill not host in-person concerts but they are talking with artists about additional online collaborations. The 99th annual Champlain Valley Fair will wait until next summer.

      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.


     The Vermont Economic Recovery Grant Program launched on Monday. The program uses federal CARES Act funding to provide direct cash grants to Vermont businesses who have lost revenue because of COVID-19.


MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild Gallery is open. They have shields for the front desk, masks for employees, and a strict cleaning protocol. And they have "curbside pickup offerings." They continue to require masks and limit the number of people in the gallery to 15. MAG is not yet hosting classes in the gallery but will continue online classes. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Artist in Residence features Tessa Hill on on Facebook.
      The art cooperative is open with 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 started new hours last week: Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Click here or find them on Facebook for more info.


PAPER BAG MASK PROJECT (July 15)--The Montgomery Center for the Arts has kicked off the Virtual Gallery Art Show of Community Members Creativity. The project needs just a brown paper bag and a Sharpie or something to draw with. MCA will curate a gallery and virtual show in mid-July. Mail your entry or drop it off on the porch at MCA-Kelton Hall or share your photos or videos. Click here or find them on Facebook for all the details.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council Writer's Group will meet via Zoom this evening at 6 p.m.
      The group meets on the second Thursday of every month. Members can share progress and join in the discussion about longer projects and anything else about writing, reading, publishing, and more. Email Becky Rupp for the meeting ID or more info.

ST. ALBANS--St. Albans Community Arts hosts its regular Community Arts MeetUp via email on Tuesday; Email to attend. They have a Board Meeting and a Creative Meetup on the second Tuesday of each month. The gatherings discuss new and ongoing business, and any creative ideas that crop up. Click here for the minutes, 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 hosts a Safe & Social Artist Meet up tentatively on Tuesday. Email Judy for more info.


BURLINGTON--Young Tradition Vermont and the Burlington Violin Shop host a series of live performances in front of the shop on Fridays during the lunch hour. Guest members of the Vermont Youth Orchestra perform in memory and honor of Elijah McClain tomorrow. And Annabel Moynihan was live last Friday.
      Facebook Live events are on the Young Tradition Vermont's on Facebook page.
      All social-distancing and mask guidance applies--no seating, no major congregating, and no paper money or coinage. Audience members can support the musicians via Venmo or PayPal at the performance or anytime at PayPal.

ST. ALBANS--Eleven hosts a Post-Fourth Celebration at Bronson's Landing on Friday at 7 p.m.
      "It has been a hard year so far and everyone needs a little fun and time to let loose." Scott Guptill, guitar and vocals; Taylor Arsenault, vocals; and Scott Belisle, bass and vocals, fire off a musical barrage of hits from the 70s to the 90s.

MILTON--Arrowhead Golf Course hosts Jesse Agan for the Friday Night Live Music and Buffet on the deck on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The teriyaki chicken buffet starts around 7 p.m. Both run until 9 p.m.
      The buffet costs $11 per person ($5 for each child). You don't have to be a member; the public is welcome.

ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers the Matt Dolliver Trio on Friday and Chris & Erica on Saturday. Shows begin at 5 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents Live Music This Weekend with Chris & Erica on Friday and Blue Fox on Saturday evenings at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are necessary. Fred Brauer was live in the reverse window last Friday on Facebook .
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

NORTH HERO--Wylie Shipman plays live in the Steamship Bar and Grill at North Hero House on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. The former lead singer for the Woedoggies plays folk, classic country, and bluegrass covers plus his own original songs. NHH has returned to live music on Saturday and Wednesday evenings.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star Brewing Company has father and son duo Dan and Sean Jarvis live in the outdoor Beer Garden on Saturday at 6 p.m. Reservations are required and must be made online before arriving. Click here for more info; select "Beer Garden Outdoor Seating" to enjoy the tunes.

SHELDON--The Abbey begins the Summer Music series with Sibling Reverie on the Back 40 on Saturday at 6:30 p.m., weather permitting or in the Pub if it rains.

SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle presents Carol Ann Jones and Jon Sochin on Tuesday at 6 p.m. They'll be there every Tuesday evening. Seating is very limited with lots of restrictions in place and reservations are a must. Call 802.372.4814 for a seat.

NORTH HERO--Carol Ann Jones and Will Patton play live on the pier at North Hero House on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. The restored, historic inn and restaurant has attracted visitors and regulars since its original opening in 1891.


     Here's the roundup of virtual music and events for this week.

      Young Tradition Vermont presents Brenda Castles on Facebook Live this evening at 6 p.m. Ms. Castles comes from County Meath, Ireland, and has several All Ireland Fleadh titles in solo and group competitions. Music has brought her around the world from Hong Kong to Reykjavik, Taipei to Tipperary. She is based between Dublin and New York.
      You don't have to pay to watch, but this is part an effort to support musicians who have lost most of their gigs since the pandemic started. YTV suggests a contribution of $10-$20 at PayPal. The concert will remain on the Facebook page, and donations can be made anytime before, during or after the concert.

      Summer Sounds favorite John Bartus' Perpetual Island Tour will perform a new Social Distancing Concert Live from the Florida Keys, thanks to Facebook Live every Friday at 7:30 p.m. Last week's concert is on Facebook.
      Find him on Facebook for the link.

      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.

      Tom Caswell streams a blues jam live from his living room on Facebook every Wednesday at 7 p.m. He welcomes everyone to play some blues along from home. Find him on Facebook.


HIGHGATE--The Highgate Public Library kick-off to the Summer Reading program was rescheduled to Sunday at 1 p.m. in at Highgate Arena parking lot. There will be a car decorating contest and the community parade with prizes for Most Imaginative, Best Special Effects, and Best in Show. Each entry earns an assortment of free books. Call (802.868.3970) or click here to register.
      The building remains closed to the public until further notice but curbside pickup is available Monday - Wednesday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.; Thursdays, 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Saturdays, 9 a.m.-12 noon, or call for an appointment.

ST. ALBANS--The St. Albans Public Library is open for limited services by appointment only. Call (802.524.1507) to schedule an appointment. Once there, patrons may browse the collection, use the computer, work in the study carrel, use the seating area/wifi, or make copies and print.
      The library continues to offer curbside service. Click here to order books online.

SWANTON--The Swanton Free Public Library is open to the public one day per week, every Monday. The library is also now open Tuesday - Saturday by appointment only. Call (802.868.7656) or email to arrange a time for one person or group to enter.
      There are some new requirements: No more than ten patrons in the building at any one time with a maximum visit time of 30 minutes for browsing or computer use only. Masks are required. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult guardian. If books or other materials are handled, they must be placed on a marked cart, not back on the shelf.
      Curbside pickups will continue on Wednesday and Saturday.

      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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