ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 24 * * All Arts News On the Web * * August 6, 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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      Tuesday is Vermont's Primary Election. Don't forget to vote.


      Gov. Phil Scott allowed retail businesses to increase their capacity from 25% to 50% as of Saturday, Aug. 1, the same day the statewide mask mandate went into effect. Vermont's state of emergency continues through August 15 or later.
      A 57th person in Vermont died last week after contracting the coronavirus. It was the first COVID-19 death recorded in Vermont in more than a month. 96,681 people (about 15.5% of the Vermont population) have been tested although a negative test result yesterday says nothing about an individual's health today. Vermont currently has the lowest per-capita rate of infection in the United States and a seven-day average test positivity of 0.4 percent. Vermont has 1,426 current cases with five new this past week. St. Albans City and Town remain the hot spot of Franklin County.
      Vermont will distribute over 200,000 free face masks to towns, community partners and local emergency responders. "Operation Cloth Face Covering For Everyone" will offer each town enough masks for 25% of their population. The National Guard will hand out masks at food distribution sites and the Health Department will have masks at pop-up coronavirus testing locations.
      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.

      The Snow Farm Concert Seriesis running. The Meeting House on the Green launched Live at 5.
      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, 2020 Summer Concert Series in Ballard Park, 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 Grace will 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. Epiphanies, the 2020 Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, has been postponed until 2021.

      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.


     Vermont is offering up to $3,000 to qualifying Vermont households to help them get high-speed internet to their homes. Hundreds of Vermonters without fast broadband service live just beyond the reach of current cable and other Internet Service Providers' networks.
      The LECAP program is for Vermonters with a COVID-19-related need such as remote learning/telehealth/telework. Click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Artist in Residence features fiber artist Donna Blatchly, printmaker Kristina Bolduc, jewelry creator Holly Spier, and mixed media artist Meta Strick.
      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 monthly receptions have been temporarily postponed but the gallery on South Main Street is open Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Click here or find them on Facebook for more info.

MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild artist pop-up features two artists at the Guild on Saturday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. They will display new work, demonstrate, and explain their process.
      MAG's artist pop-ups will feature artists every Saturday with appropriate social distancing. "This way, we can support our artists, and create a special and fun weekend destination. Come and meet the artists on Saturdays, while the Guild is open." Starr Bidwell and Paula Galle were on tap last Saturday. Find them on Facebook for more info.


MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild will host Everything but the Brush--An afternoon of painting with Kristen M. Watson online on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.
      The local artist and teacher will explore acrylic painting with non-traditional tools from brayers (small hand rollers), bubble wrap, and forks, to spray bottles and plastic doo-hickeys to spray, smear, scrape, stamp, and roll designs.
      The cost is $35 for members or $40 for non-members. Click here to reserve a space.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council Adult Virtual Art Journaling will meet via Zoom on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
      New to or experienced at art journaling, the SAC group can guide participants with items found arround the home and supplies from the SPL Makerspace. The Adult Art Journaling meet every Tuesday and is free and open to all.
      Email or find them on Facebook to get the zoom login info.


     Northwest Access TV will coordinate a Crowdsourced Movie Project with Community Access Centers across Vermont. The project is very flexible and perfectly distanced. NWATVA offers equipment loans, training and one-on-one mentoring for local submissions. Click here for more info.


BURLINGTON--Young Tradition Vermont and the Burlington Violin Shop host Pete Sutherland with Isabella Rottler in a live performance in front of the shop on Friday during the lunch hour. Mr. Sutherland with Winslow and Malcolm Solomon, Sam Doherty and Gus Barkyoumb were live last Friday.
      Facebook Live events are on the Young Tradition Vermont's 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.

ESSEX--The Double E presents the Starline Rhythm Boys live in the Grazin' in the Grass music series on the Essex Experience Outdoor Green on Friday at 6 p.m. "Doors" at 5 with food and beverage service. Rain date is the next day, same time, same place.
      Admission is $5. COVID precautions: Face coverings are required for entry. Seating is limited, first come first will be seated by ushers in socially distanced pods. Lawn chairs and blankets are suggested. Click here for tickets and more info.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents The Duel live in the Beer Garden on Friday at 6 p.m.
      The Plattsburgh duo of Summer Sounds favorites John Geno and Kevin Connelly plays a repertoire of classic/southern rock, new country, Irish fiddle tunes, blues, jazz, and bluegrass. They are both multi instrumentalists and lead/harmony singers. Find them on Facebook for more info.

MILTON--Arrowhead Golf Course hosts Carol Ann Jones with Will Patton for the Friday Night Live Music and Buffet on the deck on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The BBQ 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 area favorites Chris & Erica live on Friday and Shaun King from King Me on tap on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

NORTH HERO--Jeff and Gina play live in the Steamship Bar at North Hero House on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. NHH has live music on Wednesday and Saturday evenings.
      The Steamship Bar practices social distancing. Food and table reservations are required. Call 802.372.4732 for reservations and find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Cooie Sings at the Clothier on Saturday at 6 p.m.
      Cooie deFrancesco sings traditional tunes, popular songs, and originals from the blues, jazz, folk and some old time rock'n'roll. The Clothier is the 1920's era speakeasy next door to Twiggs.

SHELDON--The Abbey Summer Music Series continues with George Murtie on the Back 40 on Saturday at 6:30 p.m., weather permitting or in the Pub if it rains. Find them on Facebook for more info.

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.

NORTH HERO--The Hubcats--Fred, Stewart, and sometimes Jim--play live in the Steamship Bar at North Hero House on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Call 802.372.4732 for reservations and find them on Facebook for more info.

WINOOSKI--The free Winooski Community Concert Series presents Rik Palieri with Songs and Stories for Hard-Hitting Times behind the O'Brien Community Center on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

MORRISVILLE--The Wednesday Night Live summer music series continues in Oxbow Riverfront Park on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
      Play smarter, play safer. COVID requirements: masks and social distancing are required. Leave your dog at home. Limited to the first 140 people. There will be a rotating mix of food vendors every week, from American barbecue to Nepalese staples. Find them on Facebook for more info.


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

      Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton was live for the Tweed Elvis Festival and more on Sunday on Facebook.

      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 here.
      Find him on Facebook for the link this week.

      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.

      Young Tradition Vermont presents a Corner House concert on on Facebook Live on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
      The Boston-based Casey Murray, cello; Ethan Hawkins, guitar; Louise Bichan, fiddle; and Ethan Setiawan, mandolin write and arrange music heavily influenced by Irish, Scottish, Appalachian Stringband, and Bluegrass traditions.
      You donít have to pay to watch, but YTV hopes for $20 suggested donations to support musicians who have lost most of their work since the COVID-19 restrictions began in early spring. Click here to donate.

      The 2019/2020 Young Tradition Touring Group broadcasts their final project, final performance for this season on on FacebookLive at 7 p.m. Group members, leaders, and special guests will be featured in group formats.
      Click here for more info.

      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 and view last week's jam here.

      Cooie DeFrancesco joined Rik Palieri on Songwriter's Notebook and even tells us why she's not called Caroline anymore on YouTube.


      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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