ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 24 * * All Arts News On the Web * * August 27, 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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      Vermont has a statewide mask mandate in effect. The state of emergency continues through September 15 or later. The Canada-U.S. border remains closed to non-essential travel for at least another month.
      58 people in Vermont have died after contracting the coronavirus. 120,043 people (about 19.2% of the Vermont population) have been tested although a negative test result yesterday says nothing about an individual's health today. We need a daily test that costs ten cents and gives results in ten minutes. Vermont has a seven-day average test positivity of 0.5 percent, 1557 current cases (up from 1,515 last week), with 44 new cases reported by CDC this past week although HealthVermont reported only four new. It is an interesting, ongoing disparity. St. Albans City and Town have no new cases but 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 state's COVID-safe travel map has expanded and now allows about 6.6 million travelers from approved regions to visit Vermont without a quarantine.
      Gov. Phil Scott Friday has requested an additional $133 million in federal CARES Act funding to help struggling businesses. He would break down that to include $50 million for tourism and hospitality, $23 million for businesses and nonprofits with sole proprietors, and $50 million in direct payments to Vermont residents to be spent on local businesses. Unemployment dropped slightly to 8.3% last month, but about 40,000 Vermonters remain on unemployment.

      The Snow Farm Concert Series concludes. The Meeting House on the Green Live at 5 series continues.
      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 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. 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.


     The Monroe County (Florida) libraries host WebinART with Sylvia on Zoom on Fridays at 10:30 a.m. This project discuss visual arts, curiosities of art history, aesthetic ideas and more. Classes began last Friday and continue through December.
      Cuban-born artist Sylvia Fontaine said she is teaching the webinar "Because making Art helps us live well." Email for the meeting link. Find her 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." Kimberlee Anne Forney and Gerry Conlon were on tap last Saturday. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Saint Albans Museum presents Amanda Gustin with Anything for Speed: Automobile Racing in Vermont this evening at 7 p.m.
      Vermonters have been racing cars for over a century, on mountainsides and drag strips, fairgrounds and dedicated tracks. Ms. Gustin, Public Program Manager at the Vermont Historical Society, will explore the history of racing with all its personalities, innovative design, and community in this online presentation.
      The program is free and open to the public. Registration is requested; a Zoom link will be provided via email confirmation. Email or click here for all the info about how to participate and for the History from Home series. Click here for direct Zoom registration and the link.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council Adult Virtual Art Journaling Meetup happens via Zoom on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
      The group can guide participants with items found around the home and supplies from the SPL Makerspace. The meetup takes place every Tuesday and is free and open to all.
      Email or find them on Facebook to get the Zoom login info.


ENOSBURG--The Enosburgh Historical Society presents Vermont historian and writer Marilyn Blackwell on Annette Parmelee & the Crusade for Women's Suffrage in Vermont in the 1906 House Carriage Barn this evening at 6 p.m.
      The 19th Amendment was ratified August 18, 1920. Ms. Parmelee of Enosburg Falls became of the most important Vermont suffragists during the 1910s. As the press secretary for the Vermont Equal Suffrage Association, she persuaded legislators and newspaper editors that "Votes for Women" was a question of equal justice for all.
      Admission is by donation. Registration is required as attendance is limited. Email for more info. Call 802.933.2545 or email to reserve a seat.

SOUTH HERO--The Snow Farm Concert Series presents Quadra starting at 6 p.m. This event is SOLD OUT so you'll have to wait until next time to hear Hocus Pocus by Focus.
      39 years and the Quadra boys--Mike Trombley, Moe Dubois, Matt Trombley, and Marc Dubois--are rocking and rolling better than ever with rock from the 70s right through the rock of today.
      Admission is $15. Only 150 tickets will be sold per event.

BURLINGTON--Young Tradition Vermont and the Burlington Violin Shop host Oliver Scanlon, Ceile Kronick, and Ava White in a live performance in front of the shop on Friday during the lunch hour.
      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.

NORTH HERO--The Rebecca Padula Acoustic Trio plays live in the Steamship Bar at North Hero House on Friday at 5:30 p.m. The non-traditional string band perform twists on the American songbook with singer-songwriter Rebecca Padula, guitars and uke; Clare Innes uke, banjolele, dobro, percussion, harmonica, kazoo, and harmony vocals; and Linda Kallinger, fiddle mandolin, and vocals.
      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--14th Star presents the Americana-style rock of Ryan Sweezey live in the Beer Garden for an evening of tunes, brews, and burgers on Friday at 6 p.m. Reservations are required and must be made online before arriving; there will be no walk-ins or phone-ins. click here for more info and select "Beer Garden Outdoor Seating."
      Find them on Facebook for more info.

MILTON--Cooper, Bob Recupero, closes out the Arrowhead Golf Course Friday Night Live Music and Buffet series on the deck on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The 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 Lee Ross live with sax, keys, and antics on Friday and Artisanal Bubbles with loop jams, guitar grooves, and vocal antics on tap on Saturday. Both shows start at 5 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

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

MONTGOMERY--The monthly Celebration of Expressive Arts continues at the INN in collaboration with AMP (Artist, Musician, Poet) and the Sundog Poetry Center on Sunday evening at 6 p.m. Come early for dinner; service begins at 4 p.m. This month, the featured artist is Sharon Webster. The featured musicians are Steve Goldman and D Davis from Red Hot Juba. The featured poet is David Cavanaugh. The local artists, writers and musicians gather again to share original and thought provoking work.
      Deck seating is by table and by reservation with social distancing. Another option is to BYO chair and sit in the lawn and listen. CEA will still ask for donations for the artists to share. The events are generally the last Sunday of each month. Find their poster on Facebook for more info.

Tuesday 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.


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

      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, live from the Blue Ridge Mountains in southern Georgia, is on Facebook. Find him on Facebook for the link to tomorrow's live concert.

      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 Mark Shelton will perform a new concert on Facebook on Sunday around 11 a.m. He was live with a gospel concert from home on Facebook last Sunday.

      Busy Summer Sounds favorite Christopher Dean was live from the Hogfish Bar and Grill on Stock Island in the Lower Florida Keys on Sunday and from Schooner Wharf in Key West on Monday. Find the Sunday show here and the Monday show here.


      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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