ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 24 * * All Arts News On the Web * * September 10, 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 schools opened on Tuesday. The teacher's union sharply criticized Gov. Phil Scott. At his regular Covid-19 press conference Friday, he described the NEA statement as political. He said experts believe children will be better off overall if they can return to school.
      The Vermont statewide mask mandate remains in effect; the state of emergency and the state 14-day quarantine limit continue.
      58 people in Vermont have died after contracting the coronavirus. 144,063 people (about 23.1% of the Vermont population) have been tested, including 27,174 people connected to colleges, 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 reports a seven-day average test positivity rate of 0.3 percent (by contrast, South Florida is aiming to keep its positivity rate below five percent) with 1,648 current cases (up from 1,616 last week). CDC reported 57 new cases this past week although HealthVermont reported just one new case. It is an interesting, ongoing disparity, especially since the college testing uncovered 33 cases, 13 of which are in the Burlington area. St. Albans City and Town have no new cases but remain the hot spot of Franklin County.

      The Meeting House on the Green continues Live at 5 monthly.
      Art Basel Miami has canceled. Vermont has canceled all county fairs, field days, and festivals for 2020. The 30th Summer Sounds concert series will return in 2021. The entire 2020 season at the Opera House at Enosburg Falls, Summer Music at Grace, and many Young Tradition events have been canceled.


ARTIST RELIEF (September 23)--Artist Relief will distribute $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19 as it serves as an ongoing informational resource. No Entry Fee. Click here for the FAQ and application.


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.


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.

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 around 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.


ST. ALBANS--The Rotary Club of St. Albans hosts its first ever Lucky Ducky Days Fundraiser at the fountain in Taylor Park today. Adopt a rubber duck to help raise money for local non-profits in Franklin County that have been impacted most by the COVID-19 shutdown. This is a completely virtual event, so you must purchase a duck before today. The ducks will "paddle" until Rotary randomly draws 24 ducks on Facebook Live to win the prizes. Click here to buy a dozen ducks or so.


NORTH HERO--The Hubcats play live in the Steamship Bar at North Hero House on Friday at 5:30 p.m. Vermont's own duo of Fred Brauer, Stewart Foster, and sometimes Jim blend folkgrass, art folk, and pop.
      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 Bruce & Bill with familiar favorites from the 70s, 80s, and more live in the Beer Garden 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 and select "Beer Garden Outdoor Seating" for reservations or for more info.
      Find them on Facebook for more info.

ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers Satta Sound with some live vocals on Friday at 6 p.m. and the smooth jazz and killer jams of the Matt Dolliver Quartet on Saturday at 5 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents the Lloyd Tyler Band live on Friday and Dave Miller on Saturday. Shows begin at 6:30 p.m.
      Zack Tyler and Jeff Lloyd use a mix of acoustic guitars, bass, and harmonica for a show of folk, country, rock, blues and Americana originals and covers. Mr. Miller plays classic songs from the late 60's and 70's for listening and singing along with.
      Reservations are necessary. Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Rusty Bucket and the Northwest Farmers Market host some Pickin' in the Park on Saturday starting around 11 a.m. The "Crusty, Musty, Gusty, Trusty, and Dusty" band plans to "kick some rust off the bucket." 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 "until it gets too cold to play outside." 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. 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.

      Presents in Paradise hosts a Tropical Rockers Concert for the Kids, a Virtual Concert on Facebook Live on Sunday at 6 p.m. The all star lineup includes a Who's Who of local Keys musicians: Terry Cassidy, John Bartus, Freddy Bye, Brian Roberts, and Adrienne Z.
      Tune in on Facebook to watch and send money. Presents in Paradise has been taking care of Florida Keys families since 2003, providing toys, clothing, and bicycles to island kids at no cost. 100% of money raised goes to buying toys and clothing for local kids. The group made Christmas happen for more than 340 kids last year. With shutdowns and more people out of work, they expect to serve between 500 and 700 kids this year.

      Pete's Posse plays Swallow Hill Live on Monday at 6 - 8 p.m.
      Vermont's trad-roots power trio of Pete Sutherland, Oliver Scanlon, and Tristan Henderson has twin fiddles in tight harmony over high-powered guitar and pounding foot percussion with mandolin, clawhammer banjo, jaw harp, rocking keyboards, and soaring vocal harmonies. Find them on Facebook for more info and on Facebook live to access the live stream. Donations collected will support the artist and Swallow Hill Music.

      Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton was verybusy this week. He went live with Elvis and Friends around the World from the living room on Facebook on Friday evening, and then played a second hour on Facebook as well. On Sunday, he sang gospel music on Facebook from the shores of Lake Willoughby.
      Follow him on Facebook for a link to this week's offerings.


ST. ALBANS--The Saint Albans Museum hosts Vintage St. Albans, a series of "pop-up" museum exhibitions over three Saturdays beginning this weekend at 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
      The outdoor, socially-distanced, community history event will feature images, documents, and other historical materials in the museum parking lot. Explore the stories of the people, places, and events that define our region, including our French-Canadian heritage, the Central Vermont Railway, local maple and dairy, the ecology and history of St. Albans Bay, historic architecture, and the women's suffrage movement in northwestern Vermont. QR codes on the exhibits offer access to additional audio and video content.
      Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. In keeping with public health guidelines and best practices, SAM requires all attendees to wear a mask.


2020 BEAUCHAMP PRIZE (September 15)--This call wants submissions of critical art writing grounded in both scholarship and journalism. The Gulf Coast literary journal encourages a variety of creative approaches and formats to writing on the visual arts including thematic essays, exhibition reviews, and scholarly essays. Cash prizes. Click here for an entry.

2020 INTERNATIONAL ILLUSTRATED PICTURE BOOK COMPETITION (September 30)--Biblioteca Insular de Gran Canaria welcomes picturebooks which demonstrate narrative and visual originality. The term "picturebook" includes works where the story is developed through text and images, or exclusively images. No Entry Fee. Click here for a .PDF with entry info.

ELLEN FITZGIBBON MEMORIAL PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION (October 15)--Ellen never imagined she had cancer. She was 45 years old, working full-time as a veterinarian, traveling, and taking photographs. After her ovarian cancer diagnosis, photography became her passion. This competition welcomes photographers who share Ellen's appreciation for the natural world and who find inspiration in knowing their photograph might one day grace the wall of a cancer hospital as a messenger of Ellen's wish "to bring hope and beauty to those facing cancer." The theme is the natural world and animal kingdom. You may submit only one photo along with a short statement. No Entry Fee. Cash prizes. The winning photographs will be donated to cancer hospitals across the country and displayed prominently. Click here for entry 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 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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