ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 24 * * All Arts News On the Web * * September 17, 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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      Vermonters are "staying home when they're sick, washing their hands when you're sick, keeping physically distanced, and wearing a facial covering," Health Commissioner Mark Levine told CNN in July. Governor Phil Scott extended the state of emergency to October 15. The Vermont statewide mask mandate remains in effect.
      Avoid the rush; mask up for Halloween now.
      58 people in Vermont have died after contracting the coronavirus. 150,673 people (about 24.1% 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 reports a slight uptick in the seven-day average test positivity rate to 0.5 percent overall and Vermont colleges now have a 0.09 percent positivity rate (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 39 new cases this past week although HealthVermont reported just seven new cases. It is an interesting, ongoing disparity. 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.
      Vermont 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.

      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.


     California Assembly Bill 5 or "AB 5" is a state statute that defines most workers as employees. Effective January 1, AB 5 created consternation and confusion among intellectual property creators and gig workers. In an attempt to remedy the complaints and defects, California has now passed AB 2257.
      If you believe this new bill will solve the many issues you may face as intellectual property creators or buyers, well…read Ivan Hoffman's new article, AB 2257: An Overview. This cautionary tale is particularly important for any Vermont artist who sells a manuscript, painting, photograph, sculpture, or any "work for hire" to any California person or business.
      We "met" Attorney Hoffman in an online writing group a couple of decades ago. He's "proudly in his 47th year of practice," specializing in most segments of Intellectual Property law at


     COVID-19 has tanked the Saint Albans Museum's annual Calcutta but the new Rail City Raffle is the new reality way to support local history and win prizes. Log in to tour the 1861 schoolhouse (virtually) on Friday at 7 p.m.
      Tickets cost $100. Tickets are available online, or call 802.527.7933 or email to reserve your ticket via phone/mailed check. Only 100 tickets will be sold. Each ticket includes one entry into the raffle, an invitation to the online live drawing, and a private tour with the SAM staff. Prizes include a $2,000 grand prize, $750 second place, and $250 for third. You need not be "present" to win.
      The Museum's modified 2020 season schedule features online and outdoor programs "designed to share the stories of the people, places, and events which define our regional heritage... Although our historic building remains closed due to the impact of COVID-19, SAM is committed to providing safe, accessible, and engaging programming for all ages and interests."
      Lake Lessons is an example of a place-based, hands-on STEM and local history/ecology workshop for area schools which SAM will transition online for the fall and spring semesters. Each of their programs are free and open to the public, and donations help to support the museum's nonprofit mission.


     Milton Artists' Guild hosts Everything But the Brush, an afternoon of painting with Kristen Watson, online on Tuesday at 2 p.m.
      Ms. Watson, a local artist and teacher, will explore "intuitive acrylic painting" using non-traditional tools--literally everything but the brush--to get textures and patterns. She will offer basic painting instruction and move into brayers, bubble wrap, forks, spray bottles, plastic doo-hickeys, fingers, and household and found objects to spray, smear, scrape, stamp, and roll your own expressive designs.
      The fee is $35 for members or $40 for non-members. Find them on Facebook to register and for more info. Only 10 slots are available.


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 was on tap last Saturday. Find them on Facebook for more info.


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.

SWANTON--SAC will host the Scary Story Contest & Zine online on October 1. Find them on Facebook for more info.


EAST FAIRFIELD--The Meeting House on the Green presents Christine Malcolm with Rudy, Fran & Hank in the Live at 5 concert series on Friday at 5 p.m. Weather permitting this concert will be held outside.
      The concert will blend modern folk, country, rock and blues. Crickets, Coyotes and the Big Yellow Moon, Ms. Malcolm's debut recording, is a collection of songs about small towns, big hearts, broken dreams and the endurance of hope and love. All roads are dirt and they all lead back home. The mom and singer-songwriter-musician lives on a dirt road in Elmore.
      Concert Protocol: Attendees must wear masks and maintain social distance. Masks will be available free of charge if you do not bring one. No food or beverages will be served. If you bring your own, plan to bring out what you bring in as there will be no trash or recycling available. [Indoor space is limited to 40 people; call 802.827.6626 to reserve a seat inside.]
      Admission is by suggested donation of $10 per person. Proceeds will support the musicians and the continuing restoration of the Meeting House. The abbreviated summer concert series will be filmed with a link to YouTube and posted on Facebook. click here for more info.

NORTH HERO--The Lloyd Tyler Band plays live in the Steamship Bar at North Hero House on Friday at 5:30 p.m. Vermont based Zack Tyler and Jeff Lloyd play an eclectic mix of covers and folk inspired originals, "acoustically and authentically."
      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 Ryan Hanson with a night of acoustic covers and original live music 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.

ST. ALBANS--The Clothier presents a Singalong with Bobby Cee on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
      Bob Chevalier has played with musicians around the world as well as with his own seven siblings so he's "ready for a sing along night. With my taste in 60's, 70's and 80's music, we'll have a fun night." The Clothier is the 1920's era speakeasy next door to Twiggs.

ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers The Duel live on Friday at 5 p.m. and Chris & Erica on tap on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

SWANTON--Bees on Broadway presents Scott Martell live on Saturday at 2 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

JOHNSON--Hayley Jane will make her Moog's Joint debut on Saturday at 5 p.m.
      Hayley Jane records and tours as a solo artist after years with her national touring act, Hayley Jane and The Primates. She received the New England Music Award's Americana Roots Act of the Year in 2014. The show will roll together 60s and 70s rock and pop, musical theater, folk, blues, soul, psychedelic, and some funk and bluegrass. Advanced reservations only; call 802.730.8091. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Someone is likely to bring live music to the Mill River Brewery Biergarten this evening around 6 p.m. Squirrel showed up last Saturday with about one day's notice. Find them on Facebook for info and to make a reservation. With COVID-19 restrictions, they are seating only 4-tops.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents our old friend Fred Brauer with his songs, his voice, and a guitar in from the global road from Chiang Mai to Moscow, from Bali to Bora-Bora, live on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
      Reservations are necessary. Call 802.524.1405 or click here 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 "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. Last week's concert is on Facebook.
      Find him on Facebook tomorrow evening for the watch party.

      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 the Jason Anick Acoustic Trio live in concert on Facebook Live on Saturday at 7 p.m.
      Mr. Anick, Max O'Rourke and Greg Loughman take fiddle, guitar, and bass to an unexpected new brand of acoustic music. Anyone can "attend" the concert but a $20 donation is suggested to support musicians who have lost most of their work to the COVID-19 restrictions. Make donations at PayPal and click here for more info.
      The concert will remain on the Facebook page, and donations can be made anytime before, during or after the concert.

      Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton went live singing Elvis and wearing a 9/11 special tribute outfit. "I'm pretty sure Elvis would dig it" on Facebook on Friday evening. 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.

      The Presents in Paradise Tropical Rockers Concert for the Kids, virtual concert has a lineup of Keys musicians including Terry Cassidy, Mr. Bartus, Freddy Bye, Brian Roberts, and Adrienne Z. It is available on Facebook to watch and send money. Presents in Paradise gives toys, clothing, and bicycles but no video games to between 500 and 700 kids island kids at Christmas.

      Big Heavy World's Rocket Shop Radio Hour this week features singer songstress and multi-instrumentalist Sara Grace on
      The local music radio program has weekly live broadcasts and streams of live music and interviews on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on 105.9FM as well as a podcast at


EDWIN CHURCH AWARD (October 1)--The Swanton Arts Council's Church Award celebrates local writers with a $500 cash prize for the best original short story with a railroad or train element included. Email for more info.

ART AND ACT-MARIE MARZLOFF AWARD (October 1)--The international art contest is open to all artists, professionals, amateurs, students, youth, to express their interpretation of the theme Opening Windows onto Community. Entries should be new and original artwork in any of graphic art categories. No Entry Fee. Click here for guidelines and more info.

ZEPTER INTERNATIONAL DESIGN AWARD (October 31)--This is a call for a concept for a wall decoration on the outdoor facade of a building in the Zepter Foundation museum complex in Belgrade. Contestants should propose a technically feasible visual solution measuring about 20 feet high by 23 feet wide. No Entry Fee. Click here for guidelines and more 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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