ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 24 * * All Arts News On the Web * * September 24, 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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      Last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci called Vermont a model to other states and the nation in its COVID-19 response.
      Gov. Phil Scott Friday eased restrictions on lodging and restaurants as the fall foliage season begins. Vermont bars and restaurants with counter seating may now serve customers at 50% capacity and lodging facilities can open to 100% capacity. Travelers still have to adhere to quarantine rules. The state of emergency continues until October 15. The Vermont statewide mask mandate remains in effect.
      The state has had a total of 1,706 coronavirus cases with 58 deaths, but none in the past 56 days. 155,895 people (about 24.98% 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. The seven-day average test positivity rate is 0.6 percent overall, the lowest positivity rate in the country (by contrast, South Florida is aiming to keep its positivity rate below five percent) with 1,715 current cases (up from 1,648 last week). CDC reported 34 new cases this past week although HealthVermont reported just five 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.
      Canada extended its border closure through October 21.

      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.


     River Arts at Home has ways to keep making art from the safety of home.
      The Virtual Open Studio and other classes are online. Every Tuesday River Arts posts a photo of a posed model. Anyone can make a drawing/painting/sculpture from this photo. They plan to keep the experimental virtual open studio going until we can all be together again. Submit completed artwork to Email. View the model poses and finished work online here.
      The River Arts CSArt (Community Supported Art) is a subscription service for individuals, families, and community members to explore different art mediums. Each month, CSA members will receive an art-making kit, an online class, and access to the rotating workshop art space at River Arts. October is the month of printmaking, November the month of weaving, and December the month of artist books.
      Click here to explore these art experiences for the community.


MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild artist pop-up features Dorothy Grazier with weavings, antique angels, and more, and Cathy LaClair Jewelry Design with new designs 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. Gary Walz and Jessica Goodrich True were 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.


ST. ALBANS--The Saint Albans Museum and the Vermont Humanities Council present Linda Radtke, From the Parlor to the Polls, outdoors in St. Albans Bay Park on Thursday at 5 p.m.
      In period costume and 'Votes for Women' sash, Ms. Radtke will offer the songs and stories of the women's suffrage movement and the fight for voting rights, accompanied by pianist Arthur Zorn. Limited public seating is available, so please bring a blanket or chair and dress for the weather.
      Admission is free. Call Alex Lehning (802.527.7933), email, or click here for more info

NORTH HERO--Blue Fox plays live in the Steamship Bar at North Hero House on Friday at 5:30 p.m. The old school blues player will sing pre World War  II blues songs as well as originals and unique covers.
      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.

ESSEX--The Essex Experience Concert Series presents Local Strangers + Multibeast outdoors on the Double E green on Friday at 6 p.m. Doors at 5.
      Local Strangers bring a unique and danceable approach to the music of the Grateful Dead. Multibeast jams to Phish tunes. Face Coverings are required. First come first seated by ushers in socially distanced pods; low lawn chairs and blankets are permitted.
      Admission is $15-20. Click here for tickets and more info.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents Eric Bushey & Preston Randall of the Stragglers live in the Beer Garden for an evening of tunes, brews, and burgers on Friday at 6 p.m. They will play their originals plus a blend of classic bluegrass, vintage country, rock and roll, and even psychedelic rock banjo covers. 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.

ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers Dave Keller solo live on Friday at 6 p.m. and Shaun King on the acoustic tap on Saturday at 5 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

SWANTON--Bees on Broadway has live music with Scott Martell on Saturday at 2 p.m. It is his first live performance in six months. Find them on Facebook for more info.

SHELDON--The Abbey Live Music Saturdays continues with Phil Graziano on the Back 40 on Saturday at 6:30 p.m., weather permitting or in the Pub if it snows. The ski instructor, resort guy, and performer appeared on the Vermont House of Rockers and blues blast extravaganza on LCATV. Find the Abbey on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents Laura Fedele-Rasco in her debut at Twiggs on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
      Ms. Fedele-Rasco guarantees she will "play songs you know and love," everything from Linda Ronstadt to Lady Gaga.
      Reservations are necessary. Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

MONTGOMERY--Celebration of Expressive Arts hosts KRIS for a dinner concert at the INN on Sunday. The restaurant will open at 5 p.m. and the concert will begin at 7.
      The Connecticut jam band has been creating music all summer in Montgomery. Kiran Edwards, guitar/vocals; Gabe Toth, drums; Billy Stark, bass; and Ethan Klotz, sax; create a "complete improvisational journey" for each show.
      $40 per person includes a three course dinner and the concert. Call the INN (802.326.439) or find them on Facebook for reservations and more info.


     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 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.

      Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton went live singing Elvis on Facebook on Friday evening. He sang gospel music on Facebook from the living room on Sunday.
      Follow him on Facebook for a link to this week's offerings.


ST. ALBANS--The Saint Albans Museum hosts Vintage St. Albans, the second in a series of "pop-up" museum exhibitions, on Saturday at 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Artist Chloe Viner Collins will be on-site to create two original art wall murals to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.
      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 but complimentary reservations are required. Donations are appreciated. Visit for tickets. In keeping with public health guidelines and best practices, SAM requires all attendees to wear a mask. Click here for 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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