ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 24 * * All Arts News On the Web * * October 8, 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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      At his weekly press conference Friday, Gov. Phil Scott said he signed a $7.15 billion state budget that increases funding for Vermont schools to cover COVID-19 expenses and creates a hazard pay program for essential workers. The state has received $1.25 billion from the federal coronavirus relief fund. The Vermont state of emergency continues until at least October 15. Travelers still have to adhere to quarantine rules. The Vermont statewide mask mandate remains in effect. Gov. Scott said it's still too risky to travel to and from Quebec where case numbers and deaths are rising.
      The state has had a total of 1,778 coronavirus cases, up from 1,706 last week. There have been 58 deaths, but none in the past 70 days. 165,786 people (about 26.57% 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 showed a slight uptick to 0.7 percent overall, the lowest positivity rate in the country. CDC reported 24 new cases this past week although HealthVermont reported just nine 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.
      Vermont now has 35 remote learning hubs in 87 locations across the state as schools reopen for in-person learning; schools moved into phase three of reopening this week. The child care hubs allow kids to take classes online while their parents return back to work. Most are in Chittenden County. The state is still working to bring hubs to Swanton and Grand Isle. Masks and hand-washing are required.

      The Meeting House on the Green concludes Live at 5 this week.
      Vermont canceled all county fairs, field days, and festivals for 2020. The entire 2020 season at the Opera House at Enosburg Falls 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.


MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild offers Intro to Painting - Sky & Land with instructor Lydia Littwin on Saturday at 10 a.m. The workshop will cover basic color theory and brush techniques and a step-by-step process to paint a simple landscape with acrylic.
      The cost is $35 for members or $40 for non-members. Click here to reserve a space and for more info.

MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild will host Instagram for Artists with instructor Caitlyn Kenney as part of their ongoing series of Zoom seminars for online professional development on Tuesday at 6 - 7:30 p.m. This online workshop will cover the building blocks for running a professional Instagram page for an art business.
      The cost is $5 for members or $10 for non-members. Click here to reserve a space and for more info.

      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 Glass by Dee, Doreen Slusser, and precious metal clay jewelry by new MAG artist Liz Reardon 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. Dorothy Grazier and Cathy LaClair were on tap last Saturday. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ST. ALBANS--St. Albans Community Arts hosts its regular Community Arts MeetUp via email on Tuesday; email to attend. They have a Board Meeting and a Creative MeetUp on the second Tuesday of each month. The gatherings discuss new and ongoing business, and any creative ideas that crop up. Click here for the minutes, reports of prior meetings, and more.

SWANTON--The SAC 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.


ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap has live music on many evenings. Shaun King brings his guitar this evening beginning at 6 p.m. The Wickmoore Jazz Trio is live tomorrow at 6 p.m. Artisanal Bubbles have loop jams, piano, jokes, and guitar on Saturday at 5 p.m. And the "Holloween classic" Hocus Pocus gets us thinking candy corn and popcorn on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

ST. ALBANS--"A girl and her guitar" plays your favorites with burgers and brews as 14th Star Brewery presents Laura Fedele-Rasco 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 Seating." for reservations. Find them on Facebook for more info.

EAST FAIRFIELD--The Meeting House on the Green presents the Oleo Romeos with an intimate evening show of new and old favorite original songs in a benefit concert to conclude the 2020 concert series indoors on Friday at 7 p.m.
      Tyrone Shaw, Jerry Bowers, Will Patton, and George Lewis will offer "a musical walk on the weird side, with unconventional perspectives on everything from lost love to embarrassing ailments." Nothing is off limits so parental discretion is advised.
      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. The indoor space is limited to 25 people; call 802.827.6626 to reserve a seat inside.
      Admission is by suggested donation of $15 per person. All proceeds will go to the extensive upgrade to a town playground adjacent to the Fairfield Community Center. The abbreviated summer concert series will be filmed with a link to YouTube and posted on Facebook. Click here for more info.

ESSEX JUNCTION--The Higher Ground Drive-In Experience and presents Grace Potter live in a Celebration of Vermont Mask Week on the Midway Lawn at Champlain Valley Expo on Friday at 7 p.m. "Doors" at 6.
      Admission is $150 for as many people as you can fit in your vehicle, up to five. Tickets are sold per vehicle (one vehicle requires one ticket). All patrons must adhere to CDC and Vermont guidelines while attending drive-in events. Click here for tickets and more info.

MONTPELIER–The Enchanted Forest fall celebration features a candle-lit walk through Hubbard Park, enchanted by music, theater, dance, and storytelling on Saturday from 4 - 8 p.m.
      Performance installations include the Enchanted Guide, Floating Stage, Fire Circle, and Forest Ridgeline with music wafting over the event route. All performers are social distanced.
      Admission is $5 for children, $10 for adults or $25 for families. Email Alec Ellsworth or find them on Facebook for tickets and more info.

SHELDON--The Abbey Live Music Saturdays continues with Sean Jarvis on Saturday at 6:30 p.m., in the Pub if it snows. Find the Abbey on Facebook for 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.
      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.

      Carol Ann Jones and Rusty DeWees celebrated the sunshine on the front lawn of Converse Home in Burlington. He performed in the Milton Band Shell on Sunday. Find their song on Facebook.

      Jason Corbiere was live with Mike Flanigin and Sue Foley in the Texas Blues Party at Sagebrush in Austin, Texas, on Sunday. Find them on Facebook for the show.

      Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton went live singing Elvis love songs on Facebook on Friday evening. He sang gospel music on Facebook from the living room on Sunday. And in a special memory, he sang Elvis with a live band on Facebook three years ago.
      Follow him on Facebook for a link to this week's offerings.


ST. ALBANS--The Saint Albans Museum hosts Vintage St. Albans, the final "pop-up" museum exhibition on Saturday at 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. The exhibits showcase historic images and documents plus the new, original murals by artist Chloe Viner Collins.
      "When the art boards in Swanton were removed because of controversy surrounding my unity murals," Viner Collins wrote, "the Village President commented that art boards were not 'make-a-statement boards.' It is my belief that art of value always makes a statement. Art is fundamentally political, but basic human rights should not be."
      The outdoor, socially-distanced, community history event features 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.


ST. ALBANS--The Eloquent Page hosts local writer Dr. Lynda Ulrich to discuss and sign her book, Happiness Is an Option : Thriving (Instead of Surviving) in the Era of the Internet on Saturday at 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
      Dr. Ulrich draws on stories of goodness and progress and writes of the discovery she calls the "Conspiracy of Goodness."

      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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