ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 24 * * All Arts News On the Web * * October 15, 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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      The Vermont state of emergency continues. Travelers still have to adhere to quarantine rules. The Vermont statewide mask mandate remains in effect.
      The state has had a total of 1,857 coronavirus cases, up from 1,778 last week. An outbreak among seasonal workers at Champlain Orchards now stands at 28 positive cases. There have been 58 deaths, but none in the past 77 days. The seven-day average test positivity rate doubled to 1.5 percent overall, now triple that of Maine. CDC reported 78 new cases this past week although HealthVermont reported just eleven new cases. It is an interesting, ongoing disparity, especially given the 28 cases in Shoreham. St. Albans City and Town remain the hot spot of Franklin County.
      171,179 people (up to 27.4% of the Vermont population) have been tested, although that data comes with caveats:
   A number of those tested have been tested more than once which skews the results.
   A negative test result yesterday says nothing about an individual's health today.

We still need a daily test that costs ten cents and gives results in ten minutes. (Such a "dime" test, if administered every day to 80% of all Americans, would cost about $9.6 billion per year.)
      A new HealthVermont video, How Contact Tracing Slows the Spread of COVID-19, explains what contact tracers do. Click here for the YouTube video.

      The Vermont Humanities Council has ongoing arts and literary digital events and programs including First Wednesdays and Vermont Reads. Although the activities may take place at a distance, they are available safely and locally online at
      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.


MORRISVILLE--River Arts begins the Community Scarecrow Project along the Morrisville Rail Trail.
      30 pre-made scarecrow frames are available now. Families, businesses, individuals, and local student clubs are encouraged to design and create an artistic scarecrow. They wonder if there will be an Andy Warhol or Peter Max pop art themed Scarecrow or a Van Gogh scarecrow with a missing ear. Perhaps a Picasso scarecrow with its head on backwards (or would that be a scarecrow?). River Arts will award prizes for the Best Vermont-Themed Scarecrow, Most Artistic Scarecrow, Best Famous Artist Scarecrow, Best Local Business Scarecrow and, of course, Scariest Scarecrow for Halloween. Winners will be announced October 25.
      Sign up is required; email to do so and for more info.


MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild artist pop-up features potter Raquel Sobel and the knitwear of KD Hill at the Guild on Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4 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.

MONTGOMERY--The Montgomery Center for the Arts has "New Loot in the Shoppe," a series of vintage Vermont landscapes by Henry Trask Reilly. Proceeds from the SALE will benefit the MCA. Find them on Facebook for photos of the works.


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.


ONLINE--The Northwest Access TV Annual Meeting will be a virtual event broadcast from the studio for all to watch and participate on Monday at 6 p.m. It is easily accessible on Facebook, Zoom, Comcast Channel 1079 on and .
      The Zoom link is Northwest Access TV Annual Meeting 2020 with Meeting ID 644 950 8897 and password 61605478.


ESSEX--The Higher Ground Drive-In Experience presents Neko Case featuring A.C. Newman with special guest Lady Lamb on the Midway Lawn at Champlain Valley Expo this evening at 7 p.m. "Doors" at 6. The show benefits the Vermont Arts Council.
      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.

ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap has live music on Wednesday through Saturday evenings. The Devon McGarry Band goes live this evening beginning at 5 p.m. The one man band of Lee Ross takes over the mic with loops, sax, and party on Friday at 6 p.m. The Duel returns with more instruments than a four-man band on Saturday at 5 p.m. And Howling Waters brings it home on Wednesday at 5 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents Eleven 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.

SHELDON--The Abbey Live Music Saturdays continues with John Gratton 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.
      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.

ST. ALBANS--The 12th annual Blue Jean Ball goes Virtual for 2020 on Saturday at 6 p.m. Teacup Auction registration will remain open through tomorrow. Registration is required. The live auction will stream through Facebook Live on Saturday.
      Tickets are $55.00 per person. Registering for Franklin County Home Health Agency's Virtual Blue Jean Ball will allow virtual guests to bid on the auction items. Proceeds from this event help ensure that FCHHA can meet the mission of providing medically necessary home health care to all who need it, regardless of their ability to pay.
      The annual Ball raises nearly $55,000 annually. The proceeds help close the financial gap in uncompensated services the agency provides. Click here for more info and to register.

      Jason Corbiere was live in Seguin, Texas, on Saturday. Find him on Facebook for the show.

      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.


BOOK OF KELLS CREATIVE COMPETITION (October 30)--Trinity College-Dublin seeks art and writing that evokes the theme of "colours in the Book of Kells." There are competition categories for adults plus primary and secondary level students. Winners will receive an individual cash prize and a cash prize for their arts club or school if applicable and will be honored at the annual awards ceremony at Trinity College. No entry fee. Click here for more info.


     The 19th annual Brattleboro Literary Festival will host more than fifty authors in over twenty events, all online on October 16 - 18. The writers include economist Paul Krugman; New best-sellers Lynne Olson, Andre Dubus III, Nick Flynn, Caroline Leavitt, and Roger Rosenblatt; and debut novelists Diane Cook (2020 Booker Prize shortlist), Kelli Jo Ford, David Heska Wanbli Weiden, Megha Majumdar, Deesha Philyaw, and Hilary Leichter.
      Call 802.365.7673 or click here for the schedule of events and how to participate.

      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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