ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 24 * * All Arts News On the Web * * October 22, 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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      Governor Phil Scott extended the State of Emergency to November 15. The governor declared the emergency on March 13 and has extended it month-by-month since then. He plans to continue to extend it as long as the pandemic persists. Travelers still have to adhere to quarantine rules. The Vermont statewide mask mandate remains in effect.
      The state has had a total of 1,937 coronavirus cases, up from 1,8557 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 84 days. There has been an uptick in the seven-day average test positivity rate for the entire month of October; it stood at 1.1% on Sunday. CDC reported 71 new cases this past week although HealthVermont reported just eleven new cases. The state's arithmetic does not add up; it is an interesting, and ongoing, disparity. St. Albans City and Town remain the hot spot of Franklin County.
      178,460 people (up to 28.6% 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 need a daily test that costs ten cents and gives results in ten minutes.
      A 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 Church Street Sounds of the Season fall season is postponed until further notice. 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.


     The Vermont State of Emergency adds state powers to manage the public health risks. It also adds supports to mitigate economic hardship caused by the pandemic including expanded housing and meal delivery systems, expanded eligibility for unemployment, resources for businesses. Federal emergency funding requires recipients to be bound by a state of emergency declaration.


MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild artist pop-up features jewelry designer Cathy LaClair and scroll saw artisan Christian Poupart 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. Raquel Sobel and KD Hill 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.


ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap has live music on Wednesday through Saturday evenings. Shaun King goes live this evening beginning at 6 p.m. The Hubcats jam on with rockabilly on Friday at 5 p.m. And Josh Jekab does it solo on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents Wickmoore Jazz Trio live in the Beer Garden for an evening of jazz standards, funk favorites, and contemporary tunes with 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.

ESSEX--The Double E presents The Full Cleveland with "One Ticket to Paradise" on Friday evening at 8 p.m. Doors at 7.
      Vermont's "Smoothest Yacht Rock" is Jamie Levis, vocals, keys, and percussion; Paul Ruderman, keys and vocals; Justin Sawyer, guitar and vocals; John Wakefield, bass; Chris Peterman, acoustic and electric love whistles, sax; and Bob Defeo, drums. They specialize in 70s Billboard Top 40, Blue Eyed Soul, A.M. Gold, pina coladas and getting caught in the rain.
      Admission is $20. The venue will limit tickets in the auditorium and take other COVID-19 precautions. Click here for tickets and more info.
      If you prefer to watch the show from a comfy chair in your own home, One Ticket to (Live Streamed) Paradise can be had for $8.46. Ticket holders will receive an email with a link to the stream about an hour before the show begins.

SOUTH HERO--Blue Paddle Blues: the Paddle presents Tom Caswell and Tom Buckley live in the big warm tent on Saturday at 6 p.m. Seating is very limited with lots of restrictions in place and reservations are a must. Call 802.372.4814 for reservations and more info/.

SHELDON--The Abbey Live Music Saturdays continues with Laura Fedele-Rasco in the Pub on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Find the Abbey on Facebook for more info.


     Here's the roundup of virtual music and events for this week.

      The Young Tradition Touring Group will join Counterpoint, Vermont's Freedom & Unity Chorus, the (UK) Music Man Project, Playing for Change, and others Spreading Peace through Music online all day on Friday.
      Click here for more info.

      Summer Sounds favorite John Bartus' Perpetual Island Tour will perform Social Distancing Concert 31, Live from the Florida Keys, thanks to Facebook Live on Friday at 7:30 p.m. 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.

      The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has announced a free virtual season of works running December 2 - 31, 2020.
      The company will showcase Testament, a modern-day approach to Revelations. There will also be an Ailey and Ellington program of 14 ballets choreographed by Ailey including a remake of Pas de Duke filmed on top of NYC's Woolworth Building. Jamal Roberts will present A Jam Session For Troubling Times, in honor of the centennial celebration of Charlie Bird Parker. The works pay homage to six decades of Ailey's Revelations.
      Click here to stream and for more info.

      The Rotary Club presented Yankee Chank in Waterbury and a little cut made it to Facebook . The Vermont and New England musicians perform traditional dance music from Southwest Louisiana.

      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.


      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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