ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 24 * * All Arts News On the Web * * October 29, 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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      Vermont reported 28 new coronavirus cases last Friday, including seven cases arising from a wedding at Boyden Farm in Cambridge. That's the second-highest single-day total since early June. The state has had a total of 2,043 cases, up from 1,937 last week. There have been 58 deaths, but none in the past 91 days. There has been an uptick in the seven-day average test positivity rate for the entire month of October; it stood at 1.6% on Sunday. CDC reported 99 new cases this past week although HealthVermont reported 24 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.
      184,760 people (up to 29.6% 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.
      The Vermont State of Emergency continues through November 15. Travelers still have to adhere to quarantine rules. The Vermont statewide mask mandate remains in effect.
      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 from Franklin County, they are available safely and locally online at
      M Sebastian Araujo posted a photo last week of the "Shuttered Art Center, Unsure of the Future." He was draining pipes and turning off the power at the Montgomery Art Center, for the first time in five years.
      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 some Young Tradition events have been canceled.
      80-90% of Young Tradition events have gone online or been postponed when they couldn't be done live and in-person or the artists and youth couldn't travel into or out of state.

      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.


SWANTON--Local gift shops Bees on Broadway and Maple City Candy feature area artists.


     Area galleries and artists are open with exhibits, shows, and sales all following saftety guidelines.

ST. ALBANS--The Artist in Residence gallery features more than 40 area artists with a spotlight on Jennifer Buckner, Rebecca Chomyn, Shanna Ratner, and Deborah Travis through Saturday.
      The art cooperative is owned and operated by the artists and sponsors. The gallery on South Main Street is open Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Click here for more info.

JOHNSON--The Vermont Studio Center artists residency has The Parallax View, an installation by artist duo Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder, in the Red Mill Gallery through November 4. It reproduces one of Leonardo da Vinci's light experiments. Available by appointment only; call 802.635-2727 or email for an appointment or more info.

MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild artist pop-up features two new artists 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.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts exhibit of work reflecting on resilience by Gen Z artists ends tomorrow. Paintings by Seb Sweatman continues until Nov. 6. The scarecrow decorating festival, viewable along the Morrisville Rail Trail, concludes Saturday.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council will hold its monthly board meeting and update at 602 Airport Road (note the new meeting location) on Monday at 6 p.m. All are welcome for creative ideas, events, and company. In addition to discussing new and ongoing projects, SAC will installing new SAC Directors Mike Barkyoumb, Heather Buczkowski, Cyl Connelly, Rebecca Fagga, Khristian Jackson, Michelle Nordberg, Joanne Parah Reiter, Hilarie Santiago, Janet Soavi, David Winchester, and VanJoe (Harold Wolske).
      Meetings are held on the first Monday of each month. Click here for the Agenda and here for the 10-5-2020 Minutes.

SWANTON--The Swanton Aarts 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.


     The Saint Albans Museum will host a virtual film screening of Purple on Zoom on Friday from 12 - 1 p.m. followed by a lunch & learn discussion.
      "Going beyond vote counts, polls, and stereotypes, Purple reveals some of the common concerns and shared humanity from a swing region located between two swing states."
      Free and open to the public but pre-registration is required. Click here to register and get the Zoom info.


ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap has live music on Wednesday through Saturday evenings. Troy Millette and Andrew James go live this evening beginning at 5 p.m. Jerborn busts out some solo acoustic tunes on Friday at 5 p.m. Florida's Sarah Anne solos on Saturday at 5 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star sings along with Dave Miller live in The Room for an evening of easy listening music from the 60s, 70s and 80s 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 "The Room Indoor Seating."
      Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents live two nights of live blues with Arthur James on Friday and Tom Caswell on Saturday. Music starts at 6:30 p.m. both nights.
      Mr. James has been a fixture of the New England blues scene since the 80s and is the first four-time winner of the Granite State Blues Challenge. Mr. Caswell is an English blues guitarist based in Middlebury.
      Reservations are necessary. Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

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

ST. ALBANS--Eleven hosts a Halloween Bash at Bronson's Landing on Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
      "Come celebrate the best adult time of the year Halloween) with us. Come in costume or as you are." Cash prizes for best Wicked Witch and best Original costume. Scott Guptill, guitar and vocals; Taylor Arsenault, vocals; and Scott Belisle, bass and vocals, fire off a musical barrage of hits from the 70s to the 90s. Find them 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 Social Distancing Concert 32, Live from the Florida Keys, thanks to Facebook Live on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Find him on Facebook for the watch party.
      Social Distancing Concert 31 from last Friday is here.

      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.

First Wednesday
      The Vermont Humanities Council has a host of Digital First Wednesday presentations and discussion, from the Atlantic Is a Sea of Bones at Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro to Emma Willard: Early Female Education and the Campaign for Women's Suffrage at the Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury. All programs are on Wednesday, starting at 7 p.m.
      Click here for more info and to join the programs.

      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.

      Singer-songwriter Natalie Gelman sings her original song Laugh So Hard You Cry for the Ojai COVID Sessions. The new recording done at Euterpe Studios features Greg Weiser, drums, and Julija Zonic and Smitty on backup vocals. Find her on Facebook for the video.

      Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton sang a cornucopia on Facebook on Saturday. He posted a special video of I Got You, Babe with Lisa as part of a television program celebrating the music of the Flower Power generation on YouTube.
      Follow him on Facebook for a link to this week's offerings including an Elvis Tribute concert tomorrow evening.


      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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