ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 24 * * All Arts News On the Web * * November 12, 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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      UPDATE: With 72 new cases of COVID-19 identified yesterday, Vermont suddenly has the single highest daily number of additional cases since March. Northwestern Medical Center has tightened restrictions on visitation again in response to the growing number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
      Gov. Phil Scott asked Vermonters to limit social gatherings and to take the same precautions that businesses enforce. The Vermont State of Emergency continues through November 15. Travelers still have to adhere to quarantine rules, although new guidance is forthcoming for traveling to nearby, out-of-state ski areas. The Vermont statewide mask mandate remains in effect.
      As of Sunday, Vermont had a total of 2,079 cases, up from 2,043 last week. There have been 59 deaths (2.5% of cases). The seven-day average test positivity rate is rising slightly to 0.6% on Sunday. CDC reported 148 new cases this past week although HealthVermont reported just 21 new cases. The state's arithmetic does not add up; it is an interesting, and ongoing, disparity. The hockey outbreak in central Vermont is up to 116 cases including 69 at St. Michaels. Franklin County had no new cases this week but eight recent cases in the past 14 days. St. Albans City and Town remain the hot spot of Franklin County.
      193,523 people (up to 31.0% of the Vermont population) have been tested a total of 434,341 times, although that data comes with a crucial caveat:
  • 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 American Cancer Society will host a webinar, Employee Wellbeing During a Pandemic, on Tuesday at 12:00 - 12:30 p.m. The 30-minute "fireside chat" about employee wellbeing will feature ACS CEO Gary Reedy with Jen Fisher, Wellbeing Officer for Deloitte. The webinar is free but registration is required. Heather Winther Email or click here to register and for more info. This look at what businesses can do should be helpful as we see family gatherings and indoor arts events rising.
      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
      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 has 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.


     The River Arts Art 100 fundraiser and art raffle is online and in-person November 10 - 14. The gallery is open to preview the artwork in-person anytime from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
      Each entry into the art raffle gets to choose a piece to take home. Entries cost $100. Fifteen minute time-slots drawn on Friday at 12 noon. Early time slots get the first pick of art. Pick up will be during social distanced time slots on Saturday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Click here for more info and to visit the online gallery.


MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild artist pop-up features photographer Trine Wilson and clay artist Susan Stokes, as well as artist demonstrations from jewelry designer Cathy LaClair and scroll saw artisan Christian Poupart at a socially distanced Art Festival 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. Jessica True and Patty Hiltebeitel were on tap last Saturday. Find them on Facebook for more info.


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.


Friday, November 13
ST. ALBANS--The Clothier presents English blues guitarist Tom Caswell live on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
      Reservations are necessary. Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

Saturday, November 14
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap has live music many evenings. Eleven at 6 pounds the stage on Saturday. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

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

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents Love Me Bradley live on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
      Chris and Samantha Bradley started Coon Hill John with two others six years ago and are now playing an eclectic mix of music as a duo with harmonies, guitar, and mandolin.
      Reservations are necessary. Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.


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

Thursday, November 12
      Islamorada Community Entertainment (ICE) hosts their first Virtual Bay Jam tonight at 8 p.m.
      Bay Jam 2020 is a virtual concert and fundraiser featuring singer/song writer Caitlin Rushing and the blues band Original Lady. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Friday, November 13
      Summer Sounds favorite John Bartus' Perpetual Island Tour will perform Social Distancing Concert 33, Live from the Florida Keys, thanks to Facebook Live on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Find him on Facebook for the watch party.
      His set last Friday, from Boondocks, is on Facebook.

      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.

Sunday, November 15
KEY COLONY BEACH--Havana Jacks hosts the Presents in Paradise "Auction Ending Concert" featuring John Bartus, Freddie Bye, and Adrienne Z on Facebook on Sunday. Up for auction are fabulous dinners, cruises, original paintings, Sweet Savannah's, and much more. The entire list (with pictures) is also on Facebook.
      54% of the families in the Keys fall below the ALICE threshold--the financial benchmark of meeting basic needs. Presents in Paradise helps local working families who need a little extra help at Christmas. To make a monetary donation or to sponsor a specific child; to do so, call Sarah (305.304.6794) or Sabre (305.906.1954) or click here .

      Owen Kennedy performed on Young Tradition's Facebook page as part of the series of online concerts and interviews by current and alumni members of the Touring Group. Find his event on Facebook.
      Watching is free but YTV requests a $5 donation. Proceeds are split between participating group members and Young Tradition Vermont, all to support this year's Touring Group project, which started rehearsals in September and will continue through a final project in late April. Donations can be made through Paypal. email for more info.

      The Starline Rhythm Boys were live back in August and found that it all went sideways on Facebook.

      Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton went live singing Elvis on Facebook on Thursday 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.


FAIRFAX PHOTO/ART CONTEST (November 15)--The third annual contest invites all types of artistic media. "Photos and quilts and sculptures, oh my!" The Town asks for submissions that capture the spirit of a strong community. The top entries will be voted on by the public. The submission receiving the most votes will be featured on the cover of this year's Town Report.
      Email to submit a photo or a digital image of the work.

ZOOM TAPESTRY PROJECT (Ongoing)--The community narrative of life in a pandemic invites artists, crafters, sewers, quilters, teachers, caregivers, and more to create a tapestry of how people are coping, experiencing, creating, staying sane. 10 inch squares should be finished with 1 inch border so12 inches on each side. Pieces to be made with fabric or strong paper/canvas that can be assembled later. Three pieces max per person. Email or click here for more info.

SKI POSTER DESIGN CONTEST (December 15)--The Kitzbuheler Ski Club and the BTV seek a new poster for the Hahnenkamm Races in 2022. The "International Sport Festival" poster is used to market the event worldwide. No entry fee. Click here for the entry form and more info.


HIGHGATE--The Highgate Public Library & Community Center hosts a virtual book club on Zoom on December 7.
      The club meets once a month via Zoom to discuss a chosen book. This month they are reading The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Books are available through the library.
      The library also has an Autumn Art Contest going on now as well as Curbside Craft Bags, Virtual Story-time, a Garden Scavenger Hunt, Virtual Trivia Night, Georgia O'Keefe Adult Craft Night, Curbside STEM Kits, and more. Email Adah to join and 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.


ST. ALBANS–We have lost one of the nicest, most influential musicians of Franklin County.
      Renowned Vermont musician and teacher Verne Colburn, 83, passed away on Saturday at the Homestead Senior Living facility. A graduate of the New England Conservatory where he studied piano and music education, Mr. Colburn was the music director at BFA-St. Albans until his retirement in 1996. He commanded the 40th Army National Guard Band, leading it in performances throughout Vermont as well as in Italy and Panama. He played piano in resorts, restaurants, night clubs, and churches, for Cardiac Capers, and as an occasional special guest in Summer Sounds.
      In keeping with COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no immediate services but there will be a memorial event on July 29, 2021.

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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