ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 24 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 3, 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.

E-Mail Delivery
Sign up to receive the free weekly ArtBits
newsletter by e-mail
or by RSS feed.

Search ArtBits


ENOSBURG--Although the Opera House at Enosburg Falls remains closed to the public, the Virtual Holiday Special will stream live on Saturday at 7 p.m. on YouTube and Facebook.
      "Our local artists have missed performing for you, and are so excited to bring some cheer into your home this holiday season." we have been working hard behind the scenes to bring you a holiday show that you can safely enjoy from home! Find them on Facebook or on YouTube to watch the show live.


     Vermont reported its 4,000th case of COVID-19 last week. The state reported more than 44% of the total cases in November alone. Three additional deaths were reported last Friday. More than half the COVID deaths in Vermont have been in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
      The Vermont State of Emergency continues. All non-essential travel to and from Vermont requires quarantine. The Vermont statewide mask mandate remains in effect along with the ban on multi-household gatherings and an order to close bars and social clubs.
      Statewide surveillance testing for K-12 teachers and staff kicked with 9,389 tests performed so far; 21 people tested positive in that cohort.
      As of Sunday, Vermont had a total of 4,033 cases, up from a reported 3,546 last week. There have been 67 deaths (2.5% of cases). The seven-day average test positivity rate has dropped slightly to 1.1% on Sunday. CDC reported 547 new cases this past week although HealthVermont reported just 29 new cases. The state's arithmetic does not add up; it is an interesting, and ongoing, disparity. Franklin County had six new cases this week, 57 in the last two weeks. 15 staff members and a member of the public at the Vermont State Police St. Albans Barracks have quarantined after a trooper and his or her significant other tested positive.
      221,939 people (up to 35.57% of the Vermont population) have been tested a total of 547,492 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.
      A HealthVermont video, How Contact Tracing Slows the Spread of COVID-19, explains what contact tracers do. Click here for the YouTube video.

      More artists and venues are doing more online. 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
      Most events this week have been canceled or postponed in response to new state restrictions. 14th Star will take the 8th annual Home for the Holidays Benefit Concert online. The Church Street Sounds of the Season is postponed until further notice. The Opera House at Enosburg Falls will host its first virtual concert on Saturday but the rest of its season has been canceled. The Enosburg Holiday Lighted Parade will be "postponed" to December 4, 2021. 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.

      Because I write this weekly column largely on Sundays, the infection rates reported may lag "live media" reports. Since it appears on Thursday and covers an entire week in the future, that also means events and happenings are likely to change with changing State mandates. Be sure to check with the organizers of any event for up-to-the-minute info.
      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.


     Vermont Digger reports that the state's "performing arts venues were the first businesses to close in March, and expect to be among the last to reopen once the pandemic wanes--but some worry they won't be able to make it that long." Click here to read the whole story.


MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild artist pop-up features stone jeweler Jessica True and Gary Walz, maker of the Wood'n' Pen, 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. Corliss Pratt and Cathy Hartley were on tap last Saturday. Find them on Facebook for more info.
      The Guild also launched the MAG Online Store for Cyber Monday. Shop by artist or category with works available for local pickup or shipping. Click here to shop or for more info.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts hosts an Expanded Artisan Gift Sale at the Gallery during the Morrisville Festival of Lights on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Masks are required. In order to maintain social distancing, River Arts will strictly limit building capacity.
      The gift shop is expanding into their downstairs common room. Support local artists by choosing handmade gifts for your loved ones this holiday season.

ST. ALBANS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on Barry Genzlinger, Maureen Genzlinger, Cathy LaClair, Cherie Marshall, and Anne Standish. The monthly Featured Artists are also celebrated online and on Facebook.
      Their ArtisTREE Raffle has over 50 artisan ornaments to support the A.I.R. Tickets are $5 each or five for $20. Find the raffle on Facebook for more info.
      The Artist in Residence art cooperative features paintings, fiber arts, stained glass, sculpture, lamps, pottery, folk art boxes, scarves, hats and more by 40 Franklin County and surrounding area artists. It is owned and operated by the artists and sponsors. The gallery on South Main Street has expanded its operating days and is now open Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here for more info.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council has discontinued Adult Virtual Art Journaling. They hope to re-start it soon but on a less regular basis. Email for more info.

PLAN AHEAD--The Fairfax Arts Council will host a Virtual Paint and Sip with instructor Kat Harrison on December 11. Use your own supplies (and "sippables") or message the arts council to have them provide supplies for a fee. Find them on Facebook for more info.


     The Vermont International Film Festival's Virtual Cinema is active with nine films in December including Zappa, the Black Book of Father Dinis, and City Hall airing now. Virtual Cinema is available free on Roku, Apple TV 4K, Apple Airplay, Google Chromecast, and more. Some screenings are free for VTIFF members.
      Click here for more info.

      Kanopy is a free streaming video service that offers films and documentaries for members of the Haston and St. Albans free public libraries. Newly added movies include Sunset Song, I'm Still Here, and Robin Williams, the World's Greatest Dad.
      Films can be viewed on a computer, mobile device, or television via a web browser as well as the Kanopy app for Amazon Fire Tablet and Fire Stick, Android, Apple iOS, and Roku. It has movies, documentaries, foreign films, "classic" cinema, and indie films.
      All it takes is a library card to join. Check with your own librarian to see if your library is or will become a member of Kanopy. Click here for more info and to get started.


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

Friday, December 4
      14th Star, Troy Millette, Higher Ground, and Robot Dog Studio present Stay Home for the Holidays Virtual Benefit Concert with Troy Millette and Dan Rahilly streaming on Facebook Live on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The virtual performance benefits Northwestern Counseling and Support Services' School-Based Autism Program. Virtual donations accepted.

      Summer Sounds favorite John Bartus' Perpetual Island Tour will perform Social Distancing Concert 37, Live from the Florida Keys, thanks to Facebook Live on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Find him on Facebook for the watch party. He has a new single on the major download sites: Happy Holidays (My Own Damn Christmas Song).
      Social Distancing Concert 36 was live on Facebook last Friday.

      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 Vermont Performing Arts League presents the 28th Vermont International Festival online on Friday-Sunday. The Festival is an annual celebration of cultures from around the world, with crafts, food, music and dance. Performances include A2VT, Jeh Kulu Drum and Dance Theater, McFadden Academy of Irish Dance, Rik Palieri, Stuart Paton of Burlington Taiko, and more. Young Tradition Vermont will offer a performance segment with Owen, Sammy, Maeve, Gillian and others. Click here to join the performances.

      Eric Bushey will be featured on 104.7 the Point on Sunday at 6:45 p.m. "Carrie K Henry and I had a terrific chat about the stories behind a few of the tunes on my album," he said.
      Click here to stream it live.

      The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater free virtual season of works began Tuesday and runs through December 31.
      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.

      Jason Corbiere was live on Facebook . Watch his page for other live-streamed events.

      Singer-songwriter James McMurtry was live on Facebook . Watch his page for other live-streamed events.

      Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton went live singing Elvis in festive red on Facebook on Friday evening. He sang gospel music on Facebook from the living room on the first Sunday of Advent. Then on Tuesday, ‘twas the season for Christmas songs and "Christmassy stuff with Elvis" and pirate hats and Captain Radical, all on Facebook Live.
      Follow him on Facebook for a link to this week's offerings.


ALEXANDER TWILIGHT PORTRAIT (December 15)--The Friends of the Vermont State House will commission a portrait of 19th century teacher and politician Alexander Twilight who was elected as State Representative from Brownington in 1836. He is believed to be the first African American elected to such a body in the United States. The Friends seek a Vermont artist capable of painting a large portrait to be hung in the Main Lobby area of the State House. Click here for more info.


HIGHGATE--The Highgate Public Library & Community Center hosts a virtual book club on Zoom on Monday at 5 p.m.
      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.

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


AAC dancing logo

All Arts Council of Franklin County

Support Free Speech on the Internet
Dick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460
email us

Go to [ Dick Harper | All Arts Index | ArtBits Archive ]

      This article may also have originally been published in the traditional print media. It is Copyright © 2020 by Richard B. Harper. All rights reserved. Archival material is provided as-is. Links are not necessarily maintained (if a link in this article fails, try or your favorite search engine).
      Thanks to recent misuse of copyright material on the Internet by individuals and archival firms alike, we emphasize that your rights to this article are limited to viewing it and printing it for personal use only. You must receive explicit permission from the All Arts Council and the author before reprinting or redistributing this article in any medium. Visit our Trademarks and Copyright page for more information.