ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 25 * * All Arts News On the Web * * February 4, 2021


      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


      More than 32,000 Vermonters over 75 have an appointment for vaccination and 8,000 have gotten their shots so far. The state is considering when to open up the next age grouping. The shot is given at no charge to everyone.
      Most Vermont colleges and universities report new cases; Norwich University now has more than 80 cases. It is crucial to maintain our precautions as the number of new COVID-19 cases in Vermont continues to rise.

We face the most dangerous time of the pandemic.
With the vaccine "here," many want to resume normal social activities.
Please don't let down your guard.

     The State of Emergency continues. All non-essential travel to and from the state requires quarantine. The Vermont statewide mask mandate remains in effect along with the ban on multi-household gatherings and the order to close bars and social clubs.
      As of last Sunday, the Vermont Dashboard showed a total of 11,965 cases, up from a reported 10,908 last week. There have been 174 deaths (1.5% of cases). The seven-day average test positivity rate eased to 1.9 %, still high but it remains the lowest in the nation. CDC reported 899 new cases (down from 1,025 last week) this past week although HealthVermont reported only 135 new cases. The state's arithmetic still does not add up; it is an interesting, and ongoing, disparity. Franklin County had 12 new cases this week, 125 in the last two weeks.
      303,711 people (up to 48.7% of the Vermont population) have been tested a total of 897,351 times, although that data comes with a crucial caveat:

• 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 (and a way to collate those results).
      The HealthVermont video, How Contact Tracing Slows the Spread of COVID-19, explains what contact tracers do. Click here for the YouTube video.

      The Meeting House on the Green has brought an eclectic music lineup to East Fairfield for seven years. They had to cancel the series last summer but plan to bring at least eight live concerts to the terrace overlooking the village green from mid-June through October. Twiggs and other restaurants are offering some live music while other 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
      For the second year in a row, the Vermont Maple Festival has been cancelled.

      Because I write this weekly column largely on Sundays, the infection rates reported here will 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 morphing 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 going into the new 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.


ST. ALBANS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on weaver Janice Decooman, painter Paule Gingras, and painter, illustrator, and cartoonist Sarah Rosedahl online and on the AIR Facebook page.
      There is always something new at the Artist In Residence Gallery. The art and fine craft 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 is open Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
      They have updated their web address to and their email to or find them on Facebook for more info.


MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild hosts Old Palette, New Tricks on Friday at 10 a.m. - 6 noon This online workshop will explore the subtle and earthy palette of the Old Masters with only three colors.
      No prior experience is needed and only a few materials are required. The class fee is $30 for Guild members or $35 for non-members. Find them on Facebook for the class link and more info.

MILTON--MAG continues Eye Spy! in their Portrait Drawing Online Series on Wednesday at 3 - 5 p.m. This online workshop will look closely and learn how to capture beautifully expressive eyes.
      The individual portrait drawing lessons are for anyone who would like to learn, or to refine, how to draw the human face and body. No prior experience is needed. The class fee is $30 for Guild members or $35 for non-members. Find them on Facebook for the class link and more info.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts hosts In-Person Fiber Art - Felted Cactus on Saturday at 2 - 4 p.m.
      Peggy Smith's micro-class will introduce felted fiber art while needle felting a faux cactus. Tuition is $55. Click here to enroll and for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Saint Albans Art Supply is adding a 77 color rack of water color paints from Daniel Smith as a new line for the art supply store.
      The new art store carries acrylics, oil paints, and watercolors, sketch pads and canvas, Artograph lightpads, brush sets, brush cleaners, and more plus materials for kids. The store, located at 118 North Main Street directly across from Ace Hardware, is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.


     Eleven is booking summer dates this week. Find them on Facebook for "a few announcements."
      The power trio of Scott Belisle, bass and vocals; Taylor Arsenault, vocals; and Scott Guptill, guitar and vocals, plays 70s, 80s and 90s rock n roll with a splash of modern country and pop.

      The Nobby Reed Project is booking summer dates; they have outdoor gigs in July, August, and September on the calendar.
      Mr. Reed, guitar and vocals; Eric Belrose, drums; Walt Delaney, bass; and Missisquoi Slim, keys and guitar are a reader's choice winner and a Vermont blues-rock institution.

Saturday, February 6
ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presented Tim Comings last Saturday and may have a new act this week at about 7 p.m. Reservations are necessary.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

Sunday, February 7
KEY COLONY BEACH, FL--Summer Sounds favorite John Bartus opens the KCB Community Association's Concert in the Park season in Sunset Park on Sunday at 4 p.m.
      Concerts in the Park are free concerts sponsored by the KCBCA and take place most Sunday afternoons in Sunset Park. Social distancing and masks are recommended. Bring a chair or blanket and refreshments. Parking is limited so walking, biking or ride sharing is recommended.


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

Thursday, February 4
      The Frost Jazz Hour UM presents Martin Bejerano solo piano on Facebook Live today at 11 a.m.
      The University of Miami Jazz Department broadcasts live from WDNA 88.9 FM studios every Thursday at 11 a.m.
      Admission is free. Anyone on or off Facebook is invited.

      The Virtual Open Mic goes live on Facebook every Thursday from 7 - 10 p.m. It's a central location in Waitsfield for streaming and invites artists to post performances freely.
      Melanie Blackbird, Jim Branca, Rita Maranda Brown, Alexander Budney, Stéphane Jolicoeur, North Country Revival, Zach Yakaitis, and more were live this week.

Friday, February 5
      Young Tradition interviews Touring Group member Fern Tamagini-O'Donnell on the YTV Facebook page on Friday at 7 p.m. as part of the series of online concerts and interviews by current and alumni members of the Touring Group.
      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.

      Summer Sounds favorite John Bartus' Perpetual Island Tour will perform Social Distancing Concert 46, Live from the Florida Keys, thanks to Facebook Live at about 7:30 p.m. Find him on Facebook for the watch party.
      Mr. Bartus played a Social Distancing House Concert 45 live from his studio on Facebook Live.

      The Browning Presents Flor de Toloache in a virtual concert hosted by Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities on Friday at 7 p.m.
      Known internationally for their performance energy, intricate vocal runs, and clever instrumental arrangements, the all-female mariachi group won a Latin Grammy award in 2017 for "Best Ranchero/Mariachi Album." The group will perform a blend of progressive and traditional mariachi music
      Tickets to the virtual event are free to the public. Click here to register and for more info.

      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.

Tuesday, February 9
      Great Music in a Great Space--Cathedral of St. John the Divine--presents David Briggs in Tuesdays at 6 live on Facebook Live on Tuesday. The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine is the Cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. The 2021 concerts are streamed on Facebook every Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Wednesday, February 10
      Big Heavy World presents Rocket Shop, the original local music radio hour hosted by Tom Proctor, every Wednesday night from 8 - 9 p.m. Vermont artists from across the state perform live in every genre on 105.9FM The Radiator in Burlington and as a podcast on

      The Double E seats have been empty for a while but the stage hasn't fallen silent. They have Live Streams of Troy Millette, Ryan Sweezey, Yachtoberfest, and more online.
      The performance venue has also been updating its spaces during the pause. They continue to work with musicians, creators, and producers to offer live stream, archival footage, rehearsal, and video capture.

      The Meeting House on the Green offers Beg Steal or Borrow in a "pop-up show" from last summer's Live at 5 series on YouTube, compliments of NWAccessTV.
      Jeremy Sicely, guitar and vocals; Geoff Goodhue, mandolin and vocals; Roland Clark, violin; Fran Forim, bass and vocals; and Luke Auriemmo, banjo and vocals formed the band in 2013 to resurrect the music of the iconic bluegrass band Old and in the Way and have since grown into a solid repertoire of original material. They are scheduled to play Spruce Peak in March and the Meeting House on Saturday, June 12.

      The Nobby Reed Project took the stage at Rum Boogie Cafe for the Blues Foundation on Facebook.

      Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton sang an Elvis tribute on Friday on Facebook Live and gospel on Sunday morning on Facebook Live.
      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
Music at the Meeting House
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 © 2021 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.