ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 25 * * All Arts News On the Web * * February 11, 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.

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      Governor Phil Scott says more than 10% of the state's population has now been vaccinated; he expects to get to 20% more quickly as more vaccines get approval. The shot is given at no charge to everyone. More than 58,000 Vermonters have gotten at least one dose and 22,500 of those have gotten the second. Homebound Vermonters ages 75-plus began receiving their shots last Friday. Caledonia, Franklin, Orange, Windsor, and Windham are the first counties in this program.
      Case numbers in Bennington County remain high. School sports and youth league play will resume tomorrow with restrictions. 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 12,766 cases, up from a reported 11,965 last week. There have been 182 deaths (1.43% of cases). The seven-day average test positivity rate eased to 1.6 %, not only still high but also no longer the lowest in the nation. Vermont's seven-day per capita infection rate is about at the middle of the pack at 21.8 per 100,000 residents; North Dakota reports 10.2/100K and next door New York reports 43.4/100K. CDC reported 954 new cases (up from 899 last week) this past week although HealthVermont reported only 150 new cases. The state's arithmetic still does not add up; it is an interesting, and ongoing, disparity. Franklin County had 27 new cases this week, 186 in the last two weeks.
      311,310 people (up to 49.9% of the Vermont population) have been tested a total of 930,501 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 Meeting House on the Green has eight live concerts scheduled for mid-June through October. 14th Star, 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.


GREENSBORO--The Highland Center for the Arts has an Open Air Gallery Ski and Snowshoe Trail filled with works by Vermont artists. The 1.8-mile trail begins at HCA and loops to the neighboring Wilson Farm with diverse works from the majestic to the comical. The HCA Café will be open from 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Artist In Residence Gallery has new works every week and an online gallery at 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.


     Fairfield artist  Gail Salzman offers Still Life, her second new online painting class this winter, through BCA's Home Studio program again. The four-week class will take place on Zoom.
      "Why not advance your skills and warm up winter by celebrating the art of color and form right in your own home studio." Ms. Salzman will coach, demonstrate, support, and give feedback to a small number of participants each week. All materials needed are provided in a take-home kit.
      Still-Life will take place on four Tuesdays, February 16 - March 9 at 1 - 3 p.m. Create dynamic compositions with vibrant color, using contemporary still-life as the subject. Find beauty and personal meaning in common household objects. Build painting skills with eight hours of instruction. All the materials you will need are in a kit, including panel, water soluble oil paints and brushes. Previous drawing and oil painting experience is recommended; access to a computer or tablet with downloaded Zoom app and reliable internet connection are necessary. The tuition is $200 or $180 for BCA members. Click here for more info and online registration.

MILTON--MAG continues High Five! in their Portrait Drawing Online Series on Wednesday at 1- 3 p.m. This online workshop will tackle the intimidating task of drawing the human hand. My mom, artist Mary Harper, studied fashion design and always told me that hands were her biggest bugaboo.
      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 pottery instructors host an in-person "Sip n' Slurry creative experience" as the pottery twist on a Paint n' Sip on Friday at 5 p.m. The bar is not serving due to COVID.
      The cost is $35. Click here to enroll and for more info.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts hosts the free monthly Clay Studio Chat broadcast live on the RA Facebook page on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
      Ceramic artists Heidi Bielenberg and Lisa Wolfgang and perhaps a mittened guest will share some favorite potters, talk about a new technique, and try to complete a ceramics challenge. Click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Saint Albans Museum has appointed Lisa Evans as Interim Executive Director, beginning February 22, 2021. The Museum's current ED, Alex Lehning, has moved to a new position with a Vermont mental health nonprofit.
      Ms. Evans was received the museum's 2020 Education Fellowship, and has served as Associate Director for Programming & Collections. She was previously at the Noyes House Museum in Morrisville and the Old Stone House Museum in Brownington. She is also president of the Board for the Chittenden County Historical Society and is a co-chair for the New England Museum Young & Emerging Professionals Professional Affinity Gathering.
      Mr. Lehning and Ms. Evans are collaborating now to plan the museum's spring program series. Click here for more info.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council will commission a work of art valued at $50 that reflects Ice Fishing and Clean Water to be used as a prize for the second annual Clean Water Ice Fishing Derby. The artist will be selected by lottery. Artwork must be delivered or available for pickup in the Swanton area by February 18.
      Email or message via Facebook for more info.

SWANTON--The SAC seeks leaders for creative art projects in the Swanton community. The program is wide open but requires that it be free to Swanton residents and be completed my May 31. The arts council has funding for these projects.
      Email or find them on Facebook for more info.


Friday, February 12
ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents the Lloyd Tyler Band live in The Room on Friday at 6 p.m. Zack Tyler and Jeff Lloyd will play an eclectic mix of covers in their first gig of 2021.
      Seating is limited to one household per table and reservations are required. Reservations can be made online up to six days in advance. Click here and select "The Room Indoor Seating" to reserve your table.

Saturday, February 13
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 14
KEY COLONY BEACH, FL--Summer Sounds favorite John Bartus opens the KCB Community Association's Concert in the Park season in Sunset Park with his 37th anniversary concert 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 11
      The Frost Jazz Hour UM presents the Eric Stern Trio on Facebook 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.

Friday, February 12
      Young Tradition interviews Touring Group member Gillian and Maeve Fairfax on 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 47, 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 46 live from Boondocks 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.

Valentine's Day, Sunday, February 14
      Flurry'21 and Young Tradition Youth Commission present Romy Munkres and Maeve Fairfax streamed live on Sunday at 12 noon.
      The Flurry tradition continues with a virtual gathering. Dancing in the Cloud will include more than 150 Zoom sessions of music, dance, jam sessions, educational workshops, social hours, and much more. Click here for tickets and more info.

Fat Tuesday, February 16
      Young Tradition will broadcast Mardi Gras from Burlington on Facebook on Fat Tuesday at 7 p.m.
      Musicians from Louisiana, Vermont and beyond have pre-recorded music sets specifically for this event. The evening will include music for dancing or listening from over 20 of the most popular Cajun and Creole musicians in Louisiana and the genre's devotees in Vermont and the Northeast. This event helps support the Tom Sustic Fund. Click here or email for more info.

      Great Music in a Great Space--Cathedral of St. John the Divine--presents Samuel Kuffuor-Afriyie in Tuesdays at 6 live on Facebook 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 17
      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

      Mike Manahan found Fountain Street Theater, a quartet that plays what they call "exploratory bluegrass" in Montana's Gallatin Valley. Brendan Fox, bass; Alex Skowron, mandolin; Garrett Kuntz, banjo; and Eli Martell-Crawford, guitar played live on the KGVM Musician's Spotlight on Facebook last Wednesday.

      The New York Philharmonic launched NYPhil+, a new, on-demand video and audio streaming service, on Monday. The service includes new releases of chamber music and orchestral works in new videos plus five decades of Live From Lincoln Center” PBS telecasts and Facebook broadcasts, and more. The catalog of new offerings will continue to grow. It is available for $4.99 monthly or $50 annually at
      NYPhil also has a library of free audio or video performances online including Schubert's 9th Symphony, A Bolero a musical tribute to healthcare workers, YPC Play, and much more. Learning @ Home explores a collection of online concerts, lessons, and other resources for young audiences and families. Click here for more info.

      The horses are in the barns as it is pretty darn chilly out there as Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton (the Cat in the Hat) sang gospel on Sunday morning on Facebook and roped on in a few country and western tunes on Facebook on Tuesday.
      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


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All Arts Council of Franklin County

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