ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 25 * * All Arts News On the Web * * February 25, 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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ST. ALBANS--Shanta Lee Gander and the Saint Albans Museum present poet Lucy Terry Prince in Bearing Witness & the Endurance of Voice, a virtual poetry reading and discussion on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Ms. Gander will recite Ms. Prince's only known, surviving poem, Bars Fight.
      Born in Africa where she was kidnaped by slave traders and transported to Rhode Island, Ms. Prince is the first known African-American poet in English literature. She regained her freedom and moved to Vermont where she fought for her family's land rights in the Vermont Supreme Court. The program is free and open to the public. Click here to register and for more info.


     Gov. Phil Scott eased restrictions. People who have been vaccinated with both doses may now travel in and out of the state without quarantining. They also do not need to quarantine if they've come into contact with someone who is positive. The new guidance still requires those people to follow all the other health mandates, including not gathering with people outside your household and wearing a mask in public places.
      The state has added new sites and appointment times for those who are 70 and up for COVID-19 vaccines in St. Albans, Brattleboro, Essex Junction, Rutland, and St. Johnsbury this week. Call the state's COVID-19 vaccine call center at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (855.722.7878) for info and appointments. 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. Non-essential travel to and from the state still requires quarantine unless you are vaccinated. 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 14,359 cases, up from a reported 13,677 last week. There have been 196 deaths (1.4% of cases). The seven-day average test positivity rate rose to 1.6 %. Vermont's seven-day per capita infection rate is about at the middle of the pack at 19.1 per 100,000 residents; North Dakota reports 12.7/100K and next door New York reports 31.7/100K. CDC reported 836 new cases (up from 795 last week) this past week although HealthVermont reported only 107 new cases. The state's arithmetic still does not add up; it is an interesting, and ongoing, disparity. Franklin County had 26 new cases this week, 233 in the last two weeks.
      323,283 people (up to 51.8% of the Vermont population) have been tested a total of 1,009,285 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 summer concerts scheduled. Arrowhead Golf Course will resume the Friday Night Live Music and Buffet in June. 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
      The Vermont Dairy Festival has changed format and Vermont Maple Festival has cancelled for 2021.

      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.


     The Spotlight Gallery has an all-virtual season with a diverse group of Vermont artists. I AM... 2021 | Featured Artists is on exhibit at through April 30.
      The work and perspectives of LN Bethea, Bryan Blanchette, Rajnii Eddins, Samirah Evans, William Forchion, John Hughes, KeruBo, Nettie Lane, Toby MacNutt, Mikahely, Riki Moss, Jericho Parms, Leaf Silver, Toussaint St. Negritude, Veronica Stevens, Shani Stoddard, Kaylynn TwoTrees, and Cai Xi are listed this season. The Council will host a Zoom gathering to engage with the artists more personally on the third Thursday of each month.

      Wilayat Mayi has created a different way to see Van Gogh's painting The Starry Night on Facebook. Look at the rotating spiral for 20 seconds without looking away, then shift your gaze to the painting.


ST. ALBANS--The Break the Winter Blues Sales and Specials offer discounts up to 50% at the Eloquent Page, Saint Albans Art Supply, Village Frame Shoppe, and other participating downtown businesses now through February 28.
      "I'll be changing my sale every day," Donna Howard at Eloquent Page said, "but some new books will be 50% off! My calendar sale is still going on, too."


Sunday, February 28
KEY COLONY BEACH, FL--The KCB Community Association presents Summer Sounds favorite Christopher Dean in the weekly Concert in the Park 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 25
      The Frost Jazz Hour UM presents the Trenton Klaz 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. (Programming note: the Eric Stern Trio, scheduled for last week, was cancelled.)

      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.
      Rita Maranda Brown was live at Two Chord Kid Live on Facebook and Andrew Bresnahan was live on Facebook this week.

Friday, February 26
      Young Tradition interviews Touring Group members Gus La Casse 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 49, 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 his first "theme night" Social Distancing Concert 48 featuring Paul Simon and Simon & Garfunkel live from his studio on Facebook on Friday evening.

      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.

Saturday, February 27
      Soul Train performs on Facebook Live at the Rochesterfest livestream stage at Graham Park on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
      LaSonya Natividad, vocals; Vivian Lark, keys and background vocals; Rock Shultz, lead guitar and vocals; Michael Little, rhythm guitar and vocals; Gabriel Green, drums; and Eric Haglund, bass cover classic and progressive rock.

Tuesday, March 2
      Great Music in a Great Space--Cathedral of St. John the Divine--presents David Briggs with a special pre-concert lecture and then the ticketed concert 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, March 3
      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

      Excellence in the Community presents the clarinet and guitar of the Lightwood Duo recorded live on Facebook.
      The Utah Duo of guitarist Mike Christiansen and clarinetist Eric Nelson has performed from New York City to Honolulu. They were featured performers with the Utah Performing Arts Tour and also perform regularly with the four piece jazz/rock band Mirage and with the seven piece bossa nova/samba band Evening in Brazil.

      Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton sang "some fun songs" last Thursday on Facebook, then took off the silver and black beard and sang Songs of the King on Facebook on Friday evening.
      Follow him on Facebook for a link to this week's offerings.


WINTER 2021 FLASH FICTION CONTEST (February 28)--The quarterly WOW--Women on Writing--contest seeks short fiction in any style and genre. Entry Fee. Cash prizes. Click here for more info.

OUT OF THE SHADOWS ART CONTEST (March 4)--"The original home of the monsters," Universal Pictures, seeks the next generation of horror icons with artwork that tells a story in a single image. Artists, illustrators, and designers can win $10,000. Click here for rules, eligibility, other requirements, and more info.

CANCER UNWRAPPED TEEN WRITING CONTEST (March 14)--Cancer Pathways invites U.S. teens in grades 9 - 12 to submit a short essay about their experience with cancer. Cash prizes. No Entry fee. Cancer Pathways was formerly Gilda's Club Seattle, named in honor of Gilda Radner. Click here 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


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All Arts Council of Franklin County

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