ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 25 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 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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ST. ALBANS--Sweeten your Palette for two new contests and shows. The Vermont Maple Festival and Village Frame Shoppe & Gallery want submissions in a variety of media.
      The Sappy Art Show (April 10)--Artwork with a theme, Vermont Maple - A Sweet History in any media is eligible. Works will be juried and cash prizes will be awarded for Best of Show, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Judges will also award Honorable Mention in each of the categories, Process, People, Scenic and Using Maple Syrup. The show is free to enter; the Village Frame Shoppe will retain a 40% commission on all artwork sold. Online registration of your artwork is due by April 10, 2021. Please pre-register for the show. Although not required, your pre-registration helps determine how much space to set aside for this exhibit. Click here for registration forms and more info.
      Photography Contest (April 20)--The Maple Sugaring Amateur Photography Contest invites Vermont amateur photographers. Any photograph with a theme of maple sugaring is eligible. The judges may select and award cash prizes for up to 8 winning photos for Best of Show, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Judges will also award Honorable Mention in each of the categories, Process, People, Scenic and Maple Syrup Being Used. Click here for registration forms and more info.
      The Youth Talent Show and the Craft Show will not be held.


     Beginning at 8:15 a.m. today, those 16 and above with high-risk conditions can make a vaccination appointment at or by calling the vaccine call center (855.722.7878).
      Vermont marked the one-year anniversary of the first confirmed in-state case of COVID-19 this weekend but Gov. Phil Scott is optimistic. "With the possibility of an increased supply [of vaccines] we may be able to open eligibility much sooner than we hoped for," he said.
      Phase 5 of the state vaccination program begins this week; 75,000 more Vermonters will become eligible to get the vaccine, including teachers and other frontline workers. Gov. Scott said a third of Vermont's eligible population could be vaccinated within a month.
      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 but must follow all the other health mandates, including wearing a mask in public places.
      The state has COVID-19 vaccine appointment times in St. Albans. Walgreens, not administered by the state vaccination program, opened last week to vaccinate those age 65+. Call the state's COVID-19 vaccine call center (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. About 30 percent of schools are open for in-person learning, 50 percent have a hybrid option, and 20 percent are still fully remote.
      As of last Sunday, the Vermont Dashboard showed a total of 15,964 cases, up from a reported 15,098 last week. There have been 208 deaths (1.3% of cases). The seven-day average test positivity rate stood at 1.4 %. Vermont's seven-day per capita infection rate is still about at the middle of the pack at 19.6 per 100,000 residents; Oregon reports 6.8/100K and next door New York reports 30.8/100K. CDC reported 856 new cases (up from 712 last week) this past week although HealthVermont reported only 122 new cases. The state's arithmetic still does not add up; it is an interesting, and ongoing, disparity. Franklin County had 22 new cases this week, but 214 in the last two weeks--another statistical oddity.
      334,936 people (up to 53.7% of the Vermont population) have been tested a total of 1,115,467 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).
      Click here to get started and find more info.

      Summer Sounds is scheduling the 30th season. Arrowhead Golf Course will resume the Friday Night Live Music and Buffet in June. Celebration of Expressive arts has started planning a 2021 season. The 18th annual Farewell Reunion happens online this year. The Meeting House on the Green has eight live summer concerts scheduled. 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 will host only virtual events 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.


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

MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild features Liz Reardon at the Guild on Saturday from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. to display new work, demonstrate, and explain her process. MAG's artist demos will feature artists every Saturday with appropriate social distancing. Find them on Facebook for more info.
      The MAG online shopis open 24/7 and the gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild new workshop, Online Exquisite Landscapes: Writing Place in Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Nonfiction, begins today at 5:30 p.m. It will be held on six Thursdays through April 15.
      Instructor Ellen Parent will explore that important backstop of creative writing. The guided workshop will revise and strengthen writing with strategies for building evocative and purposeful settings. Ms. Parent has a degree in poetry writing from Wheaton College and a forthcoming degree in fiction writing from the Solstice MFA Program. Her writing has been featured in Vermont Magazine, Bloodroot Magazine, Blueline Literary Magazine, Birchsong, and elsewhere.
      The workshop fee is $65. Click here to register and for more info.


Friday-Saturday, March 12-13
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers Troy Millette and Dan Rahilly (of the Fire Below) live on Friday and Bob Young performing solo on Saturday night. Music starts at 5:30 p.m. Note that the notices are probably time-stamped Standard Time.
      Check with On Tap before going. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. And to confirm. Click here to reserve a table.

Saturday, March 13
ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents Ryan Hanson live with a night of acoustic covers and original music in The Room on Saturday at 6 p.m. Bob Young was back in the Main Dining Room last Saturday.
      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.

ST. ALBANS--Jerborn rocks Twiggs on Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m. Calling himself "the human jukebox," he is a multi genre musician playing mostly 80s to current rock.
      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, March 11
      The Frost Jazz Hour UM presents the Jesse Katz 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.

      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.
      Last week, Bryan Blanchette, Donna Thunder and the Cellar Dwellers, Jimmy Warden, Kip de Moll, A Montreal Paul, Arden Eckhart, Two Chord!, and an afterparty with DJ Beeper Sun took over the space.

Friday, March 12
      Young Tradition interviews the Touring Group's Ben Munkres, 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 51, 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 the Golden Jubilee Social Distancing Concert #50 featuring Pink Floyd, 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.

Tuesday, March 16
      Great Music in a Great Space presents Raymond Nagem 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 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

      Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr joined forces with Dhani Harrison and George's Band for While My Guitar Gently Weeps in the Concert for George on YouTube.

      Playing For Change released I'd Rather Go Blind on YouTube. The multimedia music project features musicians and singers from across the world. It was co-founded in 2002 by Mark Johnson and Whitney Kroenke to inspire and connect the world through music.

      Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton sang "mellow Elvis" by pirate's request on Facebook on Friday (with Facebook muting the sound in and out). He also offers some clues for where he was Thursday night: "He walked 12 miles on a beach. There was a castle. Lots of denim and leather (or not...depending). And a lot of blaring classic rock." Captain Radical was also (almost) live with a bagpipe lead-in for NEKCA on Facebook on Saturday afternoon.
      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
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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