ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 25 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 18, 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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      Cabot Arts and Feile na Tana festival host a Celtic Equinox Music Festival for 2021, live online at on Friday-Sunday. The festival features Young Tradition Vermont performers plus Arcanist, Mary Bergin, Kevin Burke, Dermot Byrne, Zoe Conway, Dominique Dodge, Woodson & Finley, Brian Finnegan, Footworks, Edel Fox, Joanne Garton, Edwina Guckian, Robbie Harris, Laoise Kelly, Owen Kennedy, John McIntyre, Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh, Louise Mulcahy, Gerry O’Connor, Tiarnan O Duinnchinn, Steafan & Saskia, Hilary Weitzner, Ava White, and the Zeichner Trio.
      Cabot Arts has partnered with the Carlingford, Co. Louth, Ireland festival to present a trans-Atlantic selection of emerging acts and established talent beyond the traditional Central Vermont hometown event.
      Admission is by suggested donation of $20 for unlimited access to all performance videos. Workshops given by festival performers will be available for an additional cost. The fees support participating musicians, Cabot Arts, and the Feile na Tana festival. Click here for more info.


     Gov. Phil Scott expects Vermont to make all adults eligible for vaccines by May 1. On Friday, the state hit a new benchmark: over 25% of the adult population has had at least one dose of the vaccine, according to HealthVermont data.
      Vermont restaurants can now seat up to six people at a table, and the customers don't have to be from the same household. People who have been vaccinated with both doses may 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. Call the state's COVID-19 vaccine call center (855.722.7878) for info and appointments or click here to get started and find more info.
      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 16,698 cases, up from a reported 15,964 last week. There have been 214 deaths (1.3% of cases). The seven-day average test positivity rate stood at 1.3 %. The CDC COVID Tracker shows that Vermont's seven-day per capita infection rate is 128.9 per 100,000 residents; Oregon reports 51.1/100K and next door New York reports 206.3/100K. CDC reported 804 new cases (down from 856 last week) in Vermont this past week although HealthVermont reported only 71 new cases. The state's arithmetic still does not add up; it is an interesting, and ongoing, disparity since there were "22" last week which by regular arithmetic adds up to 16,035 not 16,698. Franklin County had 8 new cases this week, but 207 in the last two weeks--another statistical oddity since there were "22" last week which by regular arithmetic adds up to 30.
      340,829 people (up to 54.6% of the Vermont population) have been tested a total of 1,178,093 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).

      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 begins the season on May 30. 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.


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. Participants must wear a mask except while consuming beverages. The bar is not serving due to COVID restrictions.
      The cost is $35. Click here to enroll and for more info. Email to book a table.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts hosts an in-person Ceramic Mask Workshop on Saturday at 10 a.m.
      Ceramic artist Jude Prashaw shows surface painting and carving while building a ceramic mask. The micro-class is limited to 7 spaces. If enrollment is reached, RA will schedule a second class for additional participants. Click here to register 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 will share some favorite potters, talk about a new technique, and try to complete a ceramics challenge. Click here for more info.


MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild new workshop, Online Exquisite Landscapes: Writing Place in Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Nonfiction, continues 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.


     Montgomery Center for the Arts will receive a $50,000 Paul Bruhn Grant from the Preservation Trust of Vermont.
      The Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants, named for PTV's founding President, Paul Bruhn, was created to help rural communities throughout the country. MCA will address exterior repairs, stripping, and repainting, and the construction of a handicapped accessible ramp and entrance on the rear of the building. It is one of nine Vermont community projects to receive the grant. The Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant Program is administered by the National Park Service. Click here for more info


     Note when you click through the links that some Facebook notices may be time-stamped Standard Time.

Friday-Saturday, March 19-20
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers Eleven for their "first gig of '21," a Post St. Patrick's Day Extravaganza, tomorrow night and Jeremy Sanborn live for 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.


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

Thursday, March 18
      The Frost Jazz Hour UM presents Josh Bermudez and Tim Watson on Facebook today at 10 a.m. (Note the time.)
      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.
      Alexander Budney took the night off last week.

Friday, March 19
      Summer Sounds favorite John Bartus' Perpetual Island Tour will perform Social Distancing Concert 52, Live from the Florida Keys, thanks to Facebook Live at about 7:30 p.m.
      "It was one year ago that we broadcast the first one of these online concerts as the pandemic shut down the world," he said. More than 8,000 friends tuned in to that first concert. "Since then, we've reconnected with old friends, made new ones, and shared some music and much needed camaraderie each Friday since. I hope you'll join us for songs of comfort, my originals, and your requests." Find him on Facebook for the watch party.
      There's more! John popped the question and Sarah said yes!
      Mr. Bartus played the Golden Jubilee Social Distancing Concert #51 featuring James Taylor, live from Sparky's Landing on Facebook on Friday evening.

      The UVM Lane Series presents the Vermont Mandolin Trio live streamed from the UVM Recital Hall on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
      Grammy-nominated mandolinist Matt Flinner will be joined by Jamie Masefield and Will Patton along with bassist Pat Melvin for an evening of acoustic bluegrass, jazz, roots, and improv. The evening also helps to support Young Tradition Vermont.
      "We call ourselves the Vermont Mandolin Trio - - catchy, huh?" Mr. Patton said. And they are, of course, a quartet. "We did a short statewide tour last January and after a brief pause for a pandemic, are coming out of hiding again. It's mostly original music played on mandolins, hard to imagine a sweeter sound!"
      Admission is $21. Click here for tickets and more info.

      Andrew Lloyd Webber streams 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, March 20
      Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center presents Beg, Steal or Borrow in the Winter Concert Series live and online on Saturday at 7 p.m.
      Admission is $15 for the livestream ticket; in-person tickets are SOLD OUT. Click here for tickets and more info.

Sunday, March 21
      The Vermont Blues Society spring broadcast will feature the best Vermont Blues Musicians on Zoom and Live Facebook on Sunday at 6 p.m. The free concert features pre-recorded 20-minute sets from Blue Fox, Jim Branca, John Falk, John Lackard, the Nobby Reed Project, Seth Yacovone, and more. Missisquoi Slim posted a brief outtake from the Nobby Reed set that didn't make it into the program on Facebook.

Tuesday, March 16
      Great Music in a Great Space--Cathedral of St. John the Divine--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. Click here to purchase tickets to Great Music in a Great Space.

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

      Marc-Andre Hamelin performs Faure's Barcarolle No. 3 on Live with Carnegie Hall, hosted by Emanuel Ax on Facebook.

      Curt Lippe went live with Blue Finger, a guitar instrumental by Jerry Reed, on Facebook .

      StEm was live Friday night on Facebook .

      Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton sang two sets of Elvis & More live at the Elks Club in North Ft. Myers, FL, on Facebook. He followed with Part 2 on Facebook . He was also (almost) live with a gospel house concert on Facebook on Sunday morning. And he did the No Clue Concert on Facebook on Tuesday.
      Follow him on Facebook for a link to this week's offerings.


ST. ALBANS--Sweeten your Palette for two new contests and shows. The Vermont Maple Festival and Village Frame Shoppe & Gallery wants 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.


      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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