ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 25 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 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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REFUGE ART SHOW (March 31)--The Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge will celebrate World Migratory Bird Day. The 2021 theme is Sing, Fly, Soar--Like a Bird. The annual Friends of Missisquoi art show has returned as an online gallery with a focus on birds and their habitats and will include birds that spend some time on the Refuge. Colleen Yarnell would like most entrants to email her by the deadline (o they can plan the show) and to have the entry applications received by mid-April and submissions soon after. Because space will not be limited, the size of entries is not as restrictive and any medium is welcome. Entry Fee. No sales commission fees. Email Ms. Yarnell or click here for more info and the application form.

THUG ZINE (April 1)--The Swanton Public Library community-generated Zine will respond to the book The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Share your original artwork, poems, songs, short stories or essays (1,500 words or less) and tell us how this book impacted you. Cash prizes, funded by a Swanton Arts Council art programming grant. Email to share your digital artwork or essays or for more info.

SAPPY ART SHOW (April 10)--The Vermont Maple Festival and Village Frame Shoppe & Gallery wants 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. Click here for registration forms and more info.

EMERGING ARTIST AWARD (April 16)--The annual SAC award honors one exceptional graduating senior at MVUHS who displays a bright future in art. Cash prize. Email Abigael Gaudette for more info.

CALL FOR ORIGINAL POETRY (April 16)--April is Poetry Month and the Swanton Public Library and the Swanton Writers' Group are arranging KINDNESS, a community-generated poetry compilation. They seek original poems of 1,500 words or less. A virtual reading will be held on April 30. Cash prizes with funding provided by the SAC programming grant. Email Abby at the Library for more info.

MAPLE SUGARING AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST (April 20)--The Maple Festival invites Vermont amateur photographers to show any photograph with a theme of maple sugaring. 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.


     Gov. Phil Scott says that life could return to normal by the Fourth of July and Vermont should get a major boost in its federal allocation by the end of this month. About 28% of Vermonters 16 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
      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 17,740 cases, up from a reported 16,698 last week. There have been 219 deaths (1.2% of cases). The seven-day average test positivity rate remained at 1.3 %. The CDC COVID Tracker shows that Vermont's seven-day per capita infection rate has risen to 137.3 per 100,000 residents; even California reports 46.5/100K while next door New York reports 213.8/100K. CDC reported 857 new cases (up from 804 last week) in Vermont this past week although HealthVermont reported only 149 new cases. The state's arithmetic still does not add up; it is an interesting, and ongoing, disparity.
      Case numbers began rising in February in Franklin County where the Towns of Franklin, Enosburg, Fairfield, and St. Albans City are rated in the highest category for case numbers in the state. The County had ten new cases this week, but 206 in the last two weeks--another statistical oddity since there were "eight" last week which by regular arithmetic adds up to 18 new cases in two weeks, not 206.
      347,343 people (up to 55.7% of the Vermont population) have been tested a total of 1,252,179 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.


MILTON--The Town of Milton and the Milton Artists' Guild invite all comers to paint the "giant, oversized" Milton Community Unity Puzzle. Each puzzle piece helps make a mural celebrating community in the Town. Click here for more info and to reserve a spot.

MILTON--The MAG Virtual Social Sunday Program has free art kits and online instruction available for reservation each week, free to all families, for pick up at the gallery. Videos will be added each week for instruction. Click here for more info.
      The MAG online shop is 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, 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.

AROUND THE STATE--The Vermont Mural Project will bring together young people, teachers, cultural organizers, artists, business leaders, and community members to create murals to drive social change. All of the murals will be temporarily displayed at the One World Festival of Arts & Imagination in Montpelier in September.
      Click here for more info.


CAMBRIDGE--The Cambridge Arts Council is currently undecided about the Festival of the Arts this summer in part because they need the people power to make it happen. Some memories of the last Festival are on Facebook. Call 802.644.1418, email, or click here for more info and to get involved.


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

Friday, March 26
ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents singer/songwriter Troy Millette and guitarist Dan Rahilly of the Fire Below live with their unique blend of folk-pop-rock in The Room on Friday 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.

Friday-Saturday, March 26-27
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers the Trevor Ryan Duo tomorrow night and Bob Young 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.

Saturday, March 28
ST. ALBANS--Twiggs may have someone live on stage on Saturday evening at around 6:30 p.m. Kyle Stevens played last Saturday.
      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 25
      The Frost Jazz Hour UM presents Chuck Bergeron and John Hart 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.
      Donna Thunder, Ian Morris Greenman whose new single just dropped, Zach Parker, and more went live last week.

Friday, March 26
      Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival's special, free, online concert, Intermezzo ONE, premieres on YouTube and Facebook on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and will be available through Friday, April 2.
      Jennifer Frautschi, violin; Paul Neubauer, viola; Edward Arron, cello; and Glora Chien, piano; will present a program of Schumann Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 63 and Fauré Piano Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 15. The concert is free but you must have a ticket for the links. Click here for free tickets and more info.
      Intermezzo TWO, the second of the two free concerts, will premiere on April 2.

Summer Sounds favorite John Bartus' Perpetual Island Tour will perform Social Distancing Concert 53, 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 Anniversary Social Distancing Concert #52 with his new-to-him King of the Flat Tops, live from his studio on Facebook on Friday evening.

      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.

Wednesday, March 31
      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

      Curt Lippe wished JS Bach a Happy Birthday and performed Prelude BWV 998 from the Prelude, Fugue and Allegro for lute on steel-string guitar on YouTube.

      Glè shnog! Will Patton and Dono Schabner play Paddy Fahey's Reel in G on YouTube.

      Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton sang Letters from Elvis, "going down (up?) Elvis songs in alphabetical order [starting where] we left off last time, wrapping up the letter H" on Facebook on Friday. He sang gospel on Facebook on Sunday morning.
      Follow him on Facebook for a link to this week's offerings.

      Here's ten minutes you'll never get back: a performance roundup of "the world's strangest [and] most bizarre musical instruments ever invented": the Theremin, the Zeusaphone musical Tesla coils, the Digeridoo, the Friction Harp, the Glass Harmonica, Hubbub Music's Pyrophone Juggernaut multi octave fire organ which looks like it came from Burning Man, the Yabahar, a 4-row Janko Keyboard, the Chapman Stick, and the triple neck Harp Guitar, all on YouTube.


ST. ALBANS--J.P. Choquette returns to the Eloquent Page for a book signing for the Pact on Saturday at 11 a.m. She will explore folklore, supernatural elements, and her pulse-pounding action.
      Ms. Choquette has written several thrillers set in Vermont, including Epidemic, Silence in the Woods, Under the Mountain, Let the Dead Rest and The Pact (Monsters in the Green Mountains Book 4). She is a member of International Thriller Writers.

      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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