ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 25 * * All Arts News On the Web * * April 15, 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.

E-Mail Delivery
Sign up to receive the free weekly ArtBits
newsletter by e-mail
or by RSS feed.

Search ArtBits


      Gov. Phil Scott rolled out his timeline for reopening the state. The Vermont Forward plan revealed last week would roll back most pandemic-related restrictions entirely by July 4.
      It all depends on Vermonters getting vaccinated when they become eligible and on following "universal guidance." Vermont had received 509,900 doses of vaccine and had administered 398,400 shots as of last week. 40.7% of Franklin County residents have received at least one shot. The state has COVID-19 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.
      "Universal guidance" has five basic tenets to follow: Stay home if you are sick, wear a mask, maintain 6-foot spaces, practice good hygiene, and know travel restrictions.
      Step 1 went into effect Friday. It allows cross-state travel without a quarantine for unvaccinated individuals if they can show a negative test within the past three days. "Group A" businesses (outdoor, low-contact businesses and services including farmers’ markets, retail operations and campgrounds) can now operate under the new universal guidance.
      May 1: Step 2 will allow one unvaccinated person per 100 square feet or up to 150 people to gather indoors, and up to 300 unvaccinated individuals to gather outdoors, along with any number of vaccinated Vermonters. "Group B" businesses (restaurants, bars, clubs, religious facilities, manufacturing, public meetings, and more) must adopt universal guidance.
      June 1: Step 3 removes quarantine and testing requirements for cross-state travel. will allow one unvaccinated person per 50 square feet or up to 300 people for indoor events and up to 900 unvaccinated individuals for outdoor events.
      July 4: Step 4 rescinds gathering capacity restrictions and puts all Vermont business sectors under universal guidance. Masking and physical distancing would still be encouraged.
      The new P1 variant has been detected in Vermont. It is twice as transmissible.

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.
      Last week, the state reported its highest seven-day case count since the pandemic began. As of last Sunday, the Vermont Dashboard showed a total of 20,965 cases, up by 1,060 from a reported 19,905 last week. There have been 231 deaths (1.1% of cases). The seven-day average test positivity rate eased back to 1.6%. The CDC COVID Tracker shows that Vermont's seven-day per capita infection rate dipped to 169.9 per 100,000 residents; even California is still at 44.8/100K while next door New York leads the nation at 245.7/100K, and Florida rose to 184.7/100K. CDC reported 1,060 new cases (down from 1,257 last week) in Vermont this past week although HealthVermont reported only 133 new cases. The state's arithmetic still does not add up; it is an interesting, and ongoing, disparity. Franklin County reportedly had 10 new cases this week, but 178 in the last two weeks--another statistical oddity since there were "18" last week which by regular arithmetic adds up to 28 new cases in two weeks, not the actual 178.
      365,190 people (up to 58.5% of the Vermont population) have been tested a total of 1,425,517 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 will host the 30th season of outdoor concerts beginning Sunday, July 11. Arrowhead Golf Course will resume the Friday Night Live Music and Buffet in June. Blue Paddle begins live music June 10. Celebration of Expressive Arts begins the season on May 30. Cold Hollow Sculpture Park will reopen on June 12. The Double E begins Trucks, Taps and Tunes June 16. The 18th annual Farewell Reunion happens online this year. Ten live Meeting House on the Green summer concerts begin June 12. Music returns twice a week to North Hero House starting June 16. The Opera House at Enosburg Falls cannot host summer camp but will offer an arts-based virtual summer program for kids ages 11-14. River Arts returns to Music on Main, the Downtown Summer Music Series in Morrisville. 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.


     I AM... 2021: The Business of Creativity opens online this evening at 7 p.m.
      This third event features five artists from the Vermont Arts Council’s virtual showcase of Vermont artists from all across the state. Featured artists discuss how they bring business and strategy to their creativity. "Left brain meets right brain in this conversation about the partnership between art and the business of making art." Pre-registration is required.
      Click here for more info and to pre-register.
      The February event is on YouTube. The March event is also on YouTube.

MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild has in-store and online activities. 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. Last week, Liz Reardon and Mark Ozenich were in the house.
      Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--There is always something new at the Artist In Residence Gallery. 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 Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here or find them on Facebook for more info.


MONTGOMERY--Abby Dixson-Boles wrote and stars in Wider than the River, a video short that took first place in SkillsUSA Vermont Skills Cinema 2021. It is on YouTube now. The film was produced by Elias Gillen and Ms. Dixson-Boles.
      SkillsUSA is an organization to support students in technical, skilled, and service careers. SkillsUSA is dedicated to building champions for America's workforce. The film was written, storyboarded, shot, and edited all in 48 hours.


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 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.

MORRISVILLE--The River Arts workshop, Online Exquisite Landscapes: Writing Place in Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Nonfiction, ends today at 5:30 p.m. It has been held on the last five Thursdays.
      Instructor Ellen Parent explores 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.

SOUTH HERO--Once Upon A Rock and Snow Farm Vineyard host Pebble Art on Sunday at 2 p.m.
      Jean Ferguson picks up a rock or a stone or a pebble and "sees a thousand possibilities." She "shops" for rocks and stones on beaches and shorelines all over Vermont. This workshop will use pebbles, rocks, stones, driftwood and lake glass to create artwork. From framed pieces to Christmas ornaments to candle holders, each piece is unique.
      The cost is $35. Click here for COVID guidelines and tickets. Limited seating is available so spaces will go quickly.


Friday-Saturday, April 16-17
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers Patrick Andrew tomorrow night and Bob Young live for Saturday night. Music starts at 5:30 p.m. Check with On Tap before going. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. And to confirm. Click here to reserve a table.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presented Trevor Contois last Friday and Ron Gagnon on Saturday. They may have new acts this week at about 7 p.m. Reservations are necessary.
      Call 802.524.1405, find them on Facebook, or click here for more info.

Saturday, April 17
ST. ALBANS--Jerborn rocks 14th Star live in The Room on Saturday at 6 p.m. He plays high energy 90s to current rock.
      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--Nelly's presented Ryan Hansen live last Saturday and may have a new act this week. Reservations are necessary.
      Find them on Facebook for more info.

Tuesday, April 20
MORRISVILLE--Moog's presented Wedlock and Bixby with a special appearance by Geoff Goodhue on drums last Tuesday and may have a new act this week. Reservations are necessary.
      Find them on Facebook for more info.


     Here's the roundup of virtual music and events for this week.
Thursday, April 15
      The Frost Jazz Hour UM presents the Martin Bejerano Piano Trios 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.
      Lee Ross had Milk and Cookies on Facebook. Jordan Bart Wiener went live on Facebook.

Friday, April 16
      Young Tradition interviews Touring Group member Aidan Palmer on the 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 56, 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 Social Distancing Concert #55 starting with John Denver's ode to pre-COVID travel, 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.

Tuesday, April 20
      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, April 14
      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

      A2VT sings I'm A Soul Survivor on YouTube . The song is performed by Jilib and features rapper R.O.D. and a guitar solo by Andre Maquera. A2VT "represents Somalia, Tanzania and Burund"I from their home in Burlington, where they "synthesize their native African musical and dance roots with Western pop and Hip Hop sensibilities."

      Moira Smiley and VOCO Sing About It on YouTube. Moira Smiley is a singer-composer, a musical polyglot. and vocal shape-shifter. The vocal quintet, VOCO, brings together five singers and song leaders from across North America.

      Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton sang Elvis tribute song fun as a house concert (OK, a carport concert) on Facebook last Tuesday and gospel music on Facebook on Sunday. Follow him on Facebook for a link to this week's offerings.


SKILLS 21 FILM CHALLENGES (APRIL 30)--invites submissions in the categories animation, book trailer, documentary, editor's, how to, middle school, parody, PSA, the 84 hour, and open. All films must be submitted to Skills21's Film Launchpad at
      Skills21 offers a free opportunity for middle and high school students to challenge their creativity, leverage their media skills and showcase their filmmaking abilities.

      Don't forget these looming, local deadlines:

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.

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.


HIGHGATE--The Highgate Library and Community Center received a Spark Connecting Community Grant from the Vermont Community Foundation. This funding underwrote the new tower grow garden to create a year-round indoor garden at the library. It currently grows different types of lettuces, basil, mustard greens, arugula, and Swiss chard for community members to take and eat. The program will forever remain free to all and is a boon since fresh produce is very limited in town. The garden provides a year-round fresh and sustainable food source for their community, as well as providing an educational learning opportunity on how to successfully grow an indoor garden.
      The new library motto is, "Come pick some books and pick some greens."

      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


AAC dancing logo

All Arts Council of Franklin County

Support Free Speech on the Internet
Dick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460
email us

Go to [ Dick Harper | All Arts Index | ArtBits Archive ]

      This article may also have originally been published in the traditional print media. It is Copyright © 2021 by Richard B. Harper. All rights reserved. Archival material is provided as-is. Links are not necessarily maintained (if a link in this article fails, try or your favorite search engine).
      Thanks to recent misuse of copyright material on the Internet by individuals and archival firms alike, we emphasize that your rights to this article are limited to viewing it and printing it for personal use only. You must receive explicit permission from the All Arts Council and the author before reprinting or redistributing this article in any medium. Visit our Trademarks and Copyright page for more information.