ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 25 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 6, 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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      Gov. Phil Scott announced that Vermonters are no longer be required to wear masks outdoors as long as we maintain physical distancing. That applies to vaccinated and to unvaccinated individuals. Vermont also enters stage two of the Vermont Forward plan; that puts more businesses under universal guidance and loosens indoor and outdoor gathering restrictions. The five basic tenets of "universal guidance": Stay home if you are sick, wear a mask, maintain 6-foot spaces, practice good hygiene, and know travel restrictions. The full plan is outlined here. Click here for the details about which sectors are impacted and what Universal Guidance includes.
      Vermont had received 659,100 doses of vaccine and had administered 557,300 shots as of Saturday morning. About 62% of the Vermont population 16 and older has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 43.7% have been fully vaccinated. 56.2% 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.

• We still face the most dangerous time of the pandemic.
As our normal social activities resume with over 60% of
residents vaccinated, please don't let down your guard.

      The State of Emergency continues.
      As of last Sunday, the Vermont Dashboard showed a total of 23,126 cases, up by 550 from a reported 22,576 last week. There have been 247 deaths (1.1% of cases). The seven-day average test positivity rate dropped below 1% but ticked back up to 1.1% Saturday. The CDC COVID Tracker shows that Vermont's seven-day per capita infection rate dropped to 85.9 per 100,000 residents; Colorado "leads" the nation with 212 cases/100K. Even California is down to 29/100K while nearby New York remains high at 128.6/100K (still the sixth highest in the country), and Florida eased slightly to 169.4/100K. CDC reported 536 total new cases (down from 613 last week) in Vermont this past week. Franklin County had 69 new cases in the last two weeks.
      381,852 people (up to 61.2% of the Vermont population) have been tested a total of 1,591,852 times, although that data still 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. The Abbey Summer Music Series starts June 4. Arrowhead Golf Course will resume the Friday Night Live Music and Buffet in June. Blue Paddle begins live music June 10. Broadway tickets will go on sale starting today for theaters running at 100% capacity. 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. Franklin County Field Days goes live August 5 - 8. 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.

      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 features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on potter Gillian Ireland, new member artist and self taught wood turner D. Edwards Smith, and jeweler Holly Spier.
      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.

MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild hosts a Fourth Anniversary Party on Saturday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. The event will be socially distanced with artists demos, raffle, artist sales, and more. Find them on Facebook for more info.
      MAG needs support to stay open and share art with others in the coming years. "This last year has been a challenging time for the Milton Artists' Guild, as it has been for many of us. Being unable to do fundraisers, event and class restrictions, and decreases in donors, folks that love and support us are unable to give at the same levels." They ask for community support and have started a GoFundMe for donations. click here for more info.
      The MAG store continues to have 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.
      Find them on Facebook for more info.


SWANTON--Let's get Lit! Swanton Arts Council Concrete presents Lit Boards, another free art project to create a painting that lights up, via Facebook Live on Saturday at 6 p.m. Follow along using free paints, brushes, lights, and canvas to create your own dandelion painting to display or use as a gift for a friend. This is a free art class with a value of $25 sponsored by an anonymous donation to the SAC. click here for more info and to register.
      The mid-April Concrete Hand Planter project is reprised on YouTube.

MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild will host iMovie: Professional Development for Artists with instructor Caitlyn Kenney as part of their ongoing series of online seminars on Tuesday at 6 - 8 p.m. This online workshop will cover the building blocks for editing a video using Apple's iMovie. Learn how to edit sound, speed up and slow down clips, add titles, and create a professional-looking video. This class is for Mac or Apple users, as iMovie is a Mac-specific program.
      The cost is $5 for members or $10 for non-members. Click here to reserve a space.

      The Vermont Crafts Council will hold a Zoom Seminar for How to Promote a Successful Event presented by Becca Webb and Rebecca Haas online on Tuesday.
      Click here to register.


MADE IN VERMONT (May 16)--Bryan Memorial Gallery wants original artwork for the upcoming summer member show. Two-dimensional works in any media that feature the ingenuity and resourcefulness of Vermonters will be exhibited in the Main Gallery. The jury will look for works in which the subject has the stamp of hard-working Vermonters. click here for more info about the show and to submit.

JUNE JURIED SHOW (May 31)--The Northern Vermont Artist Association show will be held at Visions of Vermont Gallery in Jeffersonville. The show opens Sunday, June 6. Email the entry to NVAA.


Thursday-Saturday, May 6-8
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers The Duel tonight, Raised by Hippies tomorrow night and the Hubcats 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.

Friday, May 7
ST. ALBANS--The Duel played The Room at 14th Star live last week. They may have new acts this week at about 6 p.m.
      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.

BURLINGTON--Troy Millette and the Fire Below bring back Mr. Jones and other hits from Counting Crows plus their own original material for a special performance at The Backyard at Nectar's on Friday at 7 p.m. Doors at 6. Click here for tickets and more info. Click here for tickets and more info.

Friday-Saturday, May 7-8
ST. ALBANS--Twiggs hosted Chris and Samantha, Love Me Bradley, 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.

Tuesday, May 11
Save the date. The Phantom of the Opera, the longest-running production in Broadway history, will resume performances at the Majestic Theater on October 22. Tickets will go on sale tomorrow. Three other major shows--Hamilton, The Lion King, and Wicked--will announce their on-sale dates on Tuesday.
     NY State announced Wednesday that Broadway can resume performances at full capacity starting September 14.


     Here's the roundup of virtual music and events for this week.
Thursday, May 6
      The Frost Jazz Hour UM presents the Brian Dubrow Duo 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.

Friday, May 7
      Young Tradition interviews Touring Group member Anna Butcher 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 59, 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 started Social Distancing Concert #58, the piano concert with a special lineup of songs from the living room 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, May 11       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.

Wednesday, May 12
      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

      Young Tradition interviewed Eileen O’Grady on Comm Arts on April 30.
      This series of interviews with and performances by young artists is hosted by Mark Sustic. The programs are scheduled for the last Fridays in March, April and May.
      Watching is free but YTV requests a donation of your choosing. Donations can be made through Paypal . Email for more info.

      StEm went live on Facebook.

      Eleven went live at On Tap on Facebook.

      Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton was on the road in South Florida doing live performances this week which means he wasn't able to perform his Facebook live shows this week. He stopped here and I got him up on the roof but we couldn't get a signal for a Keys concert. After he left here, he continued his adventure along the Tamiami Trail...
      Follow him on Facebook for a link to this week's offerings.


     RIP bass player Tony Markellis who died in his sleep last Thursday night at age at 68. The longtime Phish collaborator had been battling health problems.
      Mr. Markellis played with Unknown Blues Band when they appeared in St. Albans in Summer Sounds. Will Patton wrote, "Among the many remembrances and stories about Tony's wit, good humor and humbleness, there's this: when Tony was playing, you heard the tune, never the bass player. He knew what the song was asking for, and that's what he played." Click here for Casey Seiler's story in the Albany Times Union.


     Vermont Humanities hosts a digital Vermont Reads Book Discussion for The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas at the Vermont Department of Libraries in Barre today at 10 a.m.
      The Mississippi writer's debut novel "runs headlong into the challenges faced by young black kids in a world that doesn't value their bodies or respect their voices." The free, facilitated discussion will be held on Zoom. April Shaw at Email to obtain the login information and 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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