ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 25 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 20, 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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MORRISVILLE--River Arts Ceramic artists Heidi Bielenberg and Lisa Wolfgang host Empty Bowls: Clay and Carving Workshop to benefit Meals on Wheels fundraisers on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
      Click here for more info. To celebrate May as Older Americans Month, this micro-class is free for anyone over the age of 65.
      River Arts will be temporarily closed this Friday through Sunday for floor treatment.

SWANTON--Swanton Arts Council presents Alcohol Ink as a Drop-In Dabbler Event in the Swanton Free Public Library on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Drop in for a free 10 minute opportunity to try these highly-pigmented, acid-free, and fast drying inks. See examples of artwork and test-drive the product for yourself. Everyone who attends can sign up for a free drawing of the remaining supplies. No registration required.

SWANTON--SAC presents Felting Fun Boxed Art, another free dabbler class led by Janet Soavi on Saturday at a time to be determined. The workshop with wool roving will have free tools and materials to create one or more felted creatures of your choice. This is a free art class with a value of $25 thanks to an anonymous donation to the SAC. Click here for more info and to register.

SWANTON--SAC and Swanton Rec present Memory Pillows with Sew Scentsible, another free art project via Facebook Live on Sunday at 2 p.m. Follow along using the free pillow form, one embroidered patch with verse above, printed instructions and a live zoom class with Heather Buczkowski. You will need a shirt from a loved one, and basic sewing supplies. 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.


     Summer Sounds begins its 30th season of outdoor concerts with Mark Shelton on Sunday, July 11. The Abbey Summer Music Series starts June 4. Arrowhead Golf Course also resumes the Friday Night Live Music and Buffet on June 4. 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. 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 continue livestreaming 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 starts June 3 with a special, virtual format.

      Vermont's high vaccination rate has allowed the state to lift some restrictions two weeks early. Gov. Phil Scott moved the state to stage three of the Vermont Forward plan. That lifts quarantine and testing requirements for cross-state travel. We can now gather freely with up to 300 people for indoor events and up to 900 unvaccinated individuals for outdoor events and an unlimited number of vaccinated people. People who are fully vaccinated may go without a mask in indoor and outdoor spaces although I still recommend that we continue masking up where you can't control the air around you until we reach herd immunity. The full plan is outlined here. Click here for the details about which sectors are impacted and what Universal Guidance includes. This is the last phase before all guidelines are lifted.
      Vermont had received 773,400 doses of vaccine and had administered 649,000 shots as of Saturday morning. 388,314 people or about 70.9% of the Vermont population 16 and older has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 52.8% have been fully vaccinated. 64.9% of Franklin County residents--25,810 people--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.

• As our normal social activities resume with over 60% of
residents vaccinated, please continue to stay safe.

      The State of Emergency continues.
      As of last Sunday, the Vermont Dashboard showed a total of 23,883 cases, up by 397 from a reported 23,486 last week. There have been 252 deaths (1.1% of cases). The seven-day average test positivity rate ticked up to 1.2% Saturday. The CDC COVID Tracker shows that Vermont's seven-day per capita infection rate stayed about the same at 64.4 per 100,000 residents; Colorado zoomed back into the "lead" with 150.9 cases/100K. California ticked up to 27.5/100K while nearby New York dropped again to 76.3/100K, and Florida eased to 105.3/100K. CDC reported 402 total new cases (down from 413 last week) in Vermont this past week. Franklin County had 60 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). Despite all the data I've reported in the last 60 weeks or so, we still suck at epidemic data collection.

      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.


ONLINE--Northern Vermont Artist Association historian Robert Waldo Brunelle Jr. assembled A Brief history of the NVAA as a slide show on YouTube. The NVAA has held the June Juried Show since 1930. Their 87th annual exhibit has about 100 pieces of new artwork in all media. NVAA members include several All Arts Council artists.


ST. ALBANS--The Peoples Trust Company is hosting the monthly Claire Payne Photo Contest on Facebook. Each month, Georgia artist Claire Payne will present two photos she has taken in Franklin County--this month she has exhibited otters swimming and a fox peeking. Any visitors can vote. PTC will feature the winning photo as the bank's Facebook Background for the following month.
      PTC will draw one lucky voter each month to win a canvas print of the winning photo. Find them on Facebook. for the details of how to vote. Click here for the contest rules.
      Housing an eclectic array of fine art, the Claire Payne Studio is in the renovated barn on the Solomon Goodrich Homestead in Georgia. The 18th century post and beam barn is thought to be one of the oldest structures in the Town. Find her on Facebook to see the flight photos she is working on now.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council Virtual Writer's Group will meet this evening at 6 p.m. Writers and would-be writers can share progress and join in the discussion about longer projects and anything else about writing, reading, publishing, and more. This group meets on the third Thursday of every month. Email Becky Rupp for login details.

SWANTON--The Swanton Community-Wide Yard Sale on Saturday has bargains galore and a showcase and sale for local artists with works in the comfort of their own yards and in the Swanton Village Green. for the area-wide map. The rain date is Sunday, May 23.


Thursday-Saturday, May 20-22
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers Shane's Apothecary tonight, Richards & Murphy tomorrow night, and Jeremy Sanborn live for Saturday night. Music usually starts at 5:30 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. And to confirm. Click here to reserve a table.

Friday, May 21
BURLINGTON--Vermont's hardest hitting power trio, the Seth Yacovone Band, returns to the Backyard at Nectar's for a night of heavy blues rock on Friday at 6 p.m.
      Admission is $20. Click here for tickets and more info.

Friday-Saturday, May 21-22
ST. ALBANS--Jerborn rocks Twiggs on Friday and, on Saturday, Laura Fedele-Rasco returns to play "songs you know and love." Music begins at about 6:30 p.m. Reservations are necessary.
      Call 802.524.1405, find them on Facebook, or click here for more info.

Saturday, May 22
ST. ALBANS--Bare Bones--Jenn and Mark DiNatale of Barbie N Bones--plays The Room at 14th Star live on Saturday at 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.

Wednesday, May 26
ESSEX--The Hubcats perform a summer residency at the Tavern at Essex Resort on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. Fred, Stewart, Otto, Cait, and sometimes Jim are Vermont musicians blending folkgrass, art folk, and pop covers with some original music.


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

Thursday, May 20
      On the Frost Jazz Hour UM, the South Florida Jazz Orchestra presents the Music of Gary Lindsay 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. and is available at any time. It's a central location in Waitsfield for streaming and invites artists to post performances freely.

Friday, May 21
      Summer Sounds favorite John Bartus' Perpetual Island Tour will perform Social Distancing Concert 60, 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 #59 featuring the Eagles from the 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, May 26
      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 Vermont presents the Castle Kelly Set on YouTube. The composite video uses music performed and recorded remotely by the touring group. In the context of COVID isolation, the participants in the touring group couldn't hear themselves within the group
      Watching is free but YTV requests a donation of your choosing. Donations can be made through Paypal. Email for more info.

      Carnegie Hall Selects presents Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 performed by the Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Herbert von Karajan on on Friday at 12 p.m. Presented as part of Live with Carnegie Hall, the series of free concert films from stages around the world will feature some of the greatest performances of music important to Carnegie Hall's history. A new film will be released each Friday; each will stream for one week exclusively on the Hall's website.

      Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton sang Elvis in front of a tapestry on Facebook on Friday and then went live with Gospel on Facebook on Sunday. Follow him on Facebook for a link to this week's offerings.


     The Vermont Humanities Council presents From Skiffs to Sail Ferries: The Story of Vermont's Small-Boat Traditions virtually via Zoom from the Residence at Otter Creek on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.
      The stories of Vermont naval history and commercial shipping have been well documented by generations of historians. However, the traditions of small-boat building from throughout our state have remained untold. Douglas Brooks shares his research on these traditions, and his work in recreating some of these historic vessels in this slide presentation.
      Email Suzanne Bennett for more info and to register.


ST. ALBANS--The Eloquent Page hosts a book release party for Hidden History of Franklin County by Highgate writer, teacher, and local historian Jason Barney on Monday at 3 p.m.
      Franklin County was one of colonial America's earliest economic, military and cultural byways. Mr. Barney will explore and unveil our area's forgotten past. Find them on Facebook 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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