ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 25 * * All Arts News On the Web * * June 17, 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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VERMONT--Musicians of all ages and experience will take to the porches, public parks, pickup trucks, and sidewalks around the state as part of the International Make Music Day on Monday. There are planned events in Bennington, Bristol, Burlington, Colchester, Ferrisburgh, Greensboro, Rochester, St. Albans, Stowe, Waterbury, and many more. Make Music Vermont is coordinated by Big Heavy World, Vermont's independent, volunteer-run music office.
      St. Albans Community Arts will start with a drum circle in Taylor Park at 3 - 3:45 p.m. The Smoky Neufield Project will perform on the steps of City Hall at 5 - 7 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.
      Make Music Day is an international event celebrated more than 1,000 cities in over 180 countries. Click here for more info.


     Vermont is the first state in the country to vaccinate at least 80% of the eligible population; Gov. Phil Scott lifted all remaining state COVID-19 restrictions on Monday.
      Summer Sounds begins its 30th season of outdoor concerts with Mark Shelton on Sunday, July 11. Area restaurants and venues are offering some live music while other artists and venues continue live streaming 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


     Vermont has lifted all remaining state COVID-19 restrictions.
      Here's my own current advice, updated to today. Get the shot(s) and take precautions. The vaccines are extraordinarily effective but nothing is 100% foolproof. Wear a mask where you can't control the airflow around you until we reach the same herd immunity we have for smallpox and once had but lost for measles.

NATIONWIDE--Free Little Art Galleries (FLAGs) are popping up across the country. The miniature exhibits have small paintings, photos, prints, sculptures, and even tiny audiences, all inspired by the Little Free Library. There are known FLAGs in Atlanta, D.C., Hyattsville, MD, Oakland, CA, Phoenix, and more.
      The concept gained momentum during the pandemic lockdown
      Click here for more info.

AROUND THE STATE--Vermont's 29th Open Studio Weekend begins Saturday at 10 a.m. Most Vermont artists and craftspeople work in studios in or near their residences. These founts of production and inspiration can be found in a downtown or at the ends of a dirt road. This statewide celebration is a chance to see the magic at work.
      Some of the artists open their working studios to the public only during this weekend. It is an opportunity for them to talk about their work and to demonstrate the skill and processes used to make it. The participating artists plan to get work done as well as teach while visitors poke around.
      Pick up a hard copy map at any studio, tourist information centers on Vermont's interstate highways.
      The Artist In Residence Gallery has fine crafts and art by 40 local artists in St. Albans.
      Toby Fulwiler teaches and creates hardwood wooden bowls at Fairfield Farm Bowls.
      The Milton Artists Guild has more than 100 local artists on tap.
      Meta Strick paints, draws, cuts, carves, sews and assembles one-of-a-kind Art Dolls as well as paintings, ornaments, and oddities in her studio in Fairfield.
      Other statewide participants include furniture makers, glass blowers, ironworkers, jewelers, quilters painters, photographers, potters, print makers, sculptors, weavers, and wood carvers. Many galleries will host gallery talks and feature special exhibits in conjunction with this event.
      Click here for maps, directions, and more info.

JEFFERSONVILLE--The Jeffersonville Art Jam continues on Main Street on Saturday. Free events will occur on Saturdays (with Sunday rain dates) and on Sunday, July 4.
      The Visions of Vermont Gallery, the Bryan Memorial Gallery and the Cambridge Arts Council will host artist demos, live music, lectures, food vendors, and artists' booths up and down Main Street.

MONTGOMERY--The Montgomery Center for the Arts presents the annual summer Front Porch Art Forum, the first of a series of "get back to normal" curated art shows, on the front porch of MCA-Kelton Hall on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
      This outdoor exhibit will feature works from the summer art series Take Me To The River, Exploring The Trout River Through The Arts: Plein Air Painting. Admission is free, but donations are always appreciated.


MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild will host Painting with Alcohol Inks at the MAG Art Center on Saturday June 26 at 10 a.m. Catherine Putzier teaches all the basics of the fun, flowing medium.
      The cost is $45 for members or $50 for non-members. Find them on Facebook for more info and to reserve a space.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts pottery instructor Jude Prashaw hosts an in-person "Sip n' Slurry creative experience" as the pottery twist on a Paint n' Sip on Friday at 5:30 p.m. BYOB. Craft functional and sculptural vessels while learning hand building techniques. Create a small birdbath or totem to live amongst the growing things in the garden. The bar is not serving due to COVID restrictions.
      The cost is $35. Click here to enroll and for more info.

MORRISVILLE--Everyone has a story to tell. River Arts' Moth-style Storytelling Workshop with master storyteller Susanne Schmidt is an in-person experience on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Moth is a storytelling non-profit in New York City. Storytellers tell a five-to-six-minute true story or tall tale without notes.
      The cost is $35. Click here to enroll and for more info.


ST. ALBANS--Film maker Andrew Ackerman put together a 10-minute documentary on how Twiggs survived the pandemic as over 100,000 independent restaurants closed their doors permanently across North America. The result is on Facebook; Tom Murphy will soon give real hugs.

ST. ALBANS--The Welden Theater opens for the first time in more than a year with afternoon showings of the new musical, In The Heights, on Saturday at 4 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m.
      The theater will be a fully vaccinated space which means patrons will show vaccination cards at the door. Click here for tickets and more info.


     Vermont has lifted all remaining statewide COVID-19 restrictions.
      Here's my own current advice, updated to today. Get the shot(s) and take precautions. The vaccines are extraordinarily effective but nothing is 100% foolproof. Wear a mask where you can't control the airflow around you until we reach the same herd immunity we have for smallpox and once had but lost for measles.

Thursday, June 17
SOUTH HERO--The Snow Farm Summer Concert Series presents the "coolest band in the northeast," A House on Fire, at the Snow Farm Vineyard & Winery this evening at 6:30 p.m.
      The live summer series offers a variety of music, from classical to jazz to swing to bluegrass to classic rock. Concerts are held every Thursday evening into September, weather permitting. Picnicking begins at 5 p.m. Wine and a local craft beer are available for purchase. Bring your own chairs and blankets. Click here for more info.

Thursday-Saturday, June 17-19
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap offers Shane's Apothecary tonight at 5:30 p.m., King Me tomorrow night, and Richards & Murphy live on Saturday night. Music usually starts at 5:30 on Thursday and 6 p.m. other nights. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. And to confirm. Click here to reserve a table.

SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle on the Bay continues a summer of live music on Thursday and Friday nights with Shake acoustic this evening, and Jim Branca and Tom Buckley on Friday. Music begins at 6 p.m.
      The Paddle asks customers not to use the Table Agent app for their restaurant. "It was not approved by us!" Mandy said. Call 802.372.4814 for reservations and more info.

Friday, June 18
NORTH HERO--Bettenroo plays live in the Steamship Bar and Grill at North Hero House on Friday at 5:30 p.m. Lori Jacobs and Anne Davey blend harmony with guitar and bass to perform the music of the past six decades plus originals from their CD Live Out Loud. Find them on Facebook for more info. NHH has live music on Wednesday and Friday evenings.

COLCHESTER--Barbie n Bones rocks the Outback at the Spanked Puppy on Friday evening at 6 p.m. Jenn and Mark DiNatale and Shawn Hayden play music people can dance to.

MILTON--The Friday Night Live Music and Buffet at Arrowhead Golf Course presents Carol Ann Jones and Will Patton on the deck on Friday at 6 p.m. The pulled pork buffet starts around 7 p.m. Both run until 9 p.m.
      The buffet costs $12 per person ($5 for each child). You don't have to be a member; the public is welcome. Be sure to come early, usually around 6, to get a good seat.

ST. ALBANS--"Just a girl and her guitar," Laura Fedele-Rasco plays the old favorites live in The Room at 14th Star on Friday at 6 p.m. "You'll hear me play anything from the 50s to present day."

SHELDON--The Abbey 2021 Summer Music series continues with Phil Graziano on the Back 40 Farm Wagon on Friday at 6:30 p.m., weather permitting or in the Pub if it rains.

ST. ALBANS--Jerborn lands at Twiggs on Friday at about 6:30 p.m. "Kick off the Summer right, book your reservations."
      Call 802.524.1405, find them on Facebook, or click here for more info.

BURLINGTON--Max Creek is playing at Backside 405 on Friday at 7 p.m. Doors at 6.
      The band formed in 1971 as a quartet with an accordion player but they became a guitar/drums/bass trio almost right away. Back in the day, Max Creek played like 200 shows a year and brought in some 1,300 fans every week at the Living Room in Providence. When they went on tour, Phish would occasionally fill in at the Living Room until their return.
      Higher Ground and Burlington City Arts teamed up for this outdoor event series. Backside 405 takes place behind BCA Studios at 405 Pine Street where it features live music and DJs, food trucks, and alcohol sales. The series starts out with a 500-person capacity for shows every Friday and Saturday through July. Masks are encouraged but not required for the events.
      Admission is $25-30. Click here for tickets and more info.

ST. ALBANS--Celebrate the return of live music to Nelly's with Cozy O'Donnell on Friday at 8 p.m. Cozy brings their funky, bluesy, rocking sounds complete with brass for the first time in public in over a year.
      Find them on Facebook for more info.

Saturday June 19
ST. ALBANS--Music in the Biergarten continues as Mill River Brewing presents musical dudes Sean & Gerry at 5 p.m. Call to make a reservation. The acoustic/electric rock duo of Sean Nary on guitar and vocalist Gerry Metivier mix it up with classic to modern rock, pop, and original music.
      Find them on Facebook for more info.

HYDE PARK--VFW Post 7779 presents Along Came Jones for Rock and Roll at the Hyde Park VFW on Saturday at 8 p.m. The quartet plays rock country blues and more and has fun. "Let us know what you like and we will play it even if we don't know it."
      Admission is $7/person or $12/couple cover at the door. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Wednesday, June 23
NORTH HERO--Queen City Hot Club plays live in the Steamship Bar and Grill at North Hero House on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Look for 1930s American and European standards in the Gypsy Jazz style created by Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli, and their legendary "Quintet Hot Club de France." Find them on Facebook for more info. NHH has live music on Wednesday and Friday evenings.

ST. ALBANS--The St. Albans Summer Concert Series presents the Nobby Reed Project in the E.A. Loomis Bandshell in Taylor Park on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. There will be no food or beverage sales this summer.
      Admission is free.


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

Thursday, June 17
      On the Frost Jazz Hour UM, the Manny Echazabal Quartet plays live 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.

Friday, June 18
      Summer Sounds favorite John Bartus announced that his long-awaited CD, After the Storm, is available! The lead-off single, Blue Zone, premiered on YouTube on Monday. The songs "can be downloaded and streamed from most of the usual places."
      His Perpetual Island Tour will perform Social Distancing Concert 63, Live from the Florida Keys, thanks to Facebook Live at about 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Find him on Facebook for the watch party. Mr. Bartus played Social Distancing Concert #62 from the studio with songs from his new CD on Facebook on Friday evening. He will join us for Summer Sounds in Highgate on July 25.

Wednesday, June 16
      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

      Carnegie Hall Selects presents Leonard Bernstein, soprano Sheila Armstrong and mezzo-soprano Janet Baker, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Edinburgh Festival Chorus for Mahlerís Symphony No. 2, Resurrection, 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 has been on the road but the Pirate is back singing the crooners to the hippies, Beatles to Tull on Facebook on Tuesday. "If you have 3-D glasses dig them out," he said. "We are trying an experiment from the 'Secret Lab' staging area for the show." He will kick off the 30th season of Summer Sounds in Highgate on July 11.
      Follow him on Facebook for a link to this week's offerings.


      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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