ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 25 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 23, 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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      May you all have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Kwanzaa, an Honorable Zarathosht, and a belated Enlightened Bodhi Day, Hanukkah Sameach, and Saturnalian Modraniht.


      Schools in the Maple Run Unified School District (Fairfield and St. Albans City and Town) closed last Friday to deal with surging COVID-19 infections and related staff shortages but reopened for Monday - Wednesday this week. It is now Winter Break.
      With Christmas and New Year's Day around the corner, Vermont health officials do not expect the virus to recede for at least several more weeks. "About 5% of Vermont adults--roughly 40,000 people--remain unvaccinated," Gov. Phil Scott said last week. Unvaccinated people accounted for 72% of hospitalizations and 77% of intensive care unit patients. Data collected over the past six weeks shows that unvaccinated people were 30 times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 and 34 times more likely to die than people who had been vaccinated and boosted.
      Private insurers are required to reimburse Vermonters for at-home COVID-19 test kits.
      Vermont reported 2,541 new COVID-19 cases last week. Franklin County reported 567 cases in the 14 days ending Sunday.
      Here's my own advice. Immunity is beginning to wane for many of us, leading to mild infections and increased transmission of the virus. Get the COVID and Flu shot(s), get the booster, and take precautions. No vaccine is 100% foolproof. Wash your hands. 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. Bonus: it will also help protect you from pollen, summer colds, and the winter flu.
      Vaccination clinics for booster shots and for the first or second dose of vaccine are open across Vermont for anyone age 12 or older. Call 855.722.7878 or click here to make an appointment or for more info. You can also walk-in at Costco, CVS, Hannaford, Price Chopper/Market 32, Rite Aid, Shaw's, Walgreens, or Walmart, or get an appointment with CVS, Kinney Drugs, Walgreens, or UVMMC Outpatient Pharmacies.


JEFFERSONVILLE--Bryan Memorial Gallery continues Let's Find Out, an online series that explores the 17 artists on display in their 2021 Legacy Collection. Artist Mark Boedges is featured this week.
      The gallery has closed for 2021 and will reopen from its annual winter break on March 3, 2022, with the kickoff of the new Legacy Collection. During the break appointments will be available. Call the gallery (802.644.5100) or email to schedule a time.


ST. ALBANS--The Artist In Residence Gallery has photography, jewelry, pottery, paintings, stained and fused glass, original ornaments, wood turned bowls, pebble art, artistic quilting, prints, metal art 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 today and Christmas Eve, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., for last minute gifts. Click here or find them on Facebook for more info.

GRAND ISLE--Grand Isle Art Works is open is open today and Christmas Eve, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Click here for more info

MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild online shop is open 24/7 and the gallery is open is open today, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Christmas Eve, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., for last minute shopping. Find them on Facebook for more info.

SOUTH HERO--Island Craft Shop is open is open today and Christmas Eve, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

ONLINE--The Hidden Side of the Art Market is a three-part podcast series from Freakonomics Radio.
      The art market is so opaque and illiquid that it barely functions like a market at all. A handful of big names get all the headlines (and most of the dollars). Beneath the surface is a tangled web of dealers, curators, auction houses, speculators--and, of course, artists. The first episode introduces the key players and shows how an obscure, long-dead American painter suddenly became a superstar. Click here for Part 1 of the podcast.


ONLINE--The Abenaki Arts & Education Group held Zoom Art Training for Beginners. Zoom for Artists: Part 1 is posted on YouTube. Participants learned basic Zoom skills such as how to participate in meetings using mute/unmute, camera on/off, chat, emojis, and how to raise a virtual hand. The training is produced through a partnership between the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and the Abenaki Arts & Education Center.
      This round of training has ended and the videos are being edited. There is an upcoming Google Workspace training in January. That link should go up shortly. Click here for more info.


     Vermont has lifted all remaining statewide COVID-19 restrictions.
      Here's my own advice. Immunity is beginning to wane for many of us, leading to mild infections and increased transmission of the virus. Get the COVID and Flu shot(s), get the booster, and take precautions. No vaccine is 100% foolproof. Wash your hands. 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. Bonus: it will also help protect you from pollen, summer colds, and the winter flu.

Thursday, December 23
SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro hosts singer-songwriter Carol Ann Jones tonight at 6 - 8 p.m.


     Virtual music and events continue this week.

      "Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from the Florida Keys." Summer Sounds favorite John Bartus wrote his Own Damn Christmas Song on YouTube. He will perform a special Christmas Eve concert Friday night at Boondocks and on Facebook Live as well. Find him on Facebook for the watch party.

      Singer-songwriter Natalie Gelman sang a Joyful Jewish Christmas with "all your favorite #ChristmasMusic that happens to be written by people who are Jewish" on Facebook.

      Greg Lake (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) performs I Believe in Father Christmas with flautist Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), David Arch, Florian Opahle, and the church choir, filmed live at St. Bride's Church in London, on YouTube.

      Every Christmas Eve, singers travel from far and near to McNeill's Brewery with traditional songs and harmonies that soar to the heavens and resound with the English pub carol tradition. They captured the 2020 Brattleboro Christmas Eve Virtual Pub Sing on YouTube. Forty pub singers contributed recordings to this 2020 project, bringing twelve favorite Christmas songs to life in authentic pub-sing-style harmony.

      Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton sang Christmas Songs from the Cantaberry Inn on Facebook on Monday and a Christmas Winter Solstice Concert on Facebook on Tuesday. Follow him on Facebook for a link to this week's offerings.


ST. ALBANS--The Saint Albans Museum is "hanging by a thread," executive director Lisa Evans told St. Albans officials last week.
      25 regular volunteers give tours, design exhibits, and help manage the museum. She estimated that these volunteers have worked about 3,500 total hours at the museum this year alone. That helps but the needs are greater than just "in-kind" help can give. Call Ms. Evans (802.527.7933) or click here to find out the other contributions this living story of the area needs.


ST. ALBANS--A new book by Bill Mares and Don Hooper, I Could Hardly Keep from Laughing: an Illustrated Collection of Vermont Humor, makes the perfect, last minute stocking stuffer. The Eloquent Page has copies signed by both.

      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
Music at the Meeting House
Citizens Band
Wednesday Night Live
Enosburg Town Band


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All Arts Council of Franklin County

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