ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 26 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 5, 2022


      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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ST. ALBANS--The Kingman Fest offers a live band tribute to Queen in a block party on Kingman Street on Saturday at 5 - 9 p.m. Rain, snow, or shine. The live Queen tribute concert starts at 7:30 p.m. The Music of Queen on Kingman led by Jesse Agan, with Andre Maquera, Gary Spaulding, and more, will "Rock You!"
      The great Kingman Street closure is complete. The City will close off Kingman Street for one night only to celebrate with a free outdoor block party to show that the businesses on Kingman Street are stronger than ever. The family festival has activities for all ages. There will be fair food and a cash bar. Proceeds from the event will be donated to SAFF.
      Find them on Facebook for more info and grab a preview on Facebook.

BURLINGTON--The 2022 Young Tradition Festival continues with a full set of live and live-streamed programs to Contois Auditorium in City Hall and other locations through Sunday. Evening concerts tonight and tomorrow feature Babineau/Chartrand on Thursday and the Young Tradition Touring Group and Young Tradition Youth Commission on Friday. Music starts at 7 p.m. The Contest Finals feature ten finalists from dozens of entries, past contest winners, and guest performers on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Showcase Concert features young musicians and dancers performing with their mentors, teachers and/or parents, including those involved with the 30th anniversary of the Vermont Folklife Center's Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program all on Saturday at 6 p.m. Windborne and other guests host a Tribute honoring Larry Gordon, Tony Barrand, and Norma Waterson on Sunday at 3 p.m.
      Young Tradition Festival is an annual event held on the first full weekend (Friday-Sunday) and the weekdays prior in May. The weeklong event celebrates multi-generational relationships from diverse traditional music and dance communities. Children, youth and young adults are the major focus, as well as those who support them as teachers, mentors, friends and families. Click here for tickets and more info.


     Neither Gov. Phil Scott nor the other state officials addressed the pandemic at their Tuesday press conference last week although the average daily number of new hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Vermont had nearly doubled.
      Vermont reported 2,184 new COVID-19 cases statewide last week which remains the highest rate per capita in the nation. The state had 666 more cases last week when compared to the week before. Franklin County reported 350 cases in the 14 days ending Friday.
      Vermont relies on self reporting. Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order eight free at-home COVID-19 tests in two separate sets of four from Go there for links to the 20,000 no-cost antigen and PCR COVID-19 test sites nationwide. Most major chains including Walgreens, CVS, Price Chopper, and Walmart should have free N95 masks for distribution.
      Whether you have contracted and recovered from this coronavirus or haven't yet received a booster or even if you have done it all, immunity has waned for many of us. That lowered resistance leads to infections and increased transmission of the virus. Here's my own advice. Get the COVID shot(s), get the booster(s), and take precautions, particularly if you are inside with other people--that means wearing a mask, despite the CDC relaxing the mask mandates. Statewide, about 311,600 Vermonters or 68% of the eligible population has completed vaccination and gotten a booster. Franklin County finally ticked up to about 64% of the people having completed the vaccine and the additional dose. Unchanged over the last five weeks, Essex County with 55% vaccinated and boosted, and Orleans Counties at 62% have lower rates. Windsor County now has 63% vaccinated and boosted.
      No vaccine is 100% foolproof. Wash your hands. Keep wearing a genuine N95 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 because so many parents refused to vaccinate their kids. Bonus: it will also help protect you from pollen, summer colds, and the winter flu.
      Call 855.722.7878 or for more info about the first or second dose and for booster shots of the vaccine. 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.


SWANTON--Check out the finished Art Walls at Swanton Beach on Maquam Shore Road. Swanton Public Arts Network and Swanton Arts Council volunteers painted these walls at a Tailgate Paint Party last Saturday.

ST. ALBANS--The Artist In Residence Gallery returns to in-person receptions to feature different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on wood turner Brad Blaisdell, potter Martha McGinn, and jewelry creator Holly Spier. at a reception in the gallery today at 3:30 - 6:30 p.m. A.I.R. celebrates the monthly Featured Artists online, on Facebook, and in the 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 Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here or find them on Facebook for more info.

JEFFERSONVILLE--Cambridge Arts Council presents A Topsy-Turvy World--Paintings by Nina Buxenbaum as part of the Paracosm Pop-Up Series at the Visions of Vermont Sugarhouse Gallery on Saturday at 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. There will be an opening reception from 7 - 9 p.m.
      Ms. Buxembaum, a Brooklyn artist and teacher, uses "the 'Topsy-Turvy doll' as a metaphor of black women and the way we learn to define ourselves. The doll, whose name is derived from the character of Topsy in the Harriet Beecher Stowe novel, 'Uncle Tom's Cabin,' is designed to look like a southern belle on one side, but her dress conceals a black girl underneath."


SWANTON--The Swanton United Methodist Church and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 668 host the Annual Spring Craft Show in both locations on Saturday at 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
      The artisan and crafter's show is back for Mother's Day. Visitors will find handmade gifts for Mom, Gram, sister, best friends, significant others, or even yourself from novelist J.P. Choquette, painter Dot Goulet, photographer Rose Forcier, clay artist Kris Porter, mixed media art by Rose, and many, many more.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council hosts Stampin' Up! Cards with Barb on Wednesday at 11 a.m. The class is free but space is limited and pre-registration is required. Call Barb (802.752.7917) or email to register or for more info. The card making workshop will be repeated in May and June.

MILTON--Social Sundays have returned to the Milton Artists' Guild Art Center with free weekly art classes for families at MAG on Sundays at 1 p.m. Each week offers a different project. Stay for 30 minutes or the whole two hours. Admission is free but registration is required. Click here for free tickets and more info.


MORRISVILLE--River Arts begins four diverse workshops this week.
      Psychotherapist Megan Bisbee continues the meditative, healing, in-person workshop, May Meditate and Create this evening at 5:30 p.m. Cultivate creativity, connection, and mindfulness with a guided meditation followed by a contemplative art project, tea, and discussion. No experience necessary. All materials provided. The cost is $40. Click here to enroll and for more info.
      In Intro to Basket Weaving; Black Ash Berry Baskets, on Saturday at 9:30 a.m., Penny Hewitt leads the process of making a personal berry basket and learning one of the oldest crafts in human history. The cost is $40. Click here to enroll and for more info.
      Held over two Saturdays, Intro to iPhone Photography; Visual Storytelling with Nan Carle Beauregard begins this Saturday at 10 a.m. The short course will showcase the power of iPhone photography and how to take photos that make viewers say "Wow." Participants should bring an iPhone 10 or later and download the free app Snapseed Editing. The cost is $45. Click here to enroll and for more info.
      Spring Create with Clay is a free, new, six-class partnership with the Recovery Center and instructor Jude Prashaw beginning Monday at 5:30 p.m. and continuing on Mondays through June 20. All completed work will be fired off-site at River Arts. Click here to enroll and for more info.


     Here's my own plan as U.S. deaths approach one million and our precautions wane. I got the COVID and Flu shots, and the first booster, and I take precautions because no vaccine is 100% foolproof. I wash my hands. I double mask with a genuine N95 mask (not a bandana and not a "chin strap") and a surgical mask where ever I can't control the airflow. It isn't much of a burden and it mostly protects me from all the people without masks I see in stores and concerts.

Thursday, May 5
SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro hosts the original folk/soul duo TwiinSpeak this evening at 6 - 8 p.m. DonnCherie McKenzie brings original music and creative covers with different musician friends and guests. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Friday, May 6
MORRISVILLE--Moog's Joint presents Lazy Bird in their debut at Moog's on Friday at 7 p.m. The band plays a variety of funk, soul, and blues tunes.Admission is by $5 cover. Find them on Facebook for more info.

SHELDON--The Abbey Live Music Series continues with Bryce Bachelder in the Pub on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Friday-Saturday, May 6-7
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap has two shows Friday night, Elizabeth Begins at 5 p.m., followed by the Phil Abair Band with Keeghan Nolan for late night music starting at 9 p.m., plus two more shows live on Saturday night with the Duncan Macleod Trio at 5 p.m., and Soulshine Revival, Vermont's Allman Brothers tribute band, starting at 9 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs often has shows on Friday and Saturday nights. This week they host the Lloyd Tyler Band on Friday and Chris & Erica live on Saturday night. Music starts about 6:30 p.m. Call 802.524.1405, find them on Facebook, or click here for more info.

Saturday, May 7
MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild celebrates its anniversary with live music by Karen McFeeters Leary & John Gibbons and Dayve Huckett at the MAG on Saturday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. There will be art, Daily Chocolate, and Runamok Maple. Find them on Facebook for more info.

MORRISVILLE--The Seth Yacovone Band returns to Moog's Joint for two sets of improvisational original rock music on Saturday at 5 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents the Medicine Tribe for a night of live music in The Room on Saturday at 6 p.m. The local band plays popular acoustic Americana-style music, originals, cover songs, and audience requests Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Vermont Choral Union presents Music of Hope at St. Luke's Episcopal Church on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Under the leadership of Steven Klimowski, the a capella choir program includes the music of Paul Hindemith, Josquin des Prez, James Whitbourn, Mykhailo Verbytsky, Ola Gjeilo, William Byrd, Kate Rusby, and the Ukrainian Prayer, a new piece by John Rutter.
      The Vermont Choral Union draws on more than ten centuries of classical a capella music to interweave works of the past with today's newest compositions. About three dozen singers from the Burlington area and surrounding communities join the VCU by audition. The group is in its 55th year.
      Admission is by donation. 100% of the net proceeds will be donated to the International Committee of the Red Cross to support their ongoing response to the humanitarian needs in Ukraine. Masks are required for all audience members. All members of the Vermont Choral Union are vaccinated. Click here for more info.

Sunday, Mother's Day, May 8
WEIR'S BEACH, NH--The M/S Mount Washington cruise ship presents Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton in two special Mother's Day Brunch concerts on Sunday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets are $55 per person. Call 603.366.5531 or Click here for tickets or more info. Follow Mr. Shelton on Facebook for a link to this week's other offerings.

Wednesday, May 11
ST. ALBANS--Troy Millette Presents: Sample Sets on the Taproom Stage at 14th Star on Wednesday from 6 - 9 p.m. Mr. Millette's special "flight" will have three new acts from established solo acts, to fresh new faces, to special guest appearances every Wednesday evening. Act One begins at 6 p.m., Act Two at 7, and Act Three at 8 all with no cover charge. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ST. ALBANS-The Eloquent Page hosts a book signing with Jillian Marshall, author of Japanthem, on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Fairfield native is a writer, teacher, and musician. Her book, subtitled Counter-Cultural Experiences, Cross- Cultural Remixes, is informed by years of Fulbright- and MTV-sponsored research and is personally revealing as well. It digs beyond what we know of Japanese culture to portray that society's deep relationship with music and what it means to listen and understand as a cultural outsider.
      Find the Eloquent Page on Facebook for more info about the book signing and click here for more info about the author.

ST. ALBANS--The Weekly Writer's Club gathers at 14th Star every Wednesday at 6 p.m.
      Writers of all skill levels are welcome to share, discuss, and work on skills. It's free. "If you're interested in doing some writing and meeting new people," Messenger staff reporter Josh Ellerbrock wrote, "it's a great avenue for all you creatives out there." 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
Music at the Meeting House
Citizens Concert Band
Enosburg Town Band


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All Arts Council of Franklin County

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