ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 26 * * All Arts News On the Web * * August 18, 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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FRANKLIN COUNTY--The Big Music Weeks of Summer continue this week as Neon Spoon headlines Summer Sounds and some of our friends play multiple gigs. There are live shows in Burlington, East Burke, East Fairfield, Enosburg, Essex Junction, Highgate, Johnson, Milton, Morrisville, North Hero, Richford, Sheldon, South Hero, and St. Albans City and Town.


HIGHGATE--The 31st year of Summer Sounds concerts at home in Highgate continue with Neon Spoon on the Highgate Arena lawn on Sunday evening at the new time of 5:30 p.m
      Jeff Blouin, a member of Vermont's first Brain-to-Brain Art Download Tour, is on the stage! "Spoony" promised not to reprise his Gregorian Chant or his rendition of Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On. He said it will be "all good 80s music, pretty much the same as it's been with a couple of new additions and some new music" with Adam Blouin, Corey Frageau, Jody Doyle, Troy Baker, and Mr. Blouin. They have added Foo Fighters, Eddie Money, and more. Neon Spoon has been nominated for Best Vermont Rock Band on Music Mates.
      The Summer Sounds Social in the Park also continues with food, bouncy castles, drinks from 14th Star Brewing, and more.
      Summer Sounds welcomes the 2022 sponsors of this popular series: Big Al's Snack Bar, Desorcie's Market, and LaShures Pro Shop. The concerts are always on Sunday evenings, always at 5:30 p.m., always on the Highgate Arena Lawn, and always free. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair for the outdoor family music and festivities. The rain site is the Highgate Arena. Click here for the entire summer schedule.


     Vermont reported 567 new COVID-19 cases statewide last week (up from 407 last week). Franklin County reported 66 cases in the 14 days ending Saturday. These numbers reflect only those cases reported to the state and not the much larger number found and not reported via self-test kits.
      Vermont relies on self reporting. You can report self-test results by following instructions on your test kit to automatically provide your results to your local health department or with the Vermont COVID-19 Self-Test Result Reporting Form. If you test positive, stay home and isolate for five days. You can leave your home on day six if your symptoms have improved and you have had no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of medicine that reduces fevers.
      Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order a third round of free at-home tests from Need other tests? COVIDtests.govalso has for links for at-home tests at retailers and pharmacies, insurance reimbursement for at-home tests, and the 20,000 no-cost antigen and PCR COVID-19 test sites nationwide. Most major chains including Walgreens and Price Chopper locally 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. The fourth booster is available for those over 50. 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 indoors.
      The state Health Department has changed its reporting to align with the CDC definition of "up to date." According to the Vermont Immunization Registry, the number of people who are eligible to be counted may have dropped in the last week but "because of Vermont's policy to follow the CDC's reporting as a rate, not a number, we aren't able to provide you with numbers." And yet the state dashboard reported that 14,600 fewer Vermonters are "up to date" this week than were up to date last week. That looks like a big number to me.
      Changing from the number of people with a shot in the arm to a rate simply serves to obscure the facts. We will stop reporting on the number vaccinated until Vermont can reliably report actual data.
      No vaccine is 100% foolproof. Wash your hands. Keep wearing an 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 visit 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. Providers and pharmacies must give vaccines at no cost to the patient.


CAMBRIDGE--Paint, Eat, & Sip with MAG and Linda Coulombe at My Favorite Things on Main Restaurant this evening at 6 p.m. The theme is a Monet-inspired impressionist water lily scene with acrylic paint . Ms. Coulombe is an experienced painting instructor and MAG member. All supplies will be provided. Beer, wine, ciders, and an extensive food menu are available. The cost is $35 for members or $40 for non-members. Click here to register and for more info.


SWANTON--Swanton Arts Council created the video workshop, Book Publishing Options, with Joy Choquette on YouTube. It covers the three main types of publishing and their pros and cons, which publishing option is best for the book and the writer's abilities, and the major steps in each type of publishing.
      SAC and Ms. Choquette offer a series of publishing-related videos including How to Write Your First Novel on her YouTube channel.

MILTON--Social Sundays continue at 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.

SOUTH HERO--Island Arts offers the final Group Singing Lesson with soprano Sarah Cullins at the South Hero Congregational Church on Monday at 5 p.m. The vocal technique classes will focus on body and breathing coordination to enhance projection, clarity of tone, and more. The classes are suitable for both beginners and experienced singers.
      The cost is $40 for the set of three classes or $15 for one class. to register and for more info.

NORTH HERO--Island Arts concludes the three-class Handcrafted Greeting Card Workshop with Pat Brennan at the Island Arts Center on Wednesday at 10 - 11:30 a.m.
      An Islander since 1969, Ms. Brennan has been giving card classes that cover basic card-making for five years. The cost is $15 per class plus a one time $6 tool kit. Please bring scissors. Click here to sign up and for more info.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council Writers' Group meets at the Swanton Free Public Library this evening at 5 p.m. They meet the third Thursday of each month to share progress and join in the discussion about longer projects and anything else about writing, reading, publishing, and more. All are welcome, but any attendees who are not fully vaccinated are required to wear masks. Email Becky Rupp or the Swanton Library for more info.


     Here's my own plan with over one million U.S. deaths and as our precautions wane. I got the COVID and Flu shots, and the 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, August 18
ST ALBANS TOWN--The weekly St. Albans Bay Farmer's Market and Concert Series continues with the Shane Murley Band today from 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. They have live music every Thursday evening. Find them on Facebook for more info.

SOUTH HERO--The 2022 Snow Farm Summer Concert Series continues their 25th anniversary season with Pen Hits this evening. The six piece band pays homage to "Pig Pen" McKernon, founding member of the Grateful Dead. They play the music that he and the Dead are known for. Music starts at 6:30 p.m. but "come as early as you would like." Click here for more info.

RICHFORD--The Richford First Baptist Church presents Ernie Couch & Revival in concert this evening at 7 p.m. The evening will be filled with Christian and Gospel Music from Ernie and Jason Couch. Admission is free. A love offering will be taken to support their ministry Find them on Facebook for more info.

Thursday-Saturday, August 18-20
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap starts off another weekend of music with Bob Recupero tonight at 6 p.m. two shows Friday night, the Duel at 5 p.m., and then with Lazer Dad for late night 90s Night starting at 9 p.m., plus two more shows live on Saturday night with Jeff Shelly at 5 p.m., and the debut of Mirage starting at 9 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

Thursday-Sunday, August 18-21
SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro starts off another weekend of music with Cooie & Adlai tonight, followed by Bettenroo for chill acoustic tunes on the porch on Saturday, plus Al's Pals on Sunday. Music starts about 5:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Friday, August 19
MORRISVILLE--Music on Main continues with Stefani Capizzi on Friday at 5:30 p.m. Bring a chair every Friday in July and August for free music at the gazebo. Music on Main is a collaboration between Morrisville Alliance for Culture and Commerce and River Arts. Click here for more info.

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 BBQ chicken buffet starts around 7 p.m. Both run until 9 p.m. The buffet costs $13 per person ($7 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. Click here for more info.

JOHNSON--It's Rock Night in Johnson as Moog's Joint presents Matthew Mercury with deep roots in Lamoille and Franklin Counties on Friday at 6 p.m. Outdoor seating and COVID precautions. Find them on Facebook for more info the menu and.

ST. ALBANS--Live Music at MRB, all Summer long presents Eleven at Mill River Brewing on Friday at 6 p.m. Call to make a reservation (802.582.4182) or find them on Facebook for more info.

Friday-Saturday, August 19-20
NORTH HERO--The Steamship Pier Bar and Grill at North Hero House has a double header with the Brett Hughes Duo on Friday and the Blue Rock Boys on Saturday. Music starts at 5:30 p.m. both nights. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs often has shows on Friday and Saturday nights. Music starts about 6:30 p.m. Call 802.524.1405 or find them on Facebook for more info. Click here to book a reservation or to visit the art on the walls.

Saturday, August 20
EAST FAIRFIELD--The live Meeting House on the Green Summer Concerts continue with Galen Cassidy Peria on Saturday at 5 p.m.
      Known as Duke Aeroplane, the New Orleans based song-finder, wordsmith, student of the cards, histrionic, and excitable drinker recorded and released two albums and toured the United States and Europe extensively as a member of Vermont Joy Parade, As a solo artist, he has recorded and released one "difficult to locate" album. I'm pretty sure the famed Oleo Romeos have a copy and may have done a cameo.
      Admission is by suggested donation of $10 at the door with those under 16 admitted free. Concerts are held outdoors. In case of rain, concerts are either canceled or moved indoors with mask required and limited seating available. "Grab and go" light fare will be available for sale or bring your own picnic. Call 802.827.6626 or click here for more info.

EAST BURKE--Mike's Tiki Bar presents Vermont's best known blues trio, the Nobby Reed Project, on Saturday at 5 p.m. Vermont's first outdoor summer tiki bar is behind the Pub.

ENOSBURG--Country Boy Classics presents Heartless, the ultimate Heart and Led Zeppelin event, on Saturday at 8 p.m. The tribute tours the upper East Coast "playing each song as true to live version of Heart's performances." Admission is $20. Click here for tickets and more info.

Sunday, August 21
ST. ALBANS--14th Star and Grazers continue the Sunday Brunch Sessions: Jesse Agan live in The Room on Sunday at 12 noon - 2 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Live Music at MRB, all Summer long presents Nobby Reed wailing the blues at Mill River Brewing on Sunday at 2 p.m. Call to make a reservation (802.582.4182) or find them on Facebook for more info.

HIGHGATE--The Town of Highgate continues the 31st year of Summer Sounds concerts at home in Highgate with Neon Spoon on the Highgate Arena lawn on Sunday evening at the new time of 5:30 p.m
      Bring a blanket or a lawn chair for the outdoor family music and festivities. The rain site is the Highgate Arena. Click here or Find them on Facebook for more info.

NORTH HERO--Island Arts presents the Vermont Jazz Ensemble in the Island Arts Center on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Vermont's 17-piece big-band swing/dance group has been swingin’ for over 40 years. Admission is $25. Click here for tickets and more info.

Tuesday, August 23
ENOSBURG FALLS--The Enosburg Town Band concludes the Summer Concert in the Park season at the Lincoln Park bandstand on Tuesday at 7 p.m. There will be music, friends and family, popcorn or ice cream sundaes, and a craft table for the "littles of all ages." Find them on Facebook for more info.

Wednesday, August 24
NORTH HERO--Music moves the soul. Will Patton joins Carol Ann Jones live in the Steamship Pier Bar and Grill at North Hero House on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Cooie Sings Live Music at MRB, all Summer long at Mill River Brewing on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Call to make a reservation (802.582.4182) or find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The St. Albans Summer Concert Series presents Cozy in the E.A. Loomis Bandshell in Taylor Park on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. El Gato Cantina food truck will be on site. Admission is free. The concerts will move to 14th Star Brewery if it rains. Click here for more info.

BURLINGTON--Nectar's presents Whale Tales, Evening of Comedic Storytelling with storytellers Maddie Cross, Kelly Davis, Marlon Fisher, Liam Gibbons, Kathleen Kanz, and Paul Tenney, hosted by Jeremy Rayburn on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Admission is free. Click here for free tickets and more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Eloquent Page celebrates Vermont writers James B Manning and Sandy Manning for an advance release of two new books on Friday at 4 p.m. James' debut novel, Richter the Mighty. is a comic political thriller from the ex-journalist, English professor, and litigator. Sandy is releasing her third Kolya Petrov thriller, Bloody Soil. The former attorney's espionage novels feature a Russian Jewish immigrant working on behalf of the U.S. intelligence community. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--It's a party. Saturday is Bookstore Romance Day at the Eloquent Page, starting at 10 a.m. The extra special day brings a host of local romance writers and celebrates the power of love. 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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