ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 26 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 15, 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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      Art is the gift that gives all year.

GEORGIA--The Girl Scout Troop 61489 Holiday Craft Fair has over 70 crafters and businesses at Georgia Elementary and Middle School on Saturday from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Girl Scout Troop 61489 will operate a gift wrapping station. There will also be a bake sale and a silent raffle. Find them on Facebook for more info


      BREAKING NEWS: You can order free COVID-19 tests again. Starting today, Americans can order four more free tests through the mail. It's part of the federal plan to cope with an increase in COVID cases sparked by indoor holiday gatherings. The tests can be ordered on and will start to ship next week.
      The "perfect storm tridemic" continues growing around the country.
      The Vermont Department of Health reported December 7 that hospitalizations fell to 31 from 38 the week before, but overall COVID-19 cases rose from 439 to 273 amid a national rise in cases and hospitalizations. COVID-19 infections remain at a "Low" level but are climbing quickly.
      Vermont's new overall COVID-19 cases rose to 444 statewide last week, up from 335 the week before. Franklin County's case load stood at 73 cases in the 14 days ending Saturday, up from 49. Eleven Vermonters died in November but none so far in December for a pandemic total of 781. Franklin County has lost 71 residents to the disease to date, but none in November.
      Because Vermont relies on self reporting, the number of actual cases is higher than the Department of Health finds. 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 or longer. 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.
      Take an at-home test if you begin having symptoms like fever, sore throat, runny nose, or loss of taste or smell, or at least five days after you come into close contact with someone with COVID-19, or if you plan a get together with people who are at risk of severe disease or may not be up to date on their vaccines. Every home in the U.S. is again eligible to order a new round of free at-home tests from Need other tests? also 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.
      People keep getting sick, mostly because they aren't taking precautions. Original COVID-19 vaccinations remain below the level of herd immunity, and even fewer have gotten boosters. Only about 60% of adults and eligible children have even received a flu vaccine.
      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. To date, only 28% of eligible Vermonters age 5 and over have gotten the bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine. 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 still means wearing a mask indoors.
      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.


MORRISVILLE--River Arts hosts the in-person, December Paint n' Sip: Winter Scenes with Natalie Carr on Friday at 6 p.m. Mix colors, touch paint to canvas, and go home with a piece of art ready to hang on the wall. Each paint and sip looks at the painting style of a different master painter.
      The cost is $45. Click here to enroll and for more info.


ST. ALBANS--14th Star Brewery hosts the Shred & Sip Saturday with ski and snowboard flicks on the Taproom projector all day on Saturday from 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. There will be raffles and goodies. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Saint Albans Museum will pause all public-facing activities starting today through February 1, 2023, to focus fully on ongoing work in their basement storage areas. They won't "address research requests, accept artifact donations, or hold public events during this time, and there will be significant delays in responding to phone/email messages. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding." Click here for more info.


MILTON--Social Sundays continue at the Milton Artists' Guild Art Center with free weekly art classes for families at MAG on Sunday at 1 p.m.
      Each event 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.


     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-Friday, December 15-16
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap starts off another weekend of music with Jeff Salisbury tonight at 6 p.m. plus the Robin Gottfried Band live on Friday night starting at 5 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table or to watch their schedule for more listings for this weekend.

Friday, December 16
ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents the tenth annual Home for the Holidays Benefit Concert for a night of live music by Troy Millette & the Fire Below, Emma Cook & Questionable Company, Chris & Erica, Jesse Agan, Citizen Bare, and Christopher Gregory in The Room on Friday beginning at 5 p.m. Tim Stetson Sound Solutions will provide light and sound.
      Admission by donation. Proceeds benefit Northwestern Counseling and Support Services. Find them on Facebook for more info.

COLCHESTER--The Spanked Puppy presents Jeff Shelley of Empty Pockets for their live and free Friday Music Nights on Friday at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

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

Friday-Sunday, December 16-18
ST. ALBANS--Twiggs often has shows on Friday and Saturday nights. This week they host Rockin Ron Gagnon on Friday and live music on Saturday night. 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.

LEBANON, NH--The Midwinter Revels return to the Lebanon Opera House with the Vox Hunters, Jeff Warner, and brothers Jesse and James Bruchac on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m.
      Jesse Bowman Bruchac is an Abenaki story teller and musician from Nullegan. He has produced several albums of Abenaki Music and has toured Europe as a member of an Abenaki Drum Group. Writer James Bruchac's titles include How Chipmunk Got His Stripes, Turtle's Race with Beaver, and Rabbit's Snow Dance. He is an Abenaki storyteller, cultural educator, and wilderness expert. Revels North brings tradition to life with theater, dance, and music from the world's cultural traditions and celebrations. Click here for tickets and more info.

Saturday, December 17
ST. ALBANS--The First Congregational Church hosts a Happy Holidays Open Mic for music, spoken word, story telling, skits, and dance on Saturday at 7 p.m. Come to sing or sing along, listen, and enjoy. There will be snacks, burgers, and dogs.
      Call Greg Beeman (802.324.0308) or find them on Facebook for more info.


     Virtual music and events continue this week.

      Delco after Dark is Delaware County, PA's late night livestream talk show featuring local food, music, and more. Find them on Facebook for a recent show in which Carl Park fights technical lateness.

      Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton sang on Elvis tribute songs by request on Facebook and Do You Hear What I Hear in his first Christmas concert of 2022 on Facebook . 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
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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