ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 27 * * All Arts News On the Web * * March 16, 2023


      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--Rotary Club of St. Albans opens the 29th Home & Recreation Exposition with free admission on Saturday and Sunday. The EXPO annual fund raiser runs takes over the Collins-Perley Sports and Fitness Center. 100% of the profits go to support the Rotary charitable work in this community.
      Building a new home this year? Planning a home remodeling project? That new space can easily help showcase your own collection of fine art etchings. Or perhaps you need, absolutely need, space for a house concert with Elton John on his final, final, final road trip?
      Rotary supports local organizations and particularly likes to help the start-up or expansion of local programs or facilities.
      Admission is free. The doors will be open from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Sunday. The Collins-Perley Sports and Fitness Center is located just off I-89 at Exit 19. Find them on Facebook for more info.


     COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations remained generally low over the last week. The Vermont Department of Health reported on March 8 that 33 people are newly hospitalized. Overall, Vermont's new COVID-19 cases rose slightly to 343 statewide last week, up from 340 the week before. Franklin County's case load stood at 48 cases in the 7 days ending Saturday and the test positivity rate in Franklin County is high. Infections in Franklin County remain at a "Low" level. Four COVID-related deaths in the last week of February and first week of March brought us to 929 Vermonters who have died of COVID-19. Franklin County has lost 87 residents to the disease.
      Higher test positivity rates are a sign that many infections are not reported even if people are testing at home. Under reporting results in a more severe undercount of cases. The number of patients with COVID hospitalized is a more reliable indicator because testing is more consistent in hospitals.
      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 provide your results automatically 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 eligible to order 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. All of Vermont's walk-in clinics closed Tuesday. Only about 60% of adults and eligible children have even received a flu vaccine. Most doctors and area pharmacies offer COVID-19 and flu vaccinations.
      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 again 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, March "Paint & Sip: Vermont Inspired Landscapes " on Friday at 6 p.m. Each paint and sip looks at the painting style of a different master. This month will look to the works of Daryl Storrs. Attendees can go step by step with an instructor or feel free to go out of the box to compose a piece that is unique. The cost is $55. Click here to enroll and for more info.

MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild hosts a Pearl Bubble Bracelet workshop with Paule Galle at MAG on Saturday at 10 a.m. The cost is $50 for members and $55 for non-members. Click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Awaken Yoga and Creative Arts Studio host a Northern Lights Paint & Pizza Party on Friday at 6 p.m. Mimmo's pizza and painting is a twist on the traditional pant n' sip. The cost is $40. Click here for tickets and more info.


ONLINE--Kwai. The Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park have begun a new series to introduce the Abenaki Word of the Week. They will share Abenaki words alongside English translations every week. Find them on Facebook for this week's word.

ONLINE--The Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and the Vermont Humanities Council present Kwanitekw Sustainer of Life with Matt Devine, Darlene Kascak, Vera Longtoe-Sheehan, and Kathy Urffer in the Two-Eyed Seeing Speaker Series on Zoom on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The panel of indigenous citizens and environmental scientists will discuss the Connecticut River in honor of World Water Day. Click here or here to register and for more info about the talk.

ST. ALBANS--Osher Lifelong Learning Institute continues the weekly program series with Garrett Graff to discuss the State of Us Politics, from the 2022 Midterms to the 2024 Election in the Greg Brown Lodge at Hard'ack on Wednesday at 11 a.m. A former editor at Politico and editor-in-chief of Washingtonian magazine, Mr. Graff is a national political journalist and historian.
      OLLI no longer takes payments at the door. They "strongly recommend that all attendees/members pre-register prior to the start of the program." Click here for more info.


JEFFERSONVILLE--Bryan Memorial Gallery hosts a pair of workshops this week.
      The Bryan Figure Drawing Session takes place this evening at 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. The session allows for artists to work on drawings or paintings with a live art model provided by the Gallery. Artists are required to bring their own drawing materials. There is a recommended $20 donation for this event. Email to attend or drop-in as space allows. Click here for more info.
      Annelein Beukenkamp leads Florals & Faces with on Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. The two-day workshop will tackle two different subjects, florals and faces. each handled in uniquely. The cost is $250. Registration is required to attend Click here to register.

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 week offers a different project. Stay for 30 minutes or the whole two hours. Click here for more info.

SWANTON--The Swanton Arts council hosts Barn Quilt Painting with Marie Speer at the Swanton Free Public Library on Monday at 6 p.m. Ms. Speer teaches how to create and paint a barn quilt. The workshop is free but registration is required. Click here for a form to register.


     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-Saturday, March 16-18
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap starts off another weekend of live music with the Shane Murley Band tonight at 6 p.m. two shows Friday night, Third Shift starting second shift at 5 p.m., and then 90 Proof for a St. Patrick's Day Party starting at 9 p.m., plus two more shows live on Saturday night with She Was Right at 5 p.m., and Last Kid Picked starting at 10 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

St. Patrick's Day, Friday, March 17
ST. ALBANS--Big doings for all Irish Vermonters at Mill River Brewing on Friday evening.
      Eleven goes Sham Rockin' at the new Mill River Taphouse at 5:30 p.m. The boys have "added a few new songs to the setlist and brought back a few (we haven't played in a long time)." They are counting down their final nine.
      And the Rough Suspects play live at MRB starting at 6 p.m. "where the best brew does not require the luck o' the Irish."

COLCHESTER--St. Albans' own WD-40s offer up acoustic shenanigans and Irish music tomfoolery for St Patrick's Day in the live and free Friday Music Night at the Spanked Puppy on Friday at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

SHELDON--The Abbey goes green in the Farm Room for the annual St Patrick's Day Party with Irish tunes, drinks, and dinner on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

SOUTH HERO--Summer Sounds favorite Carol Ann Jones winds down the Friday Night Wine Down for this season inside the tasting room at Snow Farm Vineyard on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Food will be catered, call Kristen (802.922.8074) for all pre-order food requests. Click here for more info.

BURLINGTON--Nectar's has Blues for Breakfast after supper on Friday at 9 p.m. The Champlain Valley's "Do It All" band mixes classic rock, reggae, Motown, and originals into their shows. General admission is $15. Click here for tickets and more info.

ST. ALBANS--Barbie-N-Bones rock the Depot St. Patrick's Day all the way green with a $5 cover on Friday at 7 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Friday-Saturday, March 17-18
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, March 18
ST. ALBANS--Off The Rails at One Federal usually has live music in the lounge on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Wednesday, March 22
ST. ALBANS--Troy Millette's Sample Sets continue at 14th Star for a night of live music on the Taproom stage on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Mr. Millette introduces two acts per week of established solo acts, fresh new faces, special guest appearances, and more. Find them on Facebook for more info.


     Virtual music and events continue this week.

      Northwest Access TV broadcast Summer Sounds favorite Carol Ann Jones singing original and folk songs live at the St. Albans Museum on YouTube.

      Barefoot Mark Shelton sang a Summer Sounds in Winter show with Elvis and more in Key Colony Beach with a live audience and on Facebook on Friday. That posting had 1,500 views, 320 comments, and 65 shares (as of this writing) which may be a new record. Follow him on Facebook for a link to this week's offerings.


SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council Writers' Group meets in person at the Swanton Free Public Library this evening at 6 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. Email Becky Rupp or the Swanton Library for more info.

SWANTON--The Swanton Free Public Library hosts the monthly book club, But I Progress, on Tuesday at 6 p.m. This month's book will be announced soon.
      The readings focus on writers who "identify as women, with particular attention to Women of Color and nonbinary women, who are under represented in literature. Today women's works are priced lower, more seldom purchased, and not receiving proper credit." There will be snacks, reviews, discussion, ideas, and good conversation. Click here 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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