ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 27 * * All Arts News On the Web * * July 13, 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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FRANKLIN COUNTY--The Big Music Weeks of Summer continue this week as some of our friends play multiple gigs. Summer Sounds begins in Highgate and there are also live shows in Burlington, Enosburg Falls, Essex Junction, Isle La Motte, Milton, Morrisville, St. Albans City and Town, Sheldon, South Burlington, and South Hero.


HIGHGATE--The Town of Highgate begins the 32nd year of Summer Sounds concerts at home in Highgate with the return of the Tenderbellies in the first free concert of the season on the Highgate Arena lawn on Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
      The Vermont-based acoustic quintet will take listeners through many corners of American music and beyond with original songs, harmonies, and strong improvisation. The first concert of the season will feature rowdy bluegrass and heart-wrenching blues to jazz standards and rock n' roll.
      The concerts are always on Sunday evenings, always at 6:30 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 more info.


JEFFERSONVILLE--The Creative Process is Bryan Memorial Gallery's current show in the Main Gallery. This week's artist is Cynthia Rosen with landscape paintings on display on Facebook , in Stowe, and in the main gallery. .
      The Bryan Gallery is open Wednesday - Sunday from 11 - 5 or by appointment. Click here for more info.

ENOSBURG--Cold Hollow Sculpture Park repeats Picnic for Potluck at the Park on Sunday from 1 - 4 p.m. The free community gathering celebrates David Stromeyer's 473rd piece, Potluck. There will be a "Family Workshop: Build a Paper Sculpture," guided walking tours of the park, an artist talk with Mr. Stromeyer on the making of Potluck, and more. Click here for free reservations and Find them on Facebook for more info.


SWANTON--The Swanton Library continues the four-week Christmas in July series with Christmas Craft with Barb to create a sleigh in the Maker Space on Saturday at 11 a.m. This is a free art project thanks to a generous anonymous grant to the Swanton Arts Council. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Call Barb Switzer (802.752.7917) or email her or the Swanton Library , to register or for more info.


NORTH HERO--Island Arts continues community dancing to lively music in Easy Folk Dancing with instructor Leslie Alpert in the Island Arts Center on Monday at 6 - 7 p.m.
      All dances are taught. No partner required. No experience required, and new students are always welcome. Bring your water bottle. Classes will continue every Monday through July 24. Admission is free, but donations to Island Arts are appreciated. Lesley Email to verify the class schedule or click here for more info.


ONLINE--Mkazawigsoak. Tis the season to bite into the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park's Abenaki Word of the Week. Be sure to wear protective clothing. They will share Abenaki words alongside English translations every week. Find them on Facebook for this week's word.


MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild has three workshops this week.
      Rosemary D'Elia discusses What It's Like Doing an Artist Residency at the MAG Art Center this afternoon at 2 p.m. She will draw on her experience traveling to France to explain the pros, the cons, and the logistics of a residency. Click here to register and for more info.
      Social Sundays continue at the MAG 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.
      The six-week class, Art for Those with Dementia (and Their Caregivers) with artist Tina Lesperance, begins Tuesday at 10 a.m. - 12 noon and continues every Tuesday through August 22. This class is provided through MAG, Age Well, and Ben & Jerry's Community Action Fund. Click here for more info.


     "The pandemic isn’t over," Vermont Digger reports that COVID-19 has brought lasting changes to Vermont's theater companies. Staffing is hard and finding materials is hard and expensive but "young people are looking for more in-person connection and belonging after years on Zoom." Theater companies around the state are increasing their youth ensemble studios and doing more summer touring. Visit for the whole story.
      COVID is still here. The Vermont Department of Health reported that COVID-19 hospitalizations increased by seven--three in Franklin County--to a statewide total of 18 as of June 28. Total reported cases also increased by 21 to a total of 93. Fatalities have slowed but there were five COVID-related deaths reported in that week for a pandemic total of 984 as of June 24
      The state and many municipalities still have home antigen tests, available in libraries and town halls. The federal vaccine supply should last through this summer, which means COVID-19 shots will remain free to the public for that long. After the federal supply is gone, the COVID vaccine will be treated like other vaccinations, and the cost will depend on insurance plans.
      Some health plans will offer partial coverage of COVID-19 treatments such as Paxlovid but that will be plan dependent. As always, check with your insurer for specific information on your plan.
      Although COVID-19 is no longer a global health emergency, the Vermont Health Department still recommends following best practices. Call 855.722.7878 or visit for more info about the first or second dose and for booster shots of the vaccine.
      My own plan remains unchanged with over 1.1 million U.S. deaths, especially since our precautions have waned. I got the COVID and Flu shots, and the boosters, and I still take precautions because neither vaccine nor "natural immunity" is 100% foolproof. I wash my hands. I double mask with a genuine N95 mask (not a bandana and not a "chin strap") plus 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, July 13
ST ALBANS TOWN--The weekly St. Albans Bay Farmer's Market and Concert Series continues with Chris & Erica today from 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. They have live music every Thursday evening into September. Find them on Facebook for more info.

SOUTH HERO--The 2023 Snow Farm Summer Concert Series continues with Dirt Road bringing a "melting pot" of the music of our age this evening at 6:30 p.m. Click here for more info.

SOUTH BURLINGTON--Eric Hutchinson brings his 15th anniversary Sounds Like This tour to Higher Ground with help from Summer Sounds favorite Troy Millette this evening at 7:30 p.m. Doors at 7. Admission is $28 in advance and $32 day of show. Click here for tickets and more info.

Thursday-Saturday, July 13-15
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap starts off another weekend of music with Whiskey and Wine tonight at 6 p.m. two shows Friday night, Duncan Macleod at 5 p.m., and then Nickel and Dime for late night music starting at 9 p.m., plus two more shows live on Saturday night with Mitch & Devon at 5 p.m., and the Dogcatchers starting at 9 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

Friday, July 14
ISLE LA MOTTE--The Isle La Motte Community Organization presents Music in the Park with the Nobby Reed Project on Friday at 6 - 8:30 p.m. There are meals of burgers or dogs, side salads, and desserts for purchase starting at 5:30. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and your appetite. Find them on Facebook for more info.

MILTON--The Friday Night Live Music and Buffet at Arrowhead Golf Course presents She Was Right (the former Hubcats) 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 $14 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.

ST. ALBANS TOWN--Come to the Bay for Friday Night Live at the Lake with our own Nashville singer and songwriter Jamie Lee Thurston and special guest Bad Horsey at the Bay Park on Friday at 6 p.m. The evening includes a beer garden by City Side Pub and food by Pickle's Snack Shack. Find them on Facebook for more info.

MORRISVILLE-Moogs Joint will have an old-fashioned crawfish boil with Soul Project NOLA on Friday at 7 p.m. Admission is $15. Outdoor seating and COVID precautions. Tickets are available in advance at Moog's Joint or Find them on Facebook for more info.

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

BURLINGTON--Nectar's presents Bella's Bartok with support from Rod Tuffcurls & the Bench Press on the Essex Experience Green on Friday at 9 p.m. Doors at 8.
      This group and event has nothing to do with Franklin County but they sound good and I still like the name. It's a tossup whether Franz Liszt or Béla Bartók was Hungary's greatest composer so I have always wanted to meet Bella's Bartok. OK, maybe not since they have "evolved" from street-punk performers to an electric, brass-filled, accordion-based spectacle. I had kind of figured on head banging but I'm not sure you can bang anything with an accordion.
      General admission is $15. Tickets are available at Nectars or

Friday-Sunday, July 14-16
SOUTH HERO--Island Arts has a busy week starting with a double header at the Barn this weekend.
      Sohyun Ahn performs Piano Solo & 4-Hands at the Island Arts Center on Friday at 7 p.m. with no intermission. The New York City concert pianist returns with Vermont pianist Eun Hee Park for a piano program that will include the Dolly Suite by Faure. The program features solo piano works Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, a Brahms Intermezzo, and a work by Ravel. Admission is $25. Age 18 and under free. Click here for tickets and more info.
      The Bella Voca Band & Dance Party takes over the lawn for an outside concert on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. with the option to picnic on the green at 5:30, weather permitting.
      The six-piece band has three vocalists. Tracy DeCoste, Brigid Bushey, Dan Rochester, Eric McCaughan, Dale Derusha, and Mike Trudo perform all genres. Admission is free. Registration is suggested. The concert will move inside the barn if the weather turns. A chair or blanket is suggested. Click here to register and 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, July 15
ST. ALBANS--Northwest Farmers Market fills Taylor Park with live music, handmade crafts, locally grown food, prepared foods, free kids activities on Saturday from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. The market and the music continue every Saturday through October. Find them on Facebook for more info.

SOUTH HERO--Village Harmony, the Vermont based Teen World Music Ensemble, returns to the Congregational Church in full strength on Saturday at 4 p.m. The concert will include music from Caucasus Georgia, the Balkans, and South Africa, as well as American shape-note songs and traditional Yiddish songs. Led by Polina Shepherd, Sinead O’Mahoney, Carl Linich, and Liam Kantor, the 28 singers come from nine states plus Canada and France. A pot-luck supper will follow in the fellowship hall; contributions may be dropped off in the church kitchen ahead of the concert.
      Admission is by donation at the door. Email or click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Taphouse at Mill River hosts Ryan Hanson on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents Vermont singer/songwriter Breanna Elaine for a night of earthy folk live in The Room on Saturday at 6 p.m. Her debut album, Seedlings, was released January 1. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Sunday, July 16
HIGHGATE--The Town of Highgate begins the 32nd year of Summer Sounds concerts at home in Highgate with the return of the Tenderbellies in the first free concert of the season on the Highgate Arena lawn on Sunday at 6:30 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 for more info.

Tuesday July 18
ENOSBURG FALLS--Summer Concerts in Lincoln Park continue as the Enosburg Town Band continues on the Bandstand on Tuesday at 7 p.m. There will be a variety of music, arts and crafts for the kids, popcorn and drinks, and even ice cream sundaes (when available) every Tuesday evening. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Wednesday, July 19
ESSEX JUNCTION--Trucks Taps & Tunes continues with the Full Cleveland on the Green at the Double E for live yacht rock, food trucks, and local beer on Wednesday at 5 - 8 p.m. Admission is free. Click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Taphouse at Mill River hosts Roger Giroux for Wicked Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The St. Albans Summer Concert Series continues with Rushmore in the E.A. Loomis Bandshell in Taylor Park on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. 14th Star and Pickle's Snack Shack will be on site. Admission is free. The concerts will move to 14th Star Brewery if it rains. Click here for more info.

SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro hosts Bettenroo Wednesday evening at 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. The musical duo of Lori Jacobs and Anne Davey blend harmony in original music and popular hits. Click here for more info.

SOUTH HERO--The Citizens Concert Band continues its summer series at the Island Arts Center on Wednesday at the special time of 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10. Concerts take place outdoors and will be cancelled in the event of inclement weather. Click here for tickets or click here for more info.


SWANTON--Swanton Library has two book club meetings on the calendar this week.
      The Library Book Club offers a lively book discussion led by Cheryl Messier on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Click here for more info
      The monthly book club, But I Progress, on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The library is a safe space for anyone with an open mind who likes to read. "All humans welcome to participate." The readings will 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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