ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 27 * * All Arts News On the Web * * August 10, 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 celebrate Open Farm Week as some of our friends play multiple gigs. Summer Sounds continues in Highgate and there are also live shows in Colchester, Enosburg, Essex, Highgate, Milton, North Hero, St Albans City and Town, Sheldon, South Hero, South Burlington, and Swanton.


HIGHGATE--The Town of Highgate continues the 32nd year of Summer Sounds concerts at home in Highgate with the North Heroes live on the Highgate Arena lawn on Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
      Led by Kaiden Prim, the North Heroes with Caleb Ploof, Connor Byers, and Henry Tanner have a repertoire of famous 80s and 90s covers.
      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--Bryan Memorial Gallery continues the online segment Legacy: The Artist's Collection on Facebook and in the gallery. This week's Legacy artist is Susan Bull Riley with Vermont Twilight and other paintings on display.
      The Bryan Gallery is open Wednesday - Sunday from 11 - 5 or by appointment. Click here for more info.

MONTGOMERY--A Retrospective Looking Forward--the Art of Aida Whedon has opened in MCA-Kelton Hall at the Montgomery Center for the Arts. There will be a live in gallery talk with Tony Whedon on Sunday at 2 p.m.
      On loan from the collection of Mr. Whedon, the collection is a whole artistic diary of the life and work of Aida Whedon. The exhibit will continue through the month of August before it goes on to an archive of her work based in New York. Click here to "read all about it."


MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild hosts Summer Cocktails, another "Neon Night" glow-in-the-dark paint and sip, with Sylvia Oblak at the MAG Art Center on Saturday at 6 p.m. The cost is for members and for non-members. Click here for tickets and for more info.


NORTH HERO--Island Arts continues community dancing to lively music in Easy Folk Dancing for All Ages with instructor Leslie Alpert in the Island Arts Center on Monday at 6 - 7:30 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 September 25. Admission is free, but donations to Island Arts are appreciated. Lesley Email to verify the class schedule or click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Registration is now open for the Ballet School and Northern Vermont Ballet's 21st season. Click here or find them on Facebook for more info.


ONLINE--Nebizonkik8n. Join the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association and Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in the garden for 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.

SWANTON--The Abenaki Nation and Swanton Recreation host a Cornhusk Doll-Making Workshop with Donna Toneatti at Corn Fest at the Swanton Recreation Fields on Saturday at 3 - 4:30 p.m. with storytelling to follow. Each participant will learn about the origins of this traditional toy and create their own cornhusk doll to take home. Click here for more info.

NORTH HERO--Island Arts begins a three part series on the Art of Conscious Communicatons with Kim and Bob Muncil at the Island Arts Center on Monday at 6 - 7:15 p.m. Parts 2 and 3 will be held August 17 and 21. The classes will offer the tools to help one's communication skills as well as gain a deeper awareness of your relationships with others and yourself. The cost is $45 for the set of three classes or $20 for one class. 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 week offers a different project--last week was super hero masks with puffy paint and markers. Stay for 30 minutes or the whole two hours. Click here for more info.


     COVID is still here. Cases and hospitalizations are rising nationwide and Vermont hospitalizations are up. The numbers seem small--12 this week, up from seven last week--but not to the people in the hospital.
      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.
      The state and many municipalities also still have home antigen tests, available in libraries and town halls.
      The 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, 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, August 10
ST ALBANS TOWN--The weekly St. Albans Bay Farmer's Market and Concert Series continues with the Dirty Looks Band 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 Blue Paddle Bistro hosts Julia Parent, fresh from her Field Days triumph, this evening at 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Thursday-Saturday, August 10-12
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap starts off another weekend of music with the John Lackard Blues Duo tonight at 5:30 p.m. two shows Friday night, the Fabulous Wrecks at 5 p.m., and then 90 Proof for late night music starting at 9 p.m., plus the Free Range Band live on Saturday night starting at 9 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

SOUTH HERO--Snow Farm has a big, big weekend planned.
      The 2023 Snow Farm Summer Concert Series continues with Barbie-N-Bones this evening at 6:30 p.m. Jenn and Mark DiNatale play great music people can dance to.
      Next up, they host a very special evening with the Logger, Rusty Dewees and the Fiddler Patrick Ross on Friday at 6 p.m. There will be music, stories, laughter, and a food truck. The event is rain or shine and will happen under the vineyard tent in the case of rain, snow, sleet, or hail. This is a ticketed event. Admission is $18. Click here for tickets and more info.
      The Ms. Lee Fan Club Concert takes over Saturday afternoon at 4 - 6 p.m. The free Saturday Show is a special event for Open Farm Week. Bring blankets and chairs for lawn seating. Click here for more info.

Friday, August 11
MILTON--The Friday Night Live Music and Buffet at Arrowhead Golf Course presents Fabian Rainville on the deck on Friday at 6 p.m. The taco 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--14th Star presents local legends the Nobby Reed Project for a night of live music with no cover charge on Friday at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

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

Friday-Sunday, August 11-13
NORTH HERO--The North Hero House has two shows at the Steamship Pier Bar at Grill for the weekend, with Rockin' Ron Gagnon on Friday at 5:30 p.m. and then Cooie Singing with Adlai on Saturday at 5 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

NORTH HERO--Island Arts has another busy weekend planned.
      The Cerutti-Reid Duo will perform a chamber concert of piano and viola at the Island Arts Center on Friday at 7 p.m. without an intermission. The program includes Brahms' F major Sonata, Canadian-American composer David Jaeger's Tristan and Isolde Sonata, and the Long Parting by Vermont composer Carol Wood. Admission is $25 and tables are available at $14 for a 2-top or $20 4-top BYOB. Click here for tickets and more info. Table tickets are available online or at the door.
      Our Island Voices is a free community event as an inside performance with two Grand Isle County ensembles at the Island Arts Center on Sunday at 7 p.m. The choral ensemble of Sarah and Peter Bowley and Tami Shearer are family relatives. Champlain Voices is the South Hero-based vocal quartet of Gina Fearn, Linda Libby, Carl Frenning, and Chuck Hill. The concert is offered in celebration of the life of Doug and Billie Tudhope, long-time friends and supporters of Island Arts. Admission is free but registration is suggested. Click here for tickets and more info.

COLCHESTER--Live Music in June fills the Spanked Puppy with music all weekend. B-Town kicks it off on Friday at 6 p.m. followed by Tinus Smallus on Saturday at 6 p.m. and Blue Heron on Sunday afternoon at 1 - 4 p.m. 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 12
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.

ST. ALBANS BAY--St. Albans Town and Mill River Brewery host the St. Albans Bay Brew Fest with Bad Horsey at St. Albans Bay Park on Saturday at 12 noon - 4:30 p.m. Vermont's own classic rock band leads a lineup of food trucks, and craft brew from many different breweries. Admission is $45 but the event is free for non-drinkers (have your IDs and coolers ready for checking at the entrance). Find them on Facebook for more info or click here for tickets.

SWANTON--Swanton Rec hosts the Swanton Corn Fest with the North Heroes Band plus Mad Mojo at the Swanton Recreation Fields on Saturday at 2 - 8 p.m. Corn doesn't get the same billing as Vermont maple or milk but it's a vital agricultural export. The event will feature live music, food trucks, exhibits, games for families, and (undoubtedly corn) liquor or at least a beer garden sponsored by Nelly's Pub & Grill.
      The North Heroes Band with Kaiden Prim, Caleb Ploof, Connor Byers and Henry Tanner will headline the event with their cover repertoire of famous 80s and 90s songs. Mad Mojo plays a mix of blues, rock, funk, and "popular favs."

ENOSBURG--Hartman's Farm Stand hosts a special Chicken BBQ with Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton "on the stage throughout" on Saturday from 12 noon - 4 p.m. There will be free creemees with the BBQ plus wagon rides and special characters wandering around. Don't forget to bring a chair and your appetite. The concert is free but the chicken BBQ will cost $15. Find them on Facebook for more info.

MILTON--The Painted Lady Cafe hosts Summer Sounds favorite Carol Ann Jones in a special solo evening on Saturday at 6 p.m.

Sunday, August 13
ST. ALBANS--14th Star has a Patio Jam with St. Albans songstress Renee Laroche-Rheaume "singing your favorite love songs from yesteryear while strumming the ukulele" on Sunday at 12 noon - 3 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro hosts Rockin' Ron Gagnon on Sunday at 5:30 - 8 p.m.

HIGHGATE--The Town of Highgate continues the 32nd year of Summer Sounds concerts at home in Highgate with the North Heroes live on the Highgate Arena lawn on Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
      The concerts are always on Sunday evenings, always at 6:30 p.m., always on the Highgate Arena Lawn, and always free. Click here for more info.

Tuesday August 15
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, August 16
ESSEX JUNCTION--Trucks Taps & Tunes winds down with Conor + the Wild Hunt on the Green at the Double E for original songs with soul in the Americana, folk, and pop tradition, plus food trucks and local beer on Wednesday at 5 - 8 p.m. Admission is free. Click here for more info.

NORTH HERO--The North Hero House offers Summer Sounds favorites Carol Ann Jones with Will Patton on the pier on Wednesday at 5:30 - 8 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro hosts Dave Roberts on Wednesday evening at 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Citizens Concert Band concludes its summer series at the St. Albans Summer Concert Series in the E.A. Loomis Bandshell in Taylor Park on Wednesday at the special time of 7 p.m. 14th Star and Pickle's Snack Shack will be on site. Admission is free. The concert will move to 14th Star Brewery if it rains. Click here for concert news or here for more info about the Citizens Concert Band.

Plan Ahead
SOUTH BURLINGTON--Vermont Rises! 8084, the Chad Hollister Band, Rusty Dewees, Jamie Lee Thurston, and more are Vermont Strong at the Higher Ground Ballroom next week. Find them on Facebook for more info.


NEW YORK, NY--Joseph Bruchac, Saratoga Springs' first Poet Laureate, has received the Academy of American Poets Poet Laureate Fellowship Award. The Academy chose 23 poet laureates across the United States for this award.
      Founded in 1934 to support American poets at all stages of their career, the Academy fosters an appreciation of contemporary poetry. Each recipient was also awarded $50,000 for their commitment to poetry. The Academy's fellowship program has awarded a total of $5.45 million to 104 poet laureates since 2019. 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 - 7 p.m. Click here for more info.
      The monthly book club, But I Progress, on Tuesday at 6 - 8 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 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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