ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 27 * * All Arts News On the Web * * November 30, 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--The week long Festival of Trees ushers in the holiday season with volunteer-run community events to raise funds for local charities and provide free family and cultural entertainment. The activities include the Snoopy Paint Party; Masquerade Gala; Holiday Entertainment with Electric Youth Dance, Up North Dance Studio, and Studio 3 Dance; Santa's workshop; the Holiday Brunch with the Green Mountain Chorus and the MVU and BFA Jazz Ensembles; and the Citizens Concert Band Holiday Concert and Singalong, and more.
      Each year, proceeds go to various nonprofit groups in Franklin County. This year, the FOT benefits the Josh Pallotta Fund, dedicated to supporting Veterans and Service Members. Click here or email for the schedule and more info about the events.

SWANTON--Christmas in the Park is the annual kick-off of the holiday season on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. There will be stories, hot chocolate, treats, and crafts. Email or click here for more info.


JEFFERSONVILLE--Bryan Memorial Gallery features Mary Martin's oil, Rowing Home as the last ride before the lakes and ponds ice over in Land & Light on Facebook and in the gallery. The Bryan Gallery is open Wednesday - Sunday from 11 - 5 or by appointment. Click here for more info.


MONTGOMERY--Today is the last day for the season at the Montgomery Center for the Arts. MCA is closing the doors for the winter and the current benefit exhibit and sale of Michael Domina's fine art will be shelved for the season. Buy an original painting to support the MCA's restoration work.

ST. ALBANS--The Artist In Residence Gallery has Holiday Tree Walk ArtisTREE ornaments, designed by Gallery members, for $12.
      The art and fine craft cooperative features paintings, fiber arts, stained glass, sculpture, lamps, pottery, folk art boxes, scarves, hats and more by 40 Franklin County and surrounding area artists. It is owned and operated by the artists and sponsors. The gallery on South Main Street is open Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here or find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star Brewing Company holds the weekly Maker's Market in the Taproom on Sunday from 1 - 3 p.m. The pop-up booths host local crafters and makers every Sunday afternoon. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ST. ALBANS-- Awaken Yoga & Creative Arts Studio hosts a Festival of Trees Snoopy Paint and Charcuterie Party this evening at 6 p.m. The holiday themed paint event costs $45. Find them on Facebook for more info.

MILTON--The Milton Artists Guild hosts a Glowing Gnome Paint and Sip with Silvia. Click here for more info.

MORRISVILLE--River Arts hosts the in-person, December "Sip n' Slurry: Snowy Slabs" with Chiara Keeling as the pottery twist on a Paint n' Sip on Friday at 6 p.m. Craft functional and decorative slab trees while learning hand building techniques.
      The cost is $55. Click here to enroll and for more info. SOLD OUT Email to be added to the waitlist for the class.


MONTPELIER--The Vermont Historical Society presents Who are the American Abenakis of Vermont? at the Vermont History Museum on Saturday 12/2 at noon - 4 p.m.
      Dr. Fred Wiseman will share his recent discoveries of language, ancestral art, ceremonies, dwellings, crops and horticulture, basketry, ceremonies, music, and other markers of indigenous life here. Admission is $5 for VHS members, $10 for non-members, and free for Abenaki tribal citizens. Click here for more info and Click here to register.

ONLINE--Now that we've mostly recovered from leftovers, we can ask how America's most iconic food holiday came to include green bean casserole? What did the Wampanoag people and the Pilgrims really eat in 1621? Susan Evans McClure serves up the story of Thanksgiving foods and how they help us understand our American identity via Vermont Humanities on YouTube.


MILTON--Social Sunday continues 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 will hold its Annual Meeting with Updates in person at the Swanton Free Public Library on Wednesday at 6 p.m. All Governing Body Members are encouraged to attend to elect the 2024 SAC Board of Directors, discuss hopes, dreams, and plans for SAC in the coming year, and eat good food in good company. Food will be provided.
      Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month. Find the SAC on Facebook for the agenda and more info.


     COVID-19 is still here. As of November 15, there were 43 hospitalizations statewide, up from 22 the prior week. That includes 12 new admissions in Franklin County, an increase from 9 the prior week. In good news, there were no COVID-related deaths reported statewide in the week ending November 11 although fatalities have increased during the fall to a pandemic total of 1,055 in Vermont.
      Vaccines are available for COVID, the Flu, and RSV, the three main viruses that cause people to end up in a hospital in the Fall and Winter respiratory virus season. According to the state
COVID-19 and Flu Vaccination Dashboard just 8% of Franklin County residents have received the new COVID vaccine, trailed only by Essex County. And, as of last week, about 14% of Vermonters under 18 have had the latest COVID-19 vaccine, which is a different formulation than the shots adults get.       COVID vaccines are 100% free to everyone 6 months and older living in the United States, regardless of immigration or insurance status. The free shots are available via health insurance, Medicare, and through federally qualified health centers, pharmacies participating in the federal Bridge Program, or district health department offices. Free masks are also available at many of the same locations. Pharmacies in Vermont may now give COVID-19 shots to kids ages 3 and older. Click here for more info.
      The Vermont Center for Independent Living has COVID-19 and flu vaccines and some RSV vaccine as drive-through or in-home vaccination for anyone who has difficulty getting to or using a community vaccination location, including children. Click here for more info.
      Every U.S. household may order four free COVID-19 rapid tests delivered directly to home. The state and many municipalities also still have home antigen tests, available in libraries and town halls or food pantries. Click here for more info.
      Some health plans will also 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 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 and the new COVID variant dodges our current immunity. 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, November 30
SOUTH HERO--Cooper, Bob Recupero, plays jazz, blues, and ballads at the Blue Paddle Bistro for Acoustic Thursday this evening at 5 - 7 p.m. Click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Thirsty Thursday at 14th Star means Karaoke in The Room this evening at 6 p.m. Thursdays feature alternating interactive music with Music Bingo, Open Mic, or Karaoke. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Thursday-Saturday, November 30-December 2
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap starts off another weekend of music with the return of Shellhouse tonight at 6 p.m. two shows Friday night, John Geno at 5 p.m., and then the Phil Abair Band with Keeghan Nolan 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 Phantom Airwaves starting at 9 p.m.
      And plan ahead. The Nobby Reed Project will paint the walls blue next Thursday, December 7. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

Friday, December 1
COLCHESTER--St. Albans' own WD-40s offer up acoustic shenanigans for the live and free Friday Music Night at the Spanked Puppy on Friday at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents the Lloyd Tyler Band with a mix of acoustic guitars, bass, and harmonica in The Room on Friday at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Off The Rails at One Federal often has live performances in the lounge on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

SHELDON--The Abbey Friday Night Music Series often has live performances on Friday about 6:30 p.m. Reservations are suggested. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Friday-Sunday, December 1-3
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, December 2
ST. ALBANS--The Festival of Trees Holiday Entertainment with Electric Youth Dance, Up North Dance Studio, and Studio 3 Dance take over City Hall on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. Admission is free. Find them on Facebook for more info.

LINCOLN--Burnham presents the Vermont Mandolin Trio at Burnham Hall on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Doors at 7.
      Will Patton, Jamie Masefield, and Matt Flinner with Pat Melvin on bass play an eclectic mix of bluegrass, jazz and roots music from Bach to bluegrass. Admission is $15 General to $20/$25 Generous or pay what you can. Click here for tickets and more info.

Sunday, December 3
ST. ALBANS--The Festival of Trees Sunday Brunch with the Green Mountain Chorus and the MVU and BFA Jazz Ensembles takes over City Hall on Sunday morning at 11 a.m. Nelly's Pub & Grill will cater the brunch and bar. Admission is $15, or $12 for children 4-12. Kinds under 3 eat free. Find them on Facebook for tickets and more info.

ST. ALBANS--Church Street Sounds of the Season presents the Citizens Concert Band Holiday Concert and Singalong at First Congregational Church on Sunday at 3 p.m. Start off yuletide with holiday favorites and a carol sing. Admission is free and donations are accepted.
      Concerts on the second Sunday of the month. Find them on Facebook for more info.


BOOK AWARDS--Starting tomorrow, Vermont Humanities seeks nominations for the 2023 Vermont Book Awards. Share your thoughts on your favorite books of excellent literary merit penned by Vermont authors and published in 2023. Click here for more info and to nominate your choice(s).

FAIRFIELD--The Bent Northrop Memorial Library has lots of free books left over from the book sale but today is the last day to come in and help yourselves.

ST. ALBANS--Franklin's Haston Library and the St. Albans Free Library present an author visit with Mercedes de Guardiola to talk about her book, Vermont for the Vermonters, at the St. Albans Free Library on Saturday at 1 p.m. She is an expert on the state's eugenics movement. Click here for more info.

SWANTON--Christmas Reads is the Swanton Library part of Swanton's Christmas in the Park, the annual kick-off of the holiday season on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. There will be stories, hot chocolate, treats, and crafts. 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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