ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 28 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 9, 2024


      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 third annual Kingman Fest free outdoor block party and concert takes over Kingman Street on Saturday from 5 - 9 p.m. Admission is free.
      Kingman Street will be closed off again for the community party. Jesse Agan and Morgan Myles will perform hits from Bon Jovi, Journey, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Chris Stapleton, Aerosmith, Queen, Def Leppard, Heart, and more. The Fest has fair food for sale, a cash bar, and family activities. The Fest pairs with St. Albans For The Future with proceeds from the event donated to SAFF to assist in their mission to help the revitalization of the St. Albans community. Click here for more info.

ALBURG--Island Arts presents the Grand Isle County Music Festival at the Alburgh Elementary School on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. The guest director for the band is Cassandra Heleba. The Festival Chorus will be directed by Daniel Leonard and accompanied by Patty Jacob.
      The Music Festival was rescheduled when a snowstorm that blanketed the islands early in April. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Franklin County Art Show showcases Franklin County student artwork at Collins Perley Sports and Fitness Center with an opening reception this afternoon at 4:30 pm. The show is open during building hours through Sunday. Collins Perley is open Monday through Friday 5 a.m. - 8 p.m, and Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m. - 3 p.m.

MONTGOMERY--The Montgomery Center for The Arts hosts the semi-annual MES Student Spring Art Show in MCA-Kelton Hall on Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday at 12 noon - 4 p.m. The show will continue next weekend. Click here for more info.

ENOSBURG--Cold Hollow Sculpture Park has selected Stephanie Cardon as the 2024 Artist-in-Residence. Originally from France, Ms. Cardon is a Boston-based artist whose work combines and contrasts materials and colors from the world of construction and infrastructure. She will have residency periods in July and August at the Park. Click here for more info.

SWANTON--The Vermont Abenaki Artists Association features certified fine, decorative, and performing artists officially labeled as "American Indian" under Federal law.
      John Hunt is a carver, basketmaker, and pyrographer (writer with fire). Click here for his story and a look at his work.


PRIDE WEEKEND (Now)--St. Albans Pride Corps seeks local LGBTQ+ talent for the June festival. Seasoned and debut artists, poets, speakers, musicians, and performers are welcome. Email or find them on Facebook for more info.

AUDITIONS FOR ANNIE (May 19-20)--The summer full production musicals are back! The Opera House in Enosburg Falls is calling all performers from 8 to 80 to audition for Annie. They need young talent "with a spark," seasoned performers with years of experience, and everyone in between. Auditions will be held May 19 at 1 - 7 p.m. and May 20 at 6 - 8 p.m. Click here to pre-register and sign up for audition time slot.

NVAA ANNUAL JUNE SHOW (May 25)--The Northern Vermont Artists' Association annual June Show seeks member works for the annual exhibit at Visions of Vermont Gallery. Email with the artist, phone, email address, and the title, medium, size, and price of two works. Drop off for the show is Saturday, June 1.

INTERPRETIVE NEW ENGLAND (May 26)--Online submissions are now open for artists to create work "that invites visitors to have a dreamlike experience from their perspective---how they see the New England landscape through their interpretation and mediums." Click here to submit and for more info.


NORTH HERO--The Vermont Humanities Council discusses Lois Lowry's dystopian novel The Giver in American Stories Across the Generations at the North Hero Public Library this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. Call Caroline Korejko (802.372.5458) or Click here for more info.

ONLINE--The Vermont Humanities Council offers two hybrid events this week.
      Wallace Stegner's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Angle of Repose is the portrait of four generations in the life of an American family discussed live at Blake Memorial Library and online on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. "Register for this free event" for the link to the stream. Call library (802.439.5338) or click here to register and for more info.
      UVM professor Jay Garvey talks about the Ecology of Queer and Trans People in Education live at the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum and online on Wednesday at 7 p.m. "Register for this free event" for the link to the stream. Call Vermont Humanities (802.262.2626) or click here to register and for more info.


JEFFERSONVILLE--Bryan Memorial Gallery hosts the two-day Flowers, Light, and Color in Painting workshop led by Michael Walek on Friday and Saturday at 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
      The workshop focus is the directional lighting and the oriental rug in the studio. The lighting will be like sunlight through a window. Mr. Walek will guide participants in developing observational skills to compose a complete composition.. Use "BMGMEMBER" to receive discounted member pricing. Call 802.644.5100 or click here to register and for more info.
      Upcoming workshops include Impressionist Portraits in Pastel or Oil with Karen Meneghin on May 18-19 and Cartooning Class with Robert Waldo Brunelle Jr. on June 7-8.

FAIRFIELD--The Brick Store offers classes in Letterpress Printing in the general store studio on Saturday at 11 a.m. and at 1 p.m. Christa will lead classes monthly on the 1918 Chandler & Price press. They will focus on the basics and print some stationery together to take home. The cost is $35. 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. Stay for 30 minutes or the whole two hours. Click here for more info.

FAIRFIELD--Franklin County Photogs with Harry Goldhagen hosts a virtual Zoom group at Bent Northrop Memorial Library on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The group meets monthly to share and learn about photography. Click here for the Zoom link and more info.


     COVID-19 is still here. Cases fell again and statewide hospitalizations dropped to just three for the week ending April 20, the lowest they've been in over two years but two of those hospitalizations were in Franklin County. One more Vermonter died the virus so the pandemic total rose to 1,146 in Vermont. WastewaterSCAN reports that three Vermont testing sites also showed low levels of COVID.
      With this report. the CDC has ended the requirement that hospitals to report their COVID admissions. Starting next week, the Vermont Health Department will use the number of visits to emergency departments that involve a COVID diagnosis. That indicator is similar to, but not exactly the same as, the current rate of reported hospitalizations.
      CDC estimates that 97% of Americans have some level of immunity, from either vaccination or infection or both, but the fact many Vermonters have died or have been sick enough to require hospitalization this year alone, even with that level of immunity, remains worrisome. That Franklin County has less than 8% of the state population and accounts for more than one-third of those hospitalizations is more so.
      Vaccines are available for COVID, the Flu, and RSV, the three main viruses that cause people to end up in a hospital. 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 N95 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.
      Although the free program has been suspended, there are still thousands of free testing sites. The state and many municipalities may 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 current JN.1 variant dodges all but the most up-to-date 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 everywhere 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, May 9
SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro hosts Stewart Foster of She Was Right for Acoustic Thursday with the music of James Taylor, Simon & Garfunkel, Lyle Lovett, John Prine, Jackson Browne and more this evening at 5 - 7 p.m. Click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--It's Karaoke and Open Mic Night live in The Room at 14th Star on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Thursday-Saturday, May 9-11
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap starts a weekend of music getting Jerborned with Jerborn tonight at 6 p.m. two shows Friday night, Sibling Reverie at 5 p.m., and then Nighthawk returns for late night music starting at 9 p.m., plus two more shows live on Saturday night with Josh Panda and Peter Day at 5 p.m., and Staircase 24 at 9 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

Friday, May 10
ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents the Dirty Looks Band returning live for a night of music in The Room on Friday at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

SOUTH BURLINGTON--Higher Ground has "another night of high highs and low lows" as country-tinged folk rockers Troy Millette and the Fire Below come Up From Below on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Doors at 6.
      Up From Below 2.0 showcases the comedy and music of Mark Daly's Madaila, Cricket Blue, Jonny Wanzer, Alex Duval, Marlon Fisher, Alex St. Louis, and Comedy Wolf's Max Higgins. Admission is $20 in advance or $22 day of show. Click here 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.

ST. ALBANS--May Live Music presents the Smokey Newfield Project in the Taphouse at Mill River on Friday at 7 p.m. "Never a cover, always a great time." Call to make a reservation (802.582.4182) or find them on Facebook for more info.

ESSEX--Flatpick Fridays begin with Beg, Steal or Borrow live in the newly redesigned Double E Lounge on Friday at 8 p.m. The space offers a 180 degree stage view, elevated standing area and the "new chill lounge area." Find them on Facebook for more info.

Friday-Sunday, May 10-12
COLCHESTER--The Outdoor Summer Music Series fills the Spanked Puppy with music all weekend. Double Shot kicks it off on Friday at 6 p.m. followed by the Duo with Maggie on Saturday at 6 p.m. and Bare Bones on Sunday afternoon at 1 - 4 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

JERICHO--The Jericho Cafe and Tavern fills the weekend with Live Music in May. The Duncan McLeod Band plays Friday. The Heavy Nettles perform live on Saturday night. Music starts at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs often has shows on Friday and Saturday nights. This week they host Phil Graziano on Friday and Summer Sounds favorite Troy Millette live 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.

Saturday, May 11
ST. ALBANS--Northwest Farmers Market begins a new season in 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 will continue every Saturday through October 26. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The third annual Kingman Fest free outdoor block party and concert takes over Kingman Street on Saturday from 5 - 9 p.m. Admission is free. Scroll up for the rest of the story.

Sunday, May 12
ST. ALBANS--14th Star hosts Jesse Agan once again for a night of original music and popular covers live in The Room on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Wednesday, May 15
ALBURG--Island Arts presents the Grand Isle County Music Festival at the Alburgh Elementary School on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free. Scroll up for the rest of the story.


     Virtual music and events continue this week.

      Kat Wright and the Indomitable Soul Band did I Do at Stone Church in Brattleboro in 2018 on YouTube.

      NW Access TV showcased the 24th annual Franklin County Quilt Show in St. Albans City Hall on YouTube. The Quilters Guild show was ablaze with spring colors with over 100 quilts, from bed-sized to miniatures as well as handcrafted items in the guild boutique.

      Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton sang gospel on Cinco de Mayo on Facebook. He sang the National Anthem at Fenway Park live and on YouTube on May 5, 2011. Follow him on Facebook for a link to this week's offerings.


AROUND THE COUNTY--With the theme of No Rules. Just Read, this week is Children's Book Week, the longest-running national celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading. Over 2,300 schools, libraries, and bookstores across the U.S. celebrate with activities from May 6 - 12. This year is the 105th anniversary. Visit your local library or 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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