ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 28 * * All Arts News On the Web * * May 23, 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.

E-Mail Delivery
Sign up to receive the free weekly ArtBits
newsletter by e-mail
or by RSS feed.

Search ArtBits


      Music is definitely in the air as three big series start their summer seasons this weekend with perfectly combined food and music on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
      The 22nd Farewell Reunion Concert begins the Summer Music at Grace season in Sheldon on Friday at 7 p.m. Becky Tracy and Keith Murphy lead the bill.
      The 2024 Summer Concerts on the Green continue at the Meeting House in East Fairfield with the effusive, high-powered bluegrass band, Beg, Steal or Borrow on Saturday at 5 p.m.
      Celebration of Expressive Arts kicks off their season with at the INN in Montgomery on Sunday at 7 p.m.


JEFFERSONVILLE--Bryan Memorial Gallery features Camel's Hump, an oil by Brian Hewitt, in the 40 Years Together Exhibition and on Facebook.
      The gallery has exhibits of the landscape painters of New England. The main showcase in Jeffersonville is open Wednesday-Sunday 11 - 4 and the Stowe Gallery is open Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, 11 - 5, and Friday and Saturday, 11 - 6. Appointments are available. Call ahead (802.644.5100) to schedule or 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.
      Painter and multimedia artist Francine Poitras Jones also teaches, illustrates books, and makes regalia. Click here for her story and a look at her work.


MORRISVILLE--River Arts hosts the in-person, May "Sip n' Slurry: Textured Button Planter" with Chiara Keeling as the pottery twist on a Paint n' Sip on Friday at 6 p.m. Hand build a functional planter. This event is sold out but the waiting list is available.
      The cost is $55. Click here to enroll and for more info.


ST. ALBANS--Northwest Access TV earned a national Best of Overall Excellence as a Public, Educational, and Government Access Center from the Alliance for Community Media. The ACM Awards honor outstanding hometown organizations and individuals for their contributions to the field of community media.
      Click here for more info and watch the submission video on YouTube.


SWANTON--The Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi annual Memorial Day weekend Heritage Celebration with the Blackhawk Singers drum group and dancers Dan Shears and Takara Hansell takes over the Swanton Recreation Park on Saturday and Sunday at noon - 5 p.m. The weekend festival includes tribal drumming, dancing, singing, crafts, and food vendors.
      The Blackhawk Singers have released their second CD, "Wiskintow8ganol wiji Aln8bak" (New Songs for the Abenaki) with 11 new Abenaki language songs.
      Admission is free. Call 802.868.2493 or Click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Saint Albans Museum opens for the season tomorrow at 11 a.m. They are hosting the Chwarelwyr (Quarrymen) exhibition by Welsh photographer Carwyn Rhys Jones through August 2. The exhibit tells the stories of five quarry workers through portrait photographs and a short documentary film. Click here for more info.
      The Museum is open Wednesday and Friday 11 a.m, - 4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. with free admission sponsored by Handy Cars. The elevator is still out of service at this time.

ST. ALBANS--Vermont Public and Front Porch Forum host a Saint Albans Community Picnic and Listening Session with host Mitch Wertlieb in Taylor Park this afternoon at 4 - 7 p.m. The open discussion will focus on the challenges and opportunities of doing business in Franklin County. There will be food and drink and kids activities including a bouncy house for the entire family.
      Admission is free but an RSVP is requested. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ENOSBURG FALLS--Vermont Humanities and the Enosburgh Historical Society present historian Howard Coffin to discuss Vermont Women and the Civil War live in the Enosburg Falls Public Service Building on Monday at 6:30 p.m.
      "Vermont women enlisted for the duration." The state's battlefield record is well documented, but this talk draws from letters and diaries to tell how women took on farming, worked in factories, served as nurses in the state's military hospitals, and more, in their own words. Call Shirley Duso (802.933.4394) or Click here for more info.

ONLINE--Actor David Mills portrays Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Dare to Dream at Manchester Community Library and online on Wednesday at 6 p.m. He takes us through the story of Dr. King surmounting his early uncertainties and transforming into a civil rights icon. "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.


MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild has three workshops this week.
      Laurie Thompson leads Paint Pouring--Ring Pour Technique at MAG this evening at 6 p.m. The cost is $25 for members and $30 for non-members. The class will layer colors in a cup and pour the paint out methodically to cause the ripples in the paint. Click here for more info.
      Social Sunday continues 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.
      Tina Lesperance concludes the six-week Workshop for those with Dementia and their Caregivers at MAG on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. They will work on a different art/craft design each week through May 28. This workshop is free for participants thanks to a Vermont Arts Council grant for Creative Aging. Click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--Plan ahead. St. Albans Community Arts has found a new home at 54 N. Main Street. They will host regular activities, local art classes, creative get-togethers, gallery showings, and more. They will have a "soft opening" to decorate the new space and with some light refreshments and activities for all ages on Memorial Day from 10-5 p.m.


     COVID-19 is still here. As of April 30, though, hospitals were no longer required to report COVID-19 hospitalization data so I'm suspending that topic in this section.
      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 23
SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro presents Sergio Torres with classic rock and country on Acoustic Thursday 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 23-25
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap starts a Memorial Day weekend of music with the John Lackard Blues Duo tonight at 6 p.m. two shows Friday night, the Lloyd Tyler Band at 5 p.m., and then Jonny Mop returns for late night music starting at 9 p.m., plus two more shows live on Saturday night with McMaple at 5 p.m., and Last Kid Picked at 9:30 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.

Friday, May 24
ST. ALBANS--Slightly Used returns to 14th Star to rock your socks off live 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.

SHELDON--The 22nd annual Farewell Reunion Concert will fill Grace Church on Friday evening at 7 p.m. This year, Becky Tracy and Keith Murphy lead the bill.
      Ms. Tracy, fiddle, and Mr. Murphy, guitar, mandolin, piano and foot percussion perform traditional music from Newfoundland, Quebec, Ireland, France and beyond. Their repertoire includes his original compositions (many of which are part of the Black Isle Music collection). Together, their playing is seamless, the result of years of touring across the U.S., Canada and in Europe. Their music is available in their duo recording, Golden.
      Admission is by $20 suggested donation at the door. There are no advance tickets. Bring your own beverage, a picnic to enjoy on the lawn before the concert, and a dessert to share.
      The benefit concert supports the Tom Sustic Fund, which supports families with children with life-threatening/life-altering conditions. Email to get the SMAG newsletter or for the summer schedule and find them on Facebook for more info.

ESSEX--The All Night Boogie Band takes over the newly redesigned Double E Lounge on Friday at 8 p.m. The blues, rock & roll, and soul-inspired band won Vermont Rising Stars in the New England Music Awards and were nominated for "Best Blues Artist" in the Seven Daysies Awards. The space offers a 180 degree stage view, elevated standing area, and the "new chill lounge area." Admission is $15-20. Find them on Facebook for more info tickets and.

Friday-Sunday, May 24-26
COLCHESTER--The Outdoor Summer Music Series fills the Spanked Puppy with music all weekend. The Nerbak Brothers Band kicks it off on Friday at 6 p.m. followed by Rehab Roadhouse on Saturday at 6 p.m. and Al's Pals on Sunday afternoon at 2 - 5 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--The Taphouse at Mill River double header of May Live Music offers Dan & Sean Jarvis on Friday and Cooie and Adlai on Saturday. Music starts about 5:30 p.m. The outdoor area is ready. Find them on Facebook for more info.

JERICHO--The Jericho Café and Tavern fills the weekend with Live Music in May. The Blue Rock Boys (Eric Bushey, Cliff Crosby, Michael Bjella, and Sabina Perkins) play originals and covers on Friday. Bella and the Notables 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 the return of Roger Giroux on Friday and Rockin' Ron Gagnon 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 25
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. George Murtie plays popular songs and original music this Saturday. The market and the music continue every Saturday through October. Find them on Facebook for more info.

EAST FAIRFIELD--Beg, Steal or Borrow continues the 2024 Summer Concerts on the Green on the outdoor stage at the Meeting House on the Green on Saturday at 5 p.m. Jeremy Sicely, guitar and vocals; Geoff Goodhue, mandolin and vocals; Roland Clark, violin; Fran Forim, upright bass and vocals; and Luke Auriemmo, banjo and vocals make up "everyone's favorite bluegrass band" where everyone but the fiddler gets to sing. Their debut album is Old Mountain Time.
      There will be plenty of room on the Green to "kick up your heels and dance the night away" "Grab and go" light fare and desserts will be available for sale or bring your own picnic.
      Admission is by suggested donation of $10 at the door with those under 16 admitted free. Concerts are held outdoors. In case of rain, concerts are either canceled or moved indoors. will be available. Call Nance Shaw (802.827.6626) or click here for more info.

LISBON, NH--Summer Sounds favorite Mark Shelton sings at the 2024 Lilac Festival on Saturday at 6 p.m. The variety show will offer music from the golden era to classic rock to country to romantic crooners and more. The state's lilac celebration has a parade, flea market, vendors, and carnival rides, and fireworks. Click here for more info.

Sunday, May 26
MONTGOMERY--The monthly Celebration of Expressive Arts kicks off the 2023 season at the INN on Sunday at 7 p.m. The CEA officially includes everything but dancing, but there is always hope. Come early for dinner; service begins at 5 p.m. This month has graphic designer Justin Dennis, and the Miller Trio (Jeanne Miller, fiddle and vocals; JD Miller, banjo and vocals; and Will Miller, guitar, bass, and vocals) with folk, old time Americana, bluegrass, and originals. The local artists, writers and musicians gather to share original and thought provoking work. "Reservations get you a guaranteed table." Find them on Facebook for more info.

Monday, May 27
NORTH HERO--The one man band of Ron Gagnon plays hit songs from classic rock to country and blues at the Pier Bar at North Hero House on Monday at 5:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

Wednesday, May 29
NORTH HERO--The North Hero House hosts Americana troubadour David Karl Roberts at the Pier Bar on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. His latest release, Live at Harry's Hardware, is available on all internet streaming music platforms. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star hosts Ethan Sawyer for a night of live music in The Room on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs may have Wednesday Night Music in The Backroom. 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.

Plan Ahead
ENOSBURG FALLS--The 68th Vermont Dairy Festival begins Thursday, May 30, and continues through Sunday, June 2. Click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--Alice Martin, author of the Wolf Warrior series, will sign her books at the Eloquent Page on Saturday at 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. "I am a seventeen-year-old gargoyle-wolf, a werewolf mixed with a vampire. I am the protector of the innocent and the killer of murderers, an assassin of evil." The series includes Blood Rose Part I, Blood Rose Part II, Interlaced, Wolf Warrior, and Wolf Warrior Interlaced. Find them on Facebook 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


AAC dancing logo

All Arts Council of Franklin County

Support Free Speech on the Internet
Dick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460
email us

Go to [ Dick Harper | All Arts Index | ArtBits Archive ]

      This article may also have originally been published in the traditional print media. It is Copyright © 2024 by Richard B. Harper. All rights reserved. Archival material is provided as-is. Links are not necessarily maintained (if a link in this article fails, try or your favorite search engine).
      Thanks to recent misuse of copyright material on the Internet by individuals and archival firms alike, we emphasize that your rights to this article are limited to viewing it and printing it for personal use only. You must receive explicit permission from the All Arts Council and the author before reprinting or redistributing this article in any medium. Visit our Trademarks and Copyright page for more information.