DANCE - FINE ARTS - MUSIC - THEATER - WRITING

ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper


VOLUME 26 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 1, 2022

STUFF YOU SHOULDN'T MISS

      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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FESTIVAL OF TREES

ST. ALBANS--The Festival of Trees began the holiday season with volunteer-run community events to raise funds for local food charities and provide free family and cultural entertainment. Santa's Workshop and other activities continue through December 7. The Tree Lighting start the season by illuminating city's Christmas tree and Downtown decorations.
      The Festival of Trees Gala turns St. Albans City Hall into an "Evening in Paris" with live music, dancing, cocktails, buffet, a cash bar, and the tree auction on Friday at 7 p.m.
      The Festival of Trees Holiday Entertainment brings a full day of dance troupes, live music from Smokey Newfield, the 40th Army Band, and Rockin' Ron Gagnon, art, holiday crafts and food gifts to City Hall on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. both days.
      Santa's Workshop at the Saint Albans Museum has Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the elves with games, crafts, cookies, and more, all on Saturday at 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
      The second Festival of Trees Holiday Paint Party takes place at Awaken Yoga & Creative Arts Studio on Sunday at 3 p.m.
      The Vermont Choral Union performs Music for the Season of Light with music for the seasons of Advent and Chanukah in the First Congregational Church on Saturday at 4 p.m.
      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 , find them on Facebook , or email for the schedule and more info about the events, or to donate a tree.


PANDEMIC NEWS

      At his weekly press conference, Gov. Phil Scott said he is thankful Vermont has moved forward through the pandemic. He also noted that the pandemic relief money will transform the state through investments in water, sewer, housing, broadband and more.
      Experts caution that we're still in the middle of the pandemic, even though the President said the pandemic's over.
      "Only 68% of the population is vaccinated, and only a half of those have gotten their first boost to begin with," Anthony Fauci told Face the Nation. "We have a long way to go to optimize our protection against COVID."
      Vermont's COVID paid leave grant program is still delayed.
      There are fewer cases of COVID-19 for now in Vermont but RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), flu, and rhinovirus in children are surging across the state at higher rates than in past years. Only about 30% of adults and eligible children have received a flu vaccine and only 24% of adults and eligible children have received the latest bivalent COVID-19 booster dose,
      Vermont overall fell to 299 new COVID-19 cases statewide last week, down from 305 the week before. The state reported Franklin County's case load stood at 46 cases in the 14 days ending Saturday. Nine Vermonters have died from the disease in November so far for a pandemic total of 770.
      "That is much, much better than we were a year ago," Dr. Fauci said about the national statistics. "But ... it's still not a great place to be."
      Because Vermont relies on self reporting, the number of actual cases is higher than the Department of Health finds. You can report self-test results by following instructions on your test kit to automatically provide your results to your local health department or with the Vermont COVID-19 Self-Test Result Reporting Form. If you test positive, stay home and isolate for five days or longer. You can leave your home on day six if your symptoms have improved and you have had no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of medicine that reduces fevers.
      Take an at-home test if you begin having symptoms like fever, sore throat, runny nose, or loss of taste or smell, or at least five days after you come into close contact with someone with COVID-19, or if you plan a get together with people who are at risk of severe disease or may not be up to date on their vaccines. COVID.gov has links for at-home tests at retailers and pharmacies, insurance reimbursement for at-home tests, and the 20,000 no-cost antigen and PCR COVID-19 test sites nationwide. Most major chains including Walgreens and Price Chopper locally should have free N95 masks.
      Whether you have contracted and recovered from this coronavirus or haven't yet received a booster or even if you have done it all, immunity has waned for many of us. That lowered resistance leads to infections and increased transmission of the virus. To date, 16% of eligible Vermonters over the age of 12 have gotten the bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine. That's compared to just 4% nationally. Here's my own advice. Get the COVID shot(s), get the booster(s), and take precautions, particularly if you are inside with other people--that still means wearing a mask indoors.
      No vaccine is 100% foolproof. Wash your hands. Keep wearing an N95 mask where you can't control the airflow around you until we reach the same herd immunity we have for smallpox and once had but lost for measles because so many parents refused to vaccinate their kids. Bonus: it will also help protect you from pollen, summer colds, and the winter flu.
      Call 855.722.7878 or visit healthvermont.gov for more info about the first or second dose and for booster shots of the vaccine. You can also walk-in at Costco, CVS, Hannaford, Price Chopper/Market 32, Rite Aid, Shaw's, Walgreens, or Walmart, or get an appointment with CVS, Kinney Drugs, Walgreens, or UVMMC Outpatient Pharmacies. Providers and pharmacies must give vaccines at no cost to the patient.


ART ON THE WALLS

FAIRFIELD--The Bent Northrop Memorial Library hosts the Fairfield Central School art show with a reception at the library this afternoon from 4:30 - 7 p.m. The paintings of the Common School are in the themes of famous artists.


ST. ALBANS--The Artist In Residence Gallery features different artists each month. This month, the spotlight is on fiber artist Janice DeCooman, wood turner Barry Genzlinger, decorative fiber artist Maureen Genzlinger, and glass artist Cherie Marshall with a live reception at the gallery this evening at 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. A.I.R. will continue celebrating the monthly Featured Artists online and on Facebook.
      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.


ART FOR SALE

ALBURGH--The Alburgh Fire Dept Craft Fair fills the Alburgh Volunteer Fire Department on Saturday at 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. There will also be a Pie/Cake walk. Find them on Facebook for more info.


BERKSHIRE--The Holiday Craft Show and Breakfast with Santa at the Berkshire Elementary School on Saturday, at 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Breakfast with Santa is in the cafeteria from 9-11 @ $5/person. Soups and sandwiches will be available for sale at lunch. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Festival of Trees Holiday Entertainment brings a full day of music and art to City Hall on Saturday from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Dance troupes will perform from 9 - 3, Facemania face painting and balloon art from 2 - 4, and the Smokey Newfield Project from 4-6 accompanied by 14th Star Brewing Company manning the taps on Saturday . Find them on Facebook for more info.


CAMBRIDGE--The Friends of Fletcher Elementary School annual Christmas Tree, Swag, and Wreath Sale is a one-stop sale on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. They will have breakfast lunch, holiday gifts, trees, decorations, and more. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ESSEX JUNCTION--The third annual Vermont Holiday Market brings over 60 artisans, artists, and crafters to the Blue Ribbon Pavilion at the Champlain Valley Fairgrounds on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. each day. There will be artwork, clothing, food stuffs and sweets, games, leather goods, jewelry, meads, wines and distilled spirits, spices, maple products, pet goods, pottery, woodcrafts, and more from across Vermont and New England. Tickets are $5 for adults at the door. Kids under 12 and parking are free. Find them on Facebook for more info.


GRAND ISLE--Annual Grand Isle Craft Fair fills Grand Isle Elementary School on Saturday at 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. The day also includes the popular raffle table with donated items from local businesses and vendors. Bittersweet bakery will also goodies to keep your belly full. Find them on Facebook for more info


ST. ALBANS--The St Paul's UMC Craft Show fills the space with Christmas gifts on Saturday at 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. They will have art, maple products, pet gifts, pottery, weaving, wood crafts and more. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ART YOU CREATE

ST. ALBANS--Santa's Workshop at the Saint Albans Museum has Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the elves with games, crafts, cookies, and more, all on Saturday at 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ST. ALBANS--Awaken Yoga & Creative Arts Studio and Jon Young Artworks host the second Festival of Trees Holiday Paint Party on Sunday at 3 - 5 p.m. There are only 25 seats available for each class. BYOB. Classes are open to all ages. The cost is $40; $5 of each seat goes to the Josh Pallotta Fund. Click here for tickets and more info.


HUMANITIES

ONLINE--Vermont Abenaki Art Association director Vera Longtoe Sheehan will hold a virtual talk Abenaki Traditions and Tenets through the Parker Memorial Library this evening at 7 p.m. This program is based on curriculum that highlights the traditions and resiliency of the Abenaki people. Click here to sign up for the Zoom link.


WORKSHOPS & CLASSES

MORRISVILLE--River Arts offers Meditate & Create: Structure and Flow in Creativity through Collage with psychotherapist Megan Bisbee, an evening of supported creative expression and relaxation, this evening at 5:30 p.m. The cost is $40. Click here to register online or for more info.


MILTON--The Milton Artists' Guild will host Beaded Snowflakes with Paula Galle at MAG on Saturday at 10 a.m.- 12 noon. Supplies are included. The cost is $25 for members or $30 for non-members. Click here for more info and to reserve a space.


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 event offers a different project. Stay for 30 minutes or the whole two hours. Admission is free but registration is required. Click here for free tickets and more info.


IN THE SAC

SWANTON--The Swanton Arts Council will hold a Board Meeting and Updates in person at the Swanton Free Public Library on Monday at 6 p.m. Meetings are held on the first Monday of each month. Find the SAC on Facebook for the agenda and more info.


ON STAGE LIVE

      Here's my own plan with over one million U.S. deaths and as our precautions wane. I got the COVID and Flu shots, and the booster, and I take precautions because no vaccine is 100% foolproof. I wash my hands. I double mask with a genuine N95 mask (not a bandana and not a "chin strap") and 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-Saturday, December 1-3
ESSEX JUNCTION--On Tap starts off another weekend of music with the debut of Whiskey and Wine tonight at 6 p.m. (with bar service, too), two shows Friday night, King Me at 5 p.m., and then the Phil Abair Band featuring Keegan Nolan playing their last songs of the year there starting at 9 p.m., plus two more shows live on Saturday night with Jeff Shelly at 5 p.m., and the Dog Catchers starting at 9 p.m. Call 802.878.3309 or email for more info. Click here to reserve a table.


Friday, December 2
SHELDON--The Abbey Friday Night Music Series continues in the Pub on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ENOSBURG--The Opera House at Enosburg Falls kicks off the Enosburg Holiday Weekend with A (Musical) Hint of the Holidays featuring Chris & Erica and Root 7 on Friday at 7 p.m. There will be a stocking auction to help raise money for the Enosburg Summer Concert Series. The Dairy Center is providing the bar and snacks. Admission is $20. Tickets are available at Green's Ace, Eventbrite.com, and at the door. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Festival of Trees Gala and Tree Auction turns St. Albans City Hall into an "Evening in Paris" with live music, dancing, cocktails, buffet, and a cash bar on Friday at 7 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.


Friday-Saturday, December 2-3
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.


ESSEX JUNCTION--The Double E has a double header from the T-Rex Theater this weekend with Big Yellow Taxi, the New England band exploring the music of Joni Mitchell, on Friday night at 8 p.m., doors at 7, plus Soule Monde live on Saturday night at 6 p.m. Admission is $20 - $25. Click here for tickets and more info.


Saturday, December 3
MORRISVILLE--The 22nd annual Festival of Lights spreads the Christmas spirit across the village with a parade and tree lighting, craft shows, dance performances, puppet skits, songs and stories at the library, horse and sleigh rides, a fire show, Mr. and Mrs. Claus and Christmas carols around the tree, all on Saturday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. River Arts will host a kids' lantern craft as well as a Holiday Basket Raffle. Ballet Wolcott perform an excerpt from The Grinch at River Arts on Saturday at 2.
      Find them on Facebook for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Festival of Trees Holiday Entertainment brings a full day of music and art to City Hall on Saturday from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Dance troupes will perform from 9 - 3 and the Smokey Newfield Project from 4-6 accompanied by 14th Star Brewing Company manning the taps on Saturday . Find them on Facebook for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Vermont Choral Union performs Music for the Season of Light in the First Congregational Church on Saturday at 4 p.m. New director Eric Milnes will present music for the seasons of Advent and Chanukah including vocal ensemble music by Rossi, Praetorius, Mendelssohn, Gounod, Pinkham, and Milnes. Organ recitalist Isabelle Demers will joins the ensemble for the performance.
      Admission is $15 adults, $10 seniors and students, or $40 for families. Click here for tickets in advance or at the door. Call Mary Ellen Jolley (802.777.5529) or click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--14th Star presents Jaded Ravins for a night of live original music by the modern-day Johnny and June in The Room on Saturday at 6 p.m. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Depot presents Vermont's own classic rock band, Bad Horsey, on Saturday night at 9 p.m. There is a $5 cover charge. Food for purchase and cash bar will be available. Find them on Facebook for more info.


Sunday, December 4
ST. ALBANS--The Festival of Trees Holiday Entertainment brings a full day of music and art to City Hall on Sunday from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Vermont's own 40th Army Band Center Mass Brass takes the stage at 1 p.m. Rockin' Ron Gagnon plays from 2 - 4 p.m. Look for a reading of T'was the Night Before Christmas, too. Find them on Facebook for more info.


ST. ALBANS--14th Star continues the Sunday Brunch Sessions: the Rustics live in The Room on Sunday at 1 - 3 p.m. for folk, blues and honky songs. Find them on Facebook for more info.


FRANKLIN COUNTY BOOKSHELF

FAIRFIELD--The Bent Northrop Memorial Library begins the After School Art Series this afternoon at 3:15 - 4:30 p.m. Mr. Raymond will cover drawing, pastels, and painting in the for week class.
      Library Hours are Monday 2:30-5,Tuesday and Thursday 2:30-8, Wednesday and Friday 9-5, and Saturday 9-1. Call 802.827.3945 to register for the series or click here for more info.


ST. ALBANS--The Eloquent Page hosts Stephen Russell Payne to sign his new book, You Were Always There, on Saturday at 10 a.m. The coming of age love story is set on Caspian Lake in Greensboro in the 1970s. This is his sixth book.
      Dr. Payne is a fourth generation Vermonter from the Northeast Kingdom with an MA-English from Tufts and his MD from UVM. He is a former police officer and general surgeon and lives on an organic farm with his family. Find them on Facebook for more info



ON THE BOOKSHELF

      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 AllArtsCouncil.org/books. 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

Music!

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


SUPPORT LIVE ARTS IN YOUR TOWN!


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Highgate Springs, VT 05460
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