ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 20 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 22, 2016


      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

      2016 was all-in-all a busy year in the arts. We've had so many events every month that it will again take two weeks to summarize them. First, the look at what's happening now.


SOUTH HERO--The Blue Paddle Bistro presents Carol Ann Jones and Jon Sochin tonight at 6:30 p.m.
      The Blue Paddle has limited seating and a small bar so call ahead (802.372.4814) to assure a seat.

Friday  ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents The Duo on Friday at 7 p.m. John Seiden and Neil Wright play a Rock-Country-Jazz list.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--14th Star Brewing Company presents Summer Sounds favorites Troy Millette and Dylan Gombas with special guests at the brewery on Friday at 6 p.m.

BURLINGTON--The Young Tradition Touring Group will present a preview performance at Bishop Booth Conference Center on Tuesday. Arrive anytime after 6:30 p.m. for general admission seating. The Touring Group consists of teen players, singers and dancers during the group's three-day December rehearsal.
      Admission is by suggested donation of $10. Email to reserve a seat.


     Franklin County artists and presenters had a busy 2016. This week, the Franklin County Festivals and Libraries. Next week, wrapping up All Arts Council and what the Other Major Presenters did.

      The 41st annual Franklin County Field Days had a lineup of music, arts and crafts, antique tractors, and of course cows. The 10-performer stage lineup was worth the price of admission alone with up-and-coming performers as well as seasoned stars. Close to Nowhere started the weekend leading into the Keeghan Nolan Band, Troy Millette, Rosie Newton, Miss Mizery, Rockin' Ron the Friendly Pirate, the Isaac French Band, Justice, and the Nobby Reed Project. Missisquoi River Band closed the gates on 2016.
      June is National Dairy Month! The popular Scholarship Pageant opened the 60th Vermont Dairy Festival which followed up with almost unlimited entertainment and family activities with a weekend lineup that featured two stages with Local Talent at its Best. Franklin County's own Troy Millette, kicked off the shows. The Nobby Reed Project, Buddy the Clown, Chris & Erica, Tom Walsh, ventriloquist Sylvia Fletcher, Marko the Magician, outlaw Jimmy T., Alanna Freeman, the Tim Brick Band, Missisquoi River Band, and Puppet Man Dan kept the stages hopping. The Northeast Fiddlers Association returned to preserve and promote old-time fiddling and its related arts and skills.
      The Supercharged 50th anniversary of the Vermont Maple Festival was the first major outdoor event of the year with more art, more books, more food, more music, and more maple for everyone.
      More arts! The Maple Festival photo contest entries were on view at the Village Frame Shoppe all weekend. There was chainsaw art in Taylor Park. The annual Crafts and Specialty Foods Show had artwork and fine photographs, bling, sculptures, traditional and nouveau crafts, and fine Vermont specialty foods. Vermont author J.P. Choquette plus Gail Derner, Richard Lang, Larry Langlais and Barb Langevin, and Catherine Tretler were all there.
      Andre Maquera of 8084 and West Street Digital managed the Vermont-centric entertainment and kept it close to home. The free Main Street stage hosted Chris & Erica, the Keeghan Nolan Band, Jamie Lee Thurston, the Electric Youth Dance Company, Rockin' Ron the Friendly Pirate, the Contois School of Music Band, winners from the Youth Talent Show, Prydein, Steve Hartmann, and Carol Ann Jones & The Superchargers.
      The BFA PAC filled to overflowing with the Youth Talent Show, comedy with Bucky Lewis, a Stihl Farm Boss and ear flaps, and the Fiddler's Variety Show. The famed Foothills Fogies and other acts appeared around town.

      The generous appropriations for our Town Libraries do not cover all expenses. A donation will help your community library continue offering not only popular reading but also a wide range of the arts. Stop by your library to pick up a donation form or just hand them moolah.

     Vermont Reads was again a big theme throughout the year. This was the fourteenth year of the Vermont Humanities Council's statewide, one-book community reading program with
The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition by Caroline Alexander and "Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World" by Jennifer Armstrong. County-wide, our public Libraries also had readings, lunchtime concerts, art shows, summer reading programs, online public access catalogs, storytimes, and kids' performers. Ruff Reading, the ongoing read-to-a-dog program, is popular around the county.       Franklin County writers appeared in library book discussion groups around the county. J.P. Choquette read and discussed Restitution and Subversion. Ron Krupp read The Woodchuck Returns to Gardening.
      The Traveling Storyteller told tales around the county including Spookly the Square Pumpkin in Swanton.
      The H.F. Brigham Library in Bakersfield has LEGO Little Hands, sewing, Book Discussions and more.
      Enosburgh Public Library has already had a snow day and offered book discussions plus movies, Story Walks in the park, and Knitting Time. The Library joined the Opera House and the Enosburgh Historical Society for programs around the Vermont Reads selections during September, October and November.
      Vermont Reads author Jennifer Armstrong and Vermont Wild Series author Megan Price answered questions at the Fairfax Community Library. They had workshops to make "paintings" with wool, for small business help, and beeswax, and regular programs for Tech Help, summer science, a booklist webinar, and more.
      The Bent Northrop Memorial Library in Fairfield offered Humanities for Everyone with Mark Timney's lecture and Q&A session, "Off Target: What Hollywood, Journalists and Shooters Get Wrong About Guns." They hosted the third annual wine and cheese and silent auction, the Tea and Bristles Painting Party, and Freedom and Unity: The Vermont Movie. They have regular Movie and Pizza Nights, Squishy Circuits workshops; and more.
      The Haston Library in Franklin held story hours, Lego Thursdays, Knitting Tuesdays, special animal athletes and bats programs, Magic gatherings, Shelburne Museum programs, adult book discussions, an Introduction to Composting, Santa and the Bookmobile; and more.
      Georgia Public Library offered concerts, crochet group, home school group, movie matinees, an apple tree pruning workshop I should have attended, the local writers' monthly workshop, virtual tour, the 1000 Books By Kindergarten program, the Georgia Brick-Builders' Club, and more.
      Highgate Public Library is very much a community center. Ms. Liza held the Book Bites monthly book discussion and has library passes for the Birds of Vermont Museum, Echo, Shelburne Museum, Shelburne Farms, Vermontís Historical Society Museum, and Vermont State Parks. She is also a Notary. The entire library catalog is online.
      Friends of Montgomery Town Library held a writing contest for kids with the theme, If I were President... The Book to Film events were popular potlucks and the library made good use of Facebook to announce new books in the collection.
      AA Brown Public Library in Richford serves as a life long learning center with year round classes and workshops. Their first Derby Day Silent Auction Fundraiser was a grand success. Ameriquebecois author Jean-John talked about Synchronicity Bleue. They had International Game Day, a Kentucky Derby party, paint and sip parties, Backpack Theater, Red Cross babysitting training, and more.
      St. Albans Free Public Library hosts the Classic Readers, the Mornings, Muffins & Mysteries, and evening book groups; the Writers' Medley; Classic Movie, Afternoon Comedy, and nights, plus the Kids' Saturday Movie Matinee; Stir the Pot Cookbook discussions; Blogging Boot Camp with Carrie Smith and J.P Choquette; regular Help with Electronic Devices, and more.
      Sheldon Public Library has free WiFi access available 24/7. They have story hour, Paint and Tea, computer classes, book discussions, and a Sketch Club. They had a big Halloween weekend, did cartooning, and locomotion of animals.
      The Swanton Free Public Library had a monthly Book Club Selection, Readers' Theater, adult coloring, movies, story time, family nights, game nights, a book sale every day, Swanton Arts Council collaborations, and community activities downstairs.
      Oh, yeah. And collectively, the libraries hold and have lent thousands of books this year.
      Click here for more info about all the libraries.

ArtBits News Photo


     May your holidays be filled with friends and family and joy and the arts.


      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
Chamber of Commerce
Island Arts
St Albans Community Arts
Swanton Arts Council
Young Tradition Vermont


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 © 2016 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.