ARTBITS by Richard B. Harper

VOLUME 21 * * All Arts News On the Web * * December 28, 2017


      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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      There is still time to make a 2017 contribution to your favorite arts council or other local non-profit under the current tax rules.


ST. ALBANS--Twiggs presents the singer-songwriter Shane Murley Duet on Friday, Ryan & Slim on Saturday. Shows begin at 7 p.m.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

ENOSBURG--The Opera House at Enosburg Falls holds Silver & Gold on Saturday at 7 p.m.
      The annual Cabaret-style event features Broadway tunes and standards performed by local performers. There will be light fare as well as a pouring by the 1906 House.
      Admission is $15 for adults or $12 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the door on the night of the performance or at

New Year's Eve RICHMOND--The annual New Year's Eve Concert to benefit the Old Round Church features Hadley & Winslow of Young Tradition Vermont in the Richmond Congregational Church on Sunday at 7 p.m.
      Vermont musicians including Cricket Blue, Hadley Stockwell and Winslow Solomon, Bill Ellis, and Patti Casey and Tom MacKenzie perform their special brands of American Roots music in what has become a Richmond New Year's Eve tradition.
      Admission is by $10 suggested donation at the door.

ST. ALBANS--Twiggs has a thunderous New Year's Eve with the Donna Thunder Band at 7:30 with a show that goes past midnight.
      Call 802.524.1405 or click here for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Ring in the New Year with live music by Cozy O'Donnell at the City Hall Ball on Sunday starting at 7:30 p.m.
      Vermont's newest party band will play soul and funk-infused rock. A dance lesson at 7:30 p.m. will be followed by a DJ and open dancing from 8:30 - 10:30 p.m. with live music from 10:30 p.m. - 1 a.m. with a champagne toast at midnight.
      Admission is 25. Click here for tickets. This event is sponsored by St. Albans Community Arts.

SHELDON--The Abbey will dance the night away with the Hitmen at the Abbey New Years Eve Party on Saturday starting at 8 p.m.
      The admission includes a midnight buffet and champagne toast.

ST. ALBANS--Whoa, horsey! Durty Nelly's will ring in the New Year with Bad Horsey on Sunday starting at 9:30 p.m.
      Vermont's classic rock band will have music and dancing right up to last call. $5 cover.

ESSEX JUNCTION--Justice will rock Backstage Pub to the rafters on Sunday at 9:30 p.m.
      Get advance tickets at the pub. (The band does not have tickets to sell.) Call 802.878.5494 for more info.

ST. ALBANS--Sean Jarvis hosts Open Mic Night at Durty Nelly's Irish Pub on Wednesday starting at 6:30 p.m.
      Show off your talent; everyone is welcome to grab the mic and perform any Wednesday evening on the Tavern side.


BURLINGTON--First Night Burlington celebrates its 35th year of the citywide, substance-free party of nearly 100 stage shows, musical acts, and arts activities in 18 venues to kick off the new year. It is now the longest-standing, private New Year's Eve celebration of its kind anywhere in the United States. Downtown today from noon on.
      A huge number of performers are either from Franklin County or are local favorites including AmerikanaBlue, Michael Arnowitt, Cricket Blue, Electric Youth Dance Company, Myra Flynn, Jon Gailmor, Stephen Kiernan and his Large Guitars, Annemieke McLane, Prydein, the Sky Blue Boys with Carrie Cook, the Starlight Rhythm Boys, and Young Tradition Vermont with Addie Herbert plus an Instrument Petting Zoo. "The show goes on no matter what the weather -- this is Vermont, after all! So dress warmly and bring layers."
      The BCA Center has a gallery exhibition, Of Land and Local, with make-and-take art and VT PBS Kids' Club screenings.
      All indoor events require an $18 button, available at 37 button outlets including Hannaford and Price Chopper in St. Albans. (Buy your buttons early; Adult Buttons jump to $22 on Saturday. Of course, they are far more expensive on December 32.) Most Flynn MainStage require $5 tickets in addition to the button. Click here for a complete schedule and for advance sales.
      Let's be careful out there.

ST. JOHNSBURY--First Night North in St. Johnsbury celebrates 25 years of music with 250 artists in 100 performances at 13 buildings with 18 venues all taking place in just eight hours today. First Night North St. J starts at 4 p.m. and continues right through midnight with intense fireworks in the first 20 minutes of 2017.
      A number of performers here are from Franklin County or are local favorites, too, including Summer Sounds performers Bob Amos & Catamount Crossing, Cooie and Skip, Nisht Geferlach Klezmer Band, and the No Strings Marionette Theater, plus Marko the Magician, Village Harmony, and more.
      The ArtsConnect Juried Show takes over the Catamount Arts Main Gallery.
      All indoor events require a button, $20 adult or $12 student. (Buy your buttons early; prices jump to $22 and $14 on Saturday.) Buttons are available at the Catamount Arts Center, by phone (802.748.2600), or click here to buy and for more info.
      The First Night St. J shuttle bus will run in 15 minute loops and there will be bus signs posted.


      Franklin County artists and presenters had a busy 2017. This week, we wrap up with what All Arts Council and the Other Major Presenters.

      The All Arts Council serves northwestern Vermont as a presenter, an event producer, and as a technical resource for artists and other groups. Other Franklin County organizations continue to grow, which means we support more events.
      Summer Sounds, Franklin County's popular, long running, outdoor series, offered free concerts on summer Sunday evenings. The 27th season of the popular free concert series began with a Supercharged Bay Day with Carol Ann Jones and the Superchargers playing right into the fireworks. Anderson Gram, the Christopher Dean Band, Mango Jam, the David Rosane Band, Mark Shelton and his Invisible Friends, and the Hokum Bros. Band as our Summer Sounds Surprise filled our other summer nights with sound.
      The concerts in this 27th season have been sponsored by the supporting Towns and the All Arts Council. The series was underwritten by Chevalier Drilling Co. Inc, Desorcie's Market, Drummac Septic Service, O. C. McCuin & Sons, La Quinta Inn & Suites in St. Albans, and Ray's Extrusion Dies Tubing.
      The community based All Arts Council brings the performing and visual arts to northwestern Vermont. The Summer Sounds concerts are always on Sunday evenings, always at 7 p.m., always in a Town Park, always in the summer, and always free.
      Did you miss any of the concerts? Fortunately, Northwest Access TV and the All Arts Council produce Almost Live, a series of live concerts that airs each week on Comcast Channel 15. The volunteer videography crew produced a "front row seat" show of all the Summer Sounds concerts and many more besides. click here for more info about Almost Live on Channel 15.

      St. Albans Community Arts is a City presenter and promoter of arts events in St. Albans. This year, they have produced the 2nd Friday Dance Socials, Downtown Art Walk, Fall Art Walk and Downtown Sale, Festival of Trees.

      Swanton Arts Council works to build an artistic presence and develop the artistic community in Swanton. This year, they have produced the 1 Minute Film Festival and Swanee, SAC Artist Gatherings, the Barn Quilt challenge, a Local Authors Fest, Pinwheels in the Park, the Pop Up Pop In Gallery, Sidewalk Chalk Day, the SAC Writers' Group, and Swanton's Got Art.

      The Artist In Residence Gallery in St. Albans featured dozens of northern Vermont fine artists with a focus on up to four different artists each month. The art cooperative features paintings, fiber arts, stained glass, sculpture, lamps, pottery, folk art boxes, scarves, hats, and more, and is owned and operated by the artists and sponsors.
      Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge held Art on the Refuge, the annual Friends of the Refuge exhibit of Vermont artists working in oil, acrylics, watercolor, pen and ink, pastels, photographs and fabric of the over 200 species of birds that live on or stop at the Refuge with the theme, "Helping Birds Along the Way."
      The Northwestern Medical Center Gallery reopened in its beautiful new space with solo shows of the work of area artists. The students of Kathleen Berry Bergeron, multimedia artist Donna Blatchly, photographers Sandra Ferland, David J. Griggs and yr. obedient servant Richard B. Harper, Stephanie Kossman's monotypes, and photographers Eric Smith, Wayne Tarr, and Trine Wilson were 2017 exhibitors.
      The Village Frame Shoppe in St. Albans featured artists from across Vermont and New England. Famed Vermont artist Corliss Blakely painted in the window during the Maple Festival. They had promotions and shows for individual artists, and more.

      The BFA Performing Arts Center hosted Maple Festival concerts, Godspell, dance performances, the Spring Band Concert, an Instrumental Concert, the Spring Choral Review Concert, and a cabaret.
      The Church Street Sounds of the Season concert series debuted in the First Congregational Church of St. Albans with Frevo, Heliand Consort, and the Community Singers and Citizens Concert Band this Fall.
      The Opera House at Enosburg Falls had a busy year. Fiddler on the Roof, The King and I, Three One Acts, and Three Christmas Plays, all took the stage. They held Theater Camp and Rock Camp, craft shows, and Silver and Gold, the annual fundraiser held this Saturday. A Carpenters Tribute Concert, Elvis and Johnny Cash, Franklin County Voices, Local Motive, the Logger, Melting Point, and Prydein all performed. In their spare time, they held the Enosburg Town Band and Town Chorus Community Christmas Concert, the Dairy Pageant, and the first major Craft Fair of the season.
      Summer Evenings with Vermont Treasures, the Meeting House on the Green music series, gave us six months of exceptional performers: starting with Michael Hurley, and including Coon Hill John, Lewis Franco and the Missing Cats, Heliand Consort, Northern Flyer, Ben Patton, the Austin Piazzolla Quintet, David Rosane and the Zookeepers, Starline Rhythm Boys, and the Vermont Fiddle Orchestra. Proceeds from the series help in the next restoration phase of the building.
      Summer Music at Grace opened the season before Memorial Day with "the umpteenth annual" Farewell Reunion benefit concert.
      14th Star Brewing Company and Twiggs competed to offer more music and art than any other Franklin County presenters. We won!


      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


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