The mission of ArtsBridge is to celebrate the arts in our neighborhood and provide a space where the diversity in our community is bridged through the appreciation of music and art. In 2017, the 7th Season of ArtsBridge is underway! The programs continue to draw people together. Many members of the community began to support ArtsBridge in partnership donations as well as the church’s support.

ArtsBridge conveys the spirit of community, joy and hope these concerts bring to the community. Special thanks goes to Susan Burkholz, who has spearheaded the publicity for the events and does a lot of the nuts and bolts work behind the scenes.

Upcoming Events:

Sunday – October 15 – 9th Annual Poetry Reading

ArtsBridge will present its 9th Poetry Reading at 4:00 p.m. Sunday, October 15, 2017 at First Presbyterian Church, 475 Green Avenue on Morton Hill in Benton Harbor, MI. Poetry lovers of all ages are invited to attend and read a poem they wrote or simply listen. Possible topics may include nature, feelings ranging from love to loss, diversity, spirituality, and more.

Isabel Jackson Photo

Isabel Jackson, who is the event organizer, commented: “This (event) will take place in an intimate and non-intimidating setting. Attendees may read their own work or have someone else read it. Participation is highly encouraged. All present will have the option to simply listen.” Some of the past participants include George Barfield, Pearl Blaylock, Bill Brady, David Brady, Penn Campbell, Debra Davis, Sue Goens, Darlene Hawkins, Marnie Heyn, Jeanette Holton, Isabel Jackson, Rev. Laurie Hartzell, Julie Kortidis, Eileen (Bean) Klusendorf, Linda Lobik, Gary McCormick, Maggie Mendus, and Rev. Emeritus Doug Petersen, students from St. Joseph High School and Lake Michigan College.

Rev. Hartzell, who is the minister at this church, commented about ArtsBridge: “In a community that is often known for its racial and socio-economic divisions, ArtsBridge provides a safe space where people can come together through the creative and performing arts. There is incredible talent throughout our community—what a joy to share in it together.”

Admission is free, donations accepted. A reception will follow the program. For more information, visit or find on Facebook.


All programs start at 4 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church and are absolutely free.

Past Events of this Season:

Sunday – September 24 – Three Pianists Concert & Exhibit
ArtsBridge presents Three Pianists Concert and Exhibion Sunday, September 24 4:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 475 Green Avenue on Morton Hill in Benton Harbor, Michigan. This program features pianists Joshua Goines, Susan Burkholz, and David Brock plus ceramic artist Jerry SirkAdmission is free and donations acceptedFor more details visit


Sunday – April 23 – Spring Concert and Exhibit
featuring SMC Chamber Group led by David Carew, The Hampton Men (Corey Sr., Corey Jr. & Cameron), plus photo and oil artwork by Bill Rothwell

Sunday – March 26 – Collage Concert & Exhibit
featuring vocalist Andrew Fisher with pianist Gabriel Smith, students from The Citadel Dance & Music Center, stone sculptures by Sara Shambarger and painted wood by George Barfield

Sunday – February 5 – Poetry Slam
featuring written and performed poetry by participants

Sunday – December 18 – Sights & Sounds of Christmas
featuring North American Brass Company, the community All God’s Children Choir and watercolor artist David Baker

Sunday – November 13 – Organ & Piano Concert and Exhibit
featuring organist Jim Kraus, pianist David Brock and painter Evan Robinson

Sunday – October 23 @ 4 pm – Three Pianists Concert and Exhibit
featuring Masashi Sekioka, Susan Burkholz, Jean Prosper and Water Street GlassWorks Fired Up! teens’ glass art