Morton Hill

ArtsBridge Brings Music + Art to You!

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

NOVEMBER 18, 2018 – Thanksgiving & Praise Concert – 4:00 PM

The program will feature guest organist Brenton Offenback, All God’s Children
Community Choir and an array of art work on display and for sale by artists primarily from First Presbyterian Church of Benton Harbor. 

Offenbach, Brenton Photo

Brenton Offenback graduated from Andrews University with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education in 2009 and with a Master’s degree in Organ Performance and Choral Conducting in 2014, studying under Dr. Kenneth Logan and Stephen Zork respectively.
As a child, Brenton pretended to play the organ on the backs of pew benches, always admiring the sound that came from those mysterious pipes. As a high school freshman, Brenton finally built up the courage to ask the church organist if he could play. With the promise of a free organ method book for playing four times, he obtained the book very quickly. And thus, started his long love and profession of the organ.

Since then, Brenton has played in numerous churches: the Chapel Hill Methodist Church, Sodus, MI; Forest Lake Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Apopka, FL; Knowels Chapel of Rollins College, Winter Park, FL; Zion United Church of Christ, Baroda, MI; Village Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Berrien Springs, MI; and now at the First Congregational Church of St. Joseph, MI.
All God's Children Community Choir MLK Day 2016 at LMCAll God’s Children Community Choir is a spirited group of talented and enthusiastic children and teens, ages 5 to 18, drawn from many different communities in Southwest Michigan. Led by a diverse team of directors, the Choir is now in its 17th year, inspiring audiences with its messages of brotherhood and sisterhood, unity, peace and respect for all people. Since the Choir’s initial performance at the Race Relations Council Awards Program in 2001, All God’s Children has performed on more than 150 occasions. These special events have included performances at Lake Michigan College and Andrews University to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; a special Habitat for Humanity performance for former President Jimmy Carter; concerts in Grand Rapids and Traverse City for state and national teachers’ conferences; joint appearances with the Chicago Children’s Choir in Michigan and Chicago; a Holiday Traditions concert with the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra and Metropolitan Opera Star Angela Brown; a featured performance at Navy Pier in Chicago on Martin Luther King Day; multiple ArtsBridge concerts; and performances with recording artists Tom Chapin, Josh White, Jr., Gemini, Peter Yarrow, and Pamela Chappell with whom All God’s Children recorded an award-winning CD.


Adams, Jordan Photo 2Jordan Adams,
from Hendersonville, North Carolina, has family ties that connect her to Southwest Michigan. Her father grew up in St. Joseph and she regularly visits her 97-year-old grandmother who still lives in the area. Jordan graduated from Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina in 2014 and has spent most of her time since graduating traveling and working as an English teacher in South Korea. Jordan enjoys many art mediums including pottery and fiber arts. She knits and weaves as she travels around the world for work and play. She loves to collect yarn from the different places she visits and then create wearable items and woven wall hangings to adorn your home. You can find out more about Jordan’s work on Etsy vagabondfiberarts.etsy.com and Instagram vagabondfiberarts. Arianne Baker has been an artist all her life. She studied art education at Eastern Michigan University with a concentration in jewelry and
metalsmithing. She and her mother Jackie operate a beaded jewelry business called Dragons Fly Beads. She has always been interested in the tactile aspect of art and has made portraits with fingerprints and even footprints. Currently, she does more art on a smaller scale with needlepointing.

David Baker is a lifelong artist and teacher. Now, mostly retired from academic life, he works full time making art. He often works with oil,
watercolor, or charcoal. Most of his imagery is found in nature; quiet moments, touched with a little poetry.

Jackie Baker started making jewelry in 1996 and hasn’t stopped. It was very relaxing at first for her to just play with the beads. When she accumulated too many, she started selling her creations. Jackie’s jewelry is one-of-a-kind necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Her daughter, Arianne, also makes most of the jewelry for Dragons Fly Beads.

Johnson, Antwon PhotoAntwon Johnson began glassblowing as a Fired Up! student at Water Street Glassworks two years ago. He enjoys making different glass objects such as spun bowls, vases, cups, and paperweights. Antwon likes being creative and would like to make glassblowing his career. He is gaining a lot of good experience and plans to continue glassblowing for as long as he can.

Judd, Joan PhotoJoan Judd’s
painting journey started with lessons from Marilyn O’Bryant and Lorie Jespersen at the Krasl Art Center. She continues taking classes there. Her paintings have been displayed at both The Krasl and Box Factory for the Arts galleries. She also was part of the Chartreuse, a local artist co-op for six years. Currently, her paintings and cards are for sale at Aveline Gallery in Benton Harbor. Joan is a graduate of Albion College and also taught first and second grades in Michigan and Virginia. For twelve years, she was the director of the First Church of God Nursery School.

Smith, Veronica PhotoVeronica Smith has been an artist all her life. The mediums she uses are varied; including graphite pencil, colored pencil, pastel,
photography, and most recently picking up acrylics and watercolors. She mostly works digitally as a comic book colorist and illustrating;
striving to tell stories with her art. However

Pastor Laurie Hartzell says “There is God-given talent and art all around us. Our hope is to provide a space where their art can help bridge our diversity as we fellowship together and revel in each other’s creative gifts.” A reception will follow the program in Goff Hall. For details call (269) 925-7075 or find them online at firstpresbh.org or Facebook.

Admission is free, donations accepted. A reception will follow the program.

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

Rev. Laurie 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.”

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 Past Events of Previous Seasons:

Sunday – September 30 – Autumn Celebration Concert & Exhibit

ArtsBridge’s 8th season begins a program featuring gospel singer Jolita Burton followed by Ed Bagatini and his 11-piece jazz band The Revival of the Cool! Acrylic paintings by Nikki Gauthier will also be on display and for sale.

Jolita Burton Photo 103 KB
Jolita Burton is a native of the Black Pearl of Berrien County, the city she loves, Benton Harbor, Michigan. She has been a Gospel songstress in her community for many years. Her love for Jesus Christ is her inspiration to live the kind of life that invokes the presence of His glorious spirit, which she shares the gift she has been blessed
with. She has been a longtime member of Refreshing Fountains Church of God in Christ (COGIC) on Euclid Avenue in Benton Harbor. Her husband, Maurice Burton, is a retired State of Michigan trooper and is an elder and minister at Refreshing Fountain COGIC. She is also blessed with two children, Marcellus and Imyn, and three grandchildren.
The Revival of the Cool jazz band is comprised of some of the best jazz players in the area including Bump Enders and Mark Gamble (Trumpet) Dino Jackson (French Horn), Ruth Livengood, Joel Fletty, Brandon Yenchus, Ed Bagatini (Trombone) Rob Funk (Baritone Sax), Stephen Lundquist (Guitar), Jason Spiegel (Bass), and Jim Allen (Drums). Arrangements and original compositions are the work of Ed Bagatini. In rehearsal since
June of 2017, the library hosts 104 arrangements. Some of the music selections performed will include the Theme from Deception by Miles Davis, Stella by Starlight by Victor Young, Fly me to the Moon by Bart Howard plus several original compositions by Ed Bagatini such as Eggs & Ice Cream, Bella Donna and Awe Shucks.
Ed Bagatini PhotoEd Bagatini was born, raised and schooled in Calumet Michigan where the circle of 4th’s was taught along with the three R’s. With maternal encouragement, he graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Music Ed. Degree. He then became a trombonist with 5th Army Headquarters Band. Mr. Bagatini has taught instrumental music in various schools in Southwestern Michigan He laid the foundations for the band programs at Lake
Michigan College and Lake Michigan Catholic Schools. Ed has had extensive experience in arranging music. He has arranged music for: The Navy School of Music, Dan Belloc, Kai Winding, Tommy Shepard, Bill Russo, Bill Porter, Mike Suter, Bobby Davidson, Western Michigan University, The Jazz Assemblage and The Nostalgics. He was the musical director of The Nostalgics Big Band, leads The Dynabones, and The Ed Bagatini Trio. He performs with The Ed Forrest Big Band, Carol And Kaye’s Dixieland Band and various church ensembles. Major influences upon his arranging are Gerry Mulligan and the late great friend Bill Evans. Presently, Ed and his wife, Adrienne, operate Bagatini’s Music Store in downtown St. Joseph.

Nikki Gauthier PhotoNikki Gauthier is the Communications, Programs and Events Coordinator for the Box Factory for the Arts in St. Joseph, Michigan. In her role at the Box Factory, Nikki helps to develop programs, which nurture the arts and creativity. She plans special Box Factory events such as concerts, open mic nights, gallery receptions, film nights and personal tours. Nikki loves being part of the team at the Box Factory and looks forward to continuing to build an organization, which fosters and celebrates artistic expression.
Nikki’s work at the Box Factory is a natural fit, as she has always had a passion for the arts in its many forms. She developed her own artistic talents as a musician early in life, but only recently discovered an affinity for painting when her dad gave her art supplies for Christmas. Since then, Nikki has been creating acrylic paintings featuring mainly floral and beach scenes. You can find Nikki’s works entitled “Introspective Life” on Etsy, Facebook, Instagram (@introspectivelifegirl), and at local artisan markets. Nikki is also the mother of two children, Geoff (17) and Hope (9).

Sunday – May 6 – Spring Concert & Exhibit

Featuring jazz guitarist Gene Butler, music students from The Citadel Dance & Music Center under the direction of Susan Dietrich-Reed, and wearable art from Sharon Wilkinson.

ArtsBridge presents a “Spring Concert and Exhibit” on Sunday, May 6, 2018, 4:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 475 Green Avenue on Morton Hill in Benton Harbor, Michigan. The program will feature music students from The Citadel Dance & Music Center under the direction of Susan Dietrich-Reed and jazz guitarist Gene Butler.
Wearable art by Sharon Wilkinson will also be on display and for sale. Pastor Laurie Hartzell says “There is God-given talent and art all around us. Our hope is to provide a space where their art can help bridge our diversity as we fellowship together and revel in each other’s creative gifts.” A reception will follow the program in Goff Hall. For
details call (269) 925-7075 or find them online at firstpresbh.org or Facebook.

Sunday – March 11 – Choral Concert & Exhibit

Featuring the SMC Select Voices directed by David Carew and colorful artwork by Brian Cooley.

ArtsBridge presents a Choral Concert and Exhibion Sunday, March 11 4:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 475 Green Avenue on Morton Hill in Benton Harbor, Michigan. This program features SMC Select Voices conducted by David Carew, with guest tenor, Andrew Fisher.  Colorful art work by Brian Cooley will also be on display and for sale. Admission is free and donations acceptedFor more details visit www.FirstPresBH.org or find  on Facebook. 

Rev. Laurie 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.

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

Sunday – February 4, 2018 – 10th Poetry Reading – AT 2:00 P.M.!

ArtsBridge will present its 10th Poetry Reading at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, February 4, 2018 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, 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.”

Sunday – November 19 – Thanksgiving & Praise Concert & Exhibit

ArtsBridge presents Thanksgiving and Praise Concert and Exhibion Sunday, November 19 4:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church475 Green Avenue on Morton Hill in Benton Harbor, Michigan. This program features organist, Perry Heppler, All God’s Children Community Choir and David Smykal’s reclaimed wood art. Admission is free and donations accepted.

 

 

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.”

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 FirstPresBH.org/ArtsBridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FirstPresBH.org/ArtsBridge.

 

More great events coming soon!

 

 

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