Benchmark is a community arts project initiated by Blackbird Arts in May of 2012 in collaboration with the Downtown Development Authority in Traverse City. The project partners individual schools and/or community groups with a professional artist and a local writer, to design, develop and create art benches using existing downtown benches. Our goal is to keep high quality arts in the school and provide a six-week artist residency in schools to teach students a variety of art techniques and allow them to learn from professional artists and writers.
In August of 2012, Blackbird Arts, artist Glenn Wolff, writer Jerry Dennis and students from the Greenspire School unveiled the first bench pilot. Thanks to generous sponsors, four benches have undergone transformation and have been turned into beautiful, functional art for our community!