While you are at Arts Fest, be sure to see the Book Benches of Centre County – the 2014 Centre Inspires grant winner.  The first two completed benches will be unveiled and on display during the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts on Friday, June 10th from 10 am - 2:30 pm in front of the State College Borough building.


The completed benches were designed and painted by local artists, Sean Bodley and Amber Elessor. 


"Book Benches of Centre County is an innovative way to bring diverse groups of the community together - different segments of people from all over Centre County - to collaborate, create, and enjoy art that is representative of the community in which we live," explained Molly Kunkel, Executive Director at Centre Foundation.   

The Child Development and Family Council (CDFC) in partnership with SPE Federal Credit Union are collaborating with mural artist Elody Gyekis to bring the benches to life. 


“Our completed benches will share the unique and diverse stories that capture our county and the people that live here. From the very young to our elders, everyone will have a chance to be part of the Book Benches of Centre County experience,” noted Ann Walker, Executive Administrator at CDFC.


Community meetings have been held in State College and Philipsburg and forthcoming meetings will be held in the Bellefonte, Penns Valley, and Bald Eagle areas.  To see postings for future meetings, view pictures of the benches in progress, and other news, be sure to “like” the Book Benches of Centre County’s Facebook page.


“This exciting project is an opportunity for our many talented local artists and the community to collaborate and tell the story of Centre County.  These colorful benches will be a multi-faceted, interactive, public art piece that will delight residents and visitors alike for decades to come,” said lead project artist, Elody Gyekis.

Centre Foundation encourages local residents to get engaged and make an impact.  Centre Inspires is just one example of an innovative granting program that allows this type of community-wide engagement and impact.


“By the end of this project, there will be 25 benches distributed across Centre County,” added Kunkel.  “So, stay tuned and keep your eyes peeled because a bench will be coming to a neighborhood near you soon!”