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Danielle Corsetto paints a bench on Sunday as part of the Shepherdstown Shares Spirit of Shepherdstown project. In the background, Emily Vaughn can be seen painting another bench.

Shepherdstown Shares, a local nonprofit formed to assist area residents and businesses during the COVID-19 emergency, is sponsoring a new project to place several new benches along German Street and nearby areas. The benches will enhance the visual appeal of the downtown while providing visitors and shoppers with outdoor seating including for takeout dining.

Shepherdstown Shares plans to place 10 wood benches throughout the business district over the coming several weeks.  The benches will come in two sizes – larger benches for family seating, and smaller ones for seating two people.

The benches are being built by local carpenter, Alex Dugas.  

Several of the Shepherdstown area’s most creative artists will decorate the benches in the theme, “the Spirit of Shepherdstown.”  

The artists will do “live painting” of the benches from approximately 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays throughout August and September in the Trinity Church yard, at the corner of German and Church Streets. The public is invited to stop by to see the work in progress and learn more about the artists’ plans for each bench. Shepherdstown Shares Board Member Annie Wisecarver is coordinating this component of the project.  

Shepherdstown Shares Board member Jan Hafer explained, “We are so excited to support our town in this way. This project is a true collaborative effort with support from so many – including our town government, local businesses, residents and artists.  We are all pulling together to support the town during this health emergency.”

Shepherdstown Shares is accepting donations to help with costs of the new benches.  

Said Hafer, “We are asking businesses and residents to help us defray costs by ‘sponsoring’ a bench.  A one-time cash donation will go a long way to support our town’s businesses while bringing beautiful public art and a little more joy to our main street area.”

Shepherdstown Shares is a local nonprofit that helps people in need due to the COVID-19 emergency.  For more information about the organization’s many projects and to learn about sponsoring a bench, please go to:  ShepherdstownShares.org or send a note to ShepShares@gmail.com.

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