We inspire


We ignite


We encourage


Why ICG Hands-On Glass Programs Work

The synergy of elements unique to the making of glass art – collaboration, persistence, trust, discipline and focus – require a special type of engagement from students and, with it, cultivates social emotional growth. The scientific process of glass making dynamically inspires problem solving and creatively builds STEAM skills. Through hands-on learning in a creative, safe, engaging environment, ICG programs build confidence, foster connection and community and open doors to new opportunities to Chicago youth.

What We Do

Hands-on Glass Art Programs

ICG fundamentally believes in engaging Chicago youth in arts education and provides a dedicated space for programs. Programming features innovative and collaborative hands-on glass art experiences, which include glass blowing and sculpting, glass fusing, flame-working, mold making and casting. Team projects are a central component of ICG’s methodology. Projects are designed to foster a sense of community and accountability. Students are encouraged to be creative, experiment and push beyond comfort zones.


Alongside ICG’s commitment to attract and train the best teaching artist candidates to facilitate its transformative glass art programming, it is committed to offering apprenticeship and internship opportunities to youth who have not traditionally had access to the glass arts.  Youth development and mentorship drives ICG’s curriculum and its financial decision making.

Partnerships and Community Engagement

ICG’s partnerships are designed to enliven and maximize talent, resources and potential. ICG provides credentialed instructors and a state-of-the-art glass making facility to help its community partners offer a broader range of innovative student art experiences.  Identifying and nurturing partnerships with community organizations focused on youth opportunity, empowerment, and validation lie at the core of ICG.  A cornerstone of ICG programming includes collaborative public art installation projects to encourage community engagement and connection.

ICG Partnership and Program Offering Highlights

Ignition Community Glass - After School Matters thumbnail image

After School Matters, a landmark Chicago based nonprofit after school program, has a similar innovative approach to impacting the lives of youth through safe, engaging after school activities focused on exploration, discovery and mentorship.  ICG, in partnership with ASM, offers 14-18-year-old Chicago youth the opportunity to explore 3-D art through the glass medium....

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Ignition Community Glass Communities in Schools of Chicago

The mission of Communities In Schools of Chicago is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.  CIS works by connecting schools with needed programs and services. ICG offers schools in the Communities in Schools network a variety of customized field trip offerings which encompass four hands-on learning modules: Glass Blowing, Flame-Working, Fused Glass, and Art Education: STEAM in Glass....

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Ignition Community Glass JPC Chicago

Inspired by NYC’s recent successes with innovative interventions, Cook County’s Juvenile Probation Center (JPC), has made a commitment to shift their narrative and approach.  Rather than defining youth by their worst mistakes and approaching their job as ‘surveillance’, JPC is focusing on building trust and focusing on their youth’s strengths. JPC’s ultimate goal  is shifting youth out of unhealthy patterns....

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Ignition Community Glass Chicago Youth Centers

One of ICG’s longest and most creative partnerships, Chicago Youth Centers has helped ICG envision and grow its blended model:  A combination of in-classroom and in-studio programming. In 2017, supported by Bernzomatic’s Find Your Fire Grant, ICG and CYC offered a STEAM based program entitled ‘Broadening Young Minds Through Creative Recycling Project.’...

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Ignition Community Glass Embarc Chicago

In the Spring 2017, ICG was thrilled to developed a new community partnership with Embarc.  The Embarc students from Chicago Academy, an AUSL school, had an opportunity to engage in individual and group based glass fusing projects and experience glass blowing and flame working at Ignite Glass Studios’ state of the art glass education studio.  Embarc’s goal is to drive student success with long-term social and cultural exposure. Through the transformative power of these journeys, they awaken students to the possibilities of their potential by dissolving the borders of the city and in their minds. 

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Ignition Community Glass KIPP Ascend Middle School students

KIPP Chicago schools is a network of college prep charter schools offering high-quality education to Chicago students.  Their mission is to empower students with the knowledge, skills, and character traits necessary to succeed in top-quality high schools and universities and to have a positive impact in their communities.  KIPP Ascend Middle School is located in North Lawndale.  ICG offers KIPP Ascend a unique tool to engage and develop youth creatively and holistically.  Building upon its first two years of programming with KIPP Ascend in Spring 2018, ICG continued its partnership with KIPP offering both in-studio and in-classroom glass art experiences including glass blowing, fused glass and flame working. ...

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“Keep inspiring people.”

Summer 2018 Student

“Thank you for continuing to be a safe place for kids to come and have a creative outlook.”

Summer 2018 Student

 “All of my problems become irrelevant when I focus on a glass sculpture.”

Summer 2018 Students

“Through glass I’ve learned more about chemistry, engineering and business.”

Summer 2018 Student

“I love how hands-on this program is and how teamwork is necessary when creating different pieces.”

Summer 2018 Student

Who We Are

Board of Directors

Trish Tullman

Board President

Alphonse L. Gray
Glen Tullman


Amaris Miranda
Andrea Vaughn


Lucinda Vriner


Operational Team

Joe Waropay

Education Director

Leticia (Lety) Martinez

Operations/administrative support

Instruction Team
Alan Robles
Connor O’Brien
Eleanor Harvey
Eli Faloona
Joe Waropay
Sam Akainyah

2019 Summer Interns
Jalen Pittman

Juma Brown

Dorah Floyd

Support Our Mission

Change someone’s future by sponsoring, partnering or donating and becoming an ICG Champion. Help spread the message that ICG is committed to leveraging the power of hands-on glass making to foster positive youth development and offer youth from Chicago’s under-resourced communities and youth, who traditionally have not had access to this powerful art form.

Ignition Community Glass would like to extend a special thanks to our our partner Ignite Glass Studios!

Thank you to Ignite Glass Studios, a Chicago-based state-of-the-art glassblowing facility, for their commitment to support youth from Chicago’s under-resourced communities. The qualified and passionate artists and staff at Ignite are pivotal to ICG delivering safe, innovative, quality youth programming.