Why ICG Hands-On Glass Programs Work
Glass art is an exciting, challenging and collaborative art medium offering a powerful vehicle for social emotional learning. Working with glass requires focus and discipline and fosters creative expression, teamwork and critical thinking. ICG programming offers students the opportunity to experiment, incubate ideas and explore creativity through the glass art experience.
Ignition Community Glass was launched in 2014 by a group of educators, artists, and social justice advocates committed to advancing racial equity in the arts. The core impetus to their vision was to leverage the power of hands-on glass making to foster positive youth development and offer Chicago youth from under-served communities access to this transformative art form. Through its glass art programming, ICG strives to actively chip away at the color barrier in the arts and improve the quality of life of a population of youth who face significant obstacles in their daily lives.
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. Ignition youth programming features innovative and collaborative hands-on glass art experiences. Programs include glass blowing and sculpting, glass fusing, flame working, mold making, and screen printing. Team engineered projects are designed to foster a sense of community and accountability. Students are encouraged to be creative, experiment and push beyond comfort zones.
Ignition is committed to attracting and training the best candidates to facilitate quality glass art programming and mentorship for under-served youth. The ICG apprenticeship program enables novice artists to work alongside experienced glass art mentor-instructors. This Teacher/Apprentice relationship works to provide guidance to the novice in developing the unique skills required to work effectively and expansively with adolescents in this dynamic medium.
Chicago’s philanthropic community is known for investing in arts education. Partnerships are designed to enhance and channel relevant resources. ICG provides credentialed instructors and facilities to help our Chicago community partners offer a broader range of student art experiences. Ignition also partners with other local youth organizations committed to empowering under-served youth. Additionally, ICG programming includes a public art installation element to encourage community outreach and engagement.
Being an ICG intern has taught me a lot about glass blowing itself but more about responsibility, communication, leadership, and teamwork.
“Having the freedom to be creative is why ICG programming works.”
I learned that I can be creative with forming my ideas if I have more confidence in myself. Through the programming I learned control and patience in life and everything I do. ICG is like a home away from home.
The program helped me bring out my inner inspiration and helped me learn that I have the ability to make things even if it means to fail a couple times.
ICG programming helped me develop social and teamwork skills that I will use later in life.
Participating in ICG programming helped me learn to communicate with a group and having a mindset of not giving up.
The program helped me learn how to talk and work with others, and how to deal with things that don’t go my way and make it better.
Who We Are
Board of Directors
Sarah Beth Tanner
Director, Education & Capacity Building
Lead ASM Instructor, Education Coordinator
Sarah Beth Tanner
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 fostering positive youth development through the glass art experience. Through a safe after-school environment, students can experiment and explore the arts under the guidance of our artists who are both teachers and mentors. Students learn the significance of team building and invaluable lessons that increase their confidence while helping them realize their potential in various areas of their personal lives. Donations support planning/programming development, materials/supplies, studio and instructor time as well as sponsorship of participating Chicago youth.
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 under-served youth in Chicago. The qualified and passionate artists and staff at Ignite are pivotal to ICG delivering safe, innovative, quality youth programming.