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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.

Our Story


ICG was launched in 2014 by a group of educators, artists and social justice advocates committed to equality in the arts and passionate about the transformative elements of glass making.  Their vision was to leverage the power of hands-on glass making to foster positive youth development and offer youth from Chicago’s under-resourced communities and open the door for youth, who have not traditionally had access to glass making and the glass art community, to have the opportunity to grow through this unique art form. During 2017, ICG facilitated programming for more than 750 youth ages 12-18.  We currently have 15 community partners including Big Brother/Big Sister of Chicago, Communities in Schools, BAM, Chicago Public Schools, After School Matters, Chicago Youth Centers and Embarc. For more information, visit Support Our Mission to see how you can help support the continuing efforts to impact change in a young person’s life through the power of glass art.

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.

Apprenticeships/Internships


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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Testimonials

Being an ICG intern has taught me a lot about glass blowing itself but more about responsibility, communication, leadership, and teamwork.

2017 ICG Intern

“Having the freedom to be creative is why ICG programming works.”

2017 ICG Student

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.

2017 ICG Student

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.

2017 ICG Student

ICG programming helped me develop social and teamwork skills that I will use later in life.

2017 ICG Student

Participating in ICG programming helped me learn to communicate with a group and having a mindset of not giving up.

2017 ICG Student

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.

2017 ICG Student

Who We Are

Board of Directors

Trish Tullman

Board President


Amaris Miranda
Michelle Terry
Glen Tullman

Treasurer


Paul Morgan
Andrea Vaughn

Secretary


Tracey Shafroth
Lucinda Vriner
Team

Operational Team
Trish Tullman

Executive Director

Joe Waropay

Education Manager

Amanda Burchfield

Fundraising & Development Specialist

Kat Skinner

Operational/Administrative Support

Instruction Team
Sam Akainyah
Izach Hyde
Josh Laabs
Charlie Matz
Alan Robles
Kat Skinner
Sarah Beth Tanner
Joe Waropay

2018 Summer Interns
Nikylela Anthony

Ann Engebretson

Dorah Floyd

Ivynise Velez

Elijah Washington

Mekhi Washington

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 glass making. 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.