Community Partnerships

Community Partnerships

After School Matters (ASM) 

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. Through this partnership, Ignition Community Glass (ICG) offers 14-18 year old Chicago youth the opportunity to explore 3-D art through the glass medium.  Students in the program learn how to safely work in an open studio environment in teams to learn and grow from the synergistic craft of glass art. Entering its 3rd year of programming with ASM, starting Summer 2017, we will have greater program impact, expanding the number of our participants from 15 to 30 each session.

after school matters image

chicago youth centers

Chicago Youth Centers (CYC)

Supported by the Bernzomatic Find Your Fire Community Grant Chicago Youth Centers (CYC) mission is to empower children to recognize and experience their possibility and promise.  CYC is the city’s largest private urban youth organization.  Since 1956, CYC has prepared children ages 3-18 for lifelong success by surrounding them with transformative social capital. Supported by Bernzomatic’s Find Your Fire Grant, Ignition Community Glass is partnering with CYC during the Spring and Summer 2017 to offer a STEAM based program entitled ‘Broadening Young Minds Through Creative Recycling Project.’   The program will serve youth ages 12-18 from four Chicago communities, North Lawndale, South Shore, Bridgeport and Bronzeville.  The art-based program implements glass projects to promote community pride, awareness and peace through creative design. The program has been designed to help youth build relationships, express themselves through art and learn to cultivate peace both within themselves and their communities through the process of glass blowing and artistic creation.

KIPP Ascend Middle School

Supported by a grant from Ingenuity Creative School Fund 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 continues to offer KIPP a unique tool to engage and develop youth creatively and holistically. Glass art captures participants in a dynamic, physical and emotionally mindful way. Through the confluence of elements required in the making of glass art, ICG fosters academic curiosity and learning, specifically in the sciences. Building on its first year of programming with KIPP Ascend during 2016, ICG continued to facilitate glass programming in 2017 offering KIPP’s forty 8th-Graders in-studio, in-depth glass art programming including glass blowing, fused glass and flame working. The 2017 program focused on hand-skill development, highlighted the integration of STEM in glass making and fostered social emotional growth through mentorship and collaborative group activities.

KIPP Ascend Middle School

Juvenile Probation Center

Chicago’s JPC is working to shift the relationship between court-involved youth and their parole officers from surveillance to support. Ignition has had the privilege of working with these youth and adult mentors to help foster new kinds of relationships between them.

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.  School-based staff partner with teachers to identify challenges students face in class or at home and coordinate with community partners to bring outside resources inside schools.

ICG offers schools in the Communities in Schools network a variety of customized field trip offerings which encompass four distinct hands-on learning modules: Glass Blowing, Flame Working, Fused Glass and Art Education: STEM in Glass Art.

Glass Blowing and Flame Working is offered at Ignite Glass Studios and the Fused Glass and Art Education modules are facilitated either in the classroom or in-studio. While a blended model – one that includes both in-class and in-studio programming – is recommended to maximize learning impact, program facilitation is fluid and we design personalized learning modules to meet the needs, resources and time availability of each individual school.

lawrence hall image

noble street college prep

Noble Street College Prep

The Noble School Charter School network has a daily impact on the lives of 12,000 students. Noble prepares low-income students with the scholarship, discipline, and honor necessary to succeed in college and lead exemplary lives, and serves as a catalyst for education reform in Chicago. Noble Street College Prep, located in Chicago’s West Town, serves a predominately Latino population with more than 90% of its students coming from low-income families. Noble Street High School has limited access to the arts and art instruction. In Summer 2016, Noble’s art teacher, Rosa Spacuello, reached out to Ignition Community Glass to establish a partnership to offer her students a dynamic hands-on 3-D art experience. Beginning in the Fall 2016, ICG began facilitating a glass art program with Noble emphasizing collaborative, hands-on learning. Noble students had access to equipment, tools and techniques that deepened their experience of being creative in the arts. The program expanded their understanding of the integral nature of science in the creation of glass art. Leveraging the unique components of glass making, the program was designed to offer Noble’s under-served population of students an opportunity to build critical life skills.

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 experienced 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.

embarc chicago image

Previous Program Partners:


Lawrence Hall

My Block, My Hood, My City

Youth Guidance: Becoming a Man (BAM)




NEW 2018 Program Partners:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Chicago

Urban Life Skills

Chicago HOPES

Skinner West Elementary School