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.  ICG, in partnership with ASM, offers 14-18-year-old Chicago youth the opportunity to explore 3-D art through the glass medium.

Students in the program ( delete) learn how to safely work in an open studio environment.  Programming focuses on collaborative team projects emphasizing trust and accountability.  Students receive in-depth programming – up to 90 hours per trimester – that explore the synergistic elements of the glass making process.  

ICG is honored to support an outreach program that actively engages teens in art education and ensures the delivery of high-quality, safe art programming.

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chicago youth centers

Chicago Youth Centers (CYC)

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.’  The program served youth ages 12-18 from four Chicago communities, North Lawndale, South Shore, Bridgeport and Bronzeville.  The 12-week program planned and implemented glass projects to promote community pride, awareness and peace through creative design.  The overall project was 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.

ICG is thrilled to continue to grow this meaningful partnership with so many possibilities!

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. Glass Blowing and Flame-Working are offered at Ignite Glass Studios, and Fused Glass and Art Education modules can be facilitated 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 flexible. We design personalized learning modules to meet the needs, resources, and time availability of each school.

CIS is an exciting partnership for ICG offering us access to CPS schools and growth in our programming.

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Embarc Chicago

In the Spring of 2017, ICG was thrilled to develop a new community partnership with Embarc.  Embarc students from Chicago Academy, an AUSL school, engaged in individual and group glass fusing projects as well as 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 own potential by dissolving the borders of the city and in their minds.

Programming with Embarc expanded in 2018 and we look forward to our continued partnership with this innovative youth organization.

Cook County Juvenile Probation Center

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.

It is a privilege to work alongside JPC to help redirect the lives of its clients through the unique experience of creating glass art. ICG is proud to be a creative partner in fostering new kinds of relationships between the youth and parole officers.

KIPP Ascend Middle School

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 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.  The educational partnership focuses on hand-skill development while emphasizing the integral elements of STEAM in the glass making process and fosters social emotional growth through mentorship and collaborative group activities.

The partnership offers KIPP students a ramp to more in-depth programming. ICG has created two new programs designed to develop students interested in going deeper with their training.


Aspira – Haugan Middle School

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago

Chicago Hope For Kids

Lawrence Hall

New Life Centers – Urban Life Skills

Proviso Leyden Council for Community Action, Inc

SGA Youth and Family Services

Skinner West Elementary School