GlassRoots provides multiple opportunities for at-risk youth, ages 10-18, to realize their potential through the creation of glass art. As the only non-profit “hot shop” for young people in the greater New York metropolitan area, GlassRoots provides a nurturing environment in which otherwise underserved children can achieve self-esteem and creative expression while also learning basic business skills and valuable life lessons through the exploration of the unique art forms of glass making. - Mission Statement
GlassRoots was founded in January 2001 with the belief that communities can be transformed and elevated through the arts. We knew that the youth of our community held enormous potential which could be realized if only they were empowered with the gift of creative self-expression.
To entice young individuals to begin this transformation, we used the allure of fire.
Fire is dangerous, exciting, and fascinating. And when controlled, it can create beautiful things. It is here where the initiative to learn and the guidance of our teachers combine to bring out the best in our students. In addition to learning how to create glass art, we will teach them basic business and entrepreneurial concepts, so that they may bring their creations to the marketplace. They will, through their experience with us and with each other, learn invaluable life skills.
Most importantly of all, they will learn self-confidence, and be forever strengthened with the knowledge that they are capable of creating beautiful works of glass art.
Over the past 8 years, 3,400 youth have been trained at the GlassRoots studio in the various techniques of glass making. Children from local public and charter schools, the Boys and Girls Clubs, Newark Housing Authority, Integrity House, day camps, Girl Scout troops, and private parties have enjoyed glass beadmaking, mosaics, kilnforming and blowing glass. Glassmaking is fun, it builds self-confidence and self-reliance. It introduces students to the power of their own artistry while also exposing them to business and life skills.