We hope you enjoy our posts, and find them to be informative and enjoyable. For this post, however, we have to deviate from our usual routine.
This one is serious.
The dueling House and Senate tax reform bills being fast-tracked through Congress are complex and differ in many key respects, but they have one important thing in common: both are harmful for New Jersey charities and all of us who rely on them for programs, services, protection, and well-being.
Unless dramatic changes are made, both bills would have a devastating impact on nonprofits and the communities they serve.
We're not only concerned about the youth and young adults we serve here at GlassRoots, but for the thousands served by our colleagues by NJ's 30,000 charitable nonprofit organizations, including wellness, hunger prevention, domestic violence and other significant programs.
We do not want to dive into partisan politics. We do, however, ask you to consider if this is the outcome you desire. If not, take three minutes as soon as you finish reading this plea to pick up the phone and call your Senators (202-224-3121) to tell them to vote NO on the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” bill and start over.
Read more about the impact of this bill at http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/17/11/20/for-nj-charities-tax-reform-bills-offer-little-to-be-thankful-for/
Barbara Heisler, CEO
Newark Arts brings together youth from
GlassRoots and Newark School of the Arts to design “Windows to the City”
Newark, NJ – November 28, 2017 – Children from two Newark arts organizations spent the summer designing colorful mosaics to brighten an industrial city block that is home to the PSE&G Federal Square Switching Station. The finished project, “Windows to the City”, commissioned by Newark Arts and sponsored by PSE&G, will debut at a community unveiling on Monday, December 11, 2017 from 3:30 to 5 pm.
Created by youth from Newark School of the Arts and GlassRoots, the mosaics are permanently affixed to planters and bollards that surround the wall-enclosed substation at Mulberry and Orchard Streets. The decorative images represent the young artists’ views of the City of Newark and the wonderful things discovered while living in or visiting the city.
“PSE&G is proud to call Newark home for more than 100 years,“ said Calvin Ledford, Director of External Affairs for PSE&G. “We welcome the opportunity for our city’s children to beautify a facility that provides safe, reliable electricity to Newark residents.”
“We see this project as an extension of Newark Arts’ mission to power the arts to transform
lives for those who live, work and visit the City of Newark,“ said Susan Schear, Deputy
Director of Newark Arts. “In the spirit of collaboration, we brought together these amazing
Newark institutions to inspire the community through the power of creativity.”
"The Newark School of the Arts changes the lives of our youngsters through arts education,” said Carmen Santos-Robson, Assistant Director of Newark School of the Arts. ”We are happy to collaborate on a project in which students are engaged in beautifying Newark.”
“GlassRoots is excited to provide a learning opportunity for students to translate their images into mosaic fabrication and facilitate a creative process that will last for years to come,” said Katie Witzig, GlassRoots' Chief Operating Officer.
All are welcome to celebrate the “Windows to the City” Mosaic Project Unveiling on Monday, December 11, 2017 from 3:30 to 5 pm on Orchard Street in Newark (between Camp and Chestnut Streets).
About PSE&G: Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey’s oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly three-quarters of the state’s population. PSE&G is the winner of the Reliability One Award for superior electric system reliability. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a diversified energy company.
About Newark Arts (formerly Newark Arts Council): Newark Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which powers the arts to transform the lives of those who live in, work in, and visit Newark. The Council is the umbrella for the Newark Arts Education Roundtable (NAER) and is a partner with the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Development, Arts, and Tourism. The Council awards neighborhood grants through its ArtStart program, produces the Open Doors Citywide Arts Festival, and will oversee Newark’s Community Cultural Plan in 2017-2018. For more information, visit www.newarkarts.org.
About GlassRoots: GlassRoots is a Newark-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for achievement to youth and young adults by engaging them in the creation of glass art and the development of entrepreneurial and life skills. GlassRoots programs are STEAM-based (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), and are offered as in-school residencies, after-school and summer arts programs, and as workshops for teens and adults, using competency in handling molten glass as a pathway to personal development. Additionally, GlassRoots offers workforce development programs to move young adults to the world of work. For more information, please call 973.353.9555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Newark School of the Arts: Starting in 2018, the Newark School of the Arts (NSA) will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary. The School provides high-level training in the performing and visual arts. Since 1968, the school has offered instruction for everyone with an interest in the arts regardless of age, talent and financial resources. NSA is a family and community oriented school that serves children from age 3 months to senior citizens. Specialized instruction is offered on all musical instruments, dance, drama and the visual arts. In addition to on site-training, the school also serves area preschools, public, charter and private schools as well as other organizations through special arrangement. The School received a 2015 and 2016 "Citation of Excellence" and is designated a "Major Presenting and Service Organization" by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
At our Annual Fall Celebration in mid-October, former GlassRoots student Yanice Toha spoke eloquently about the profound impact GlassRoots has had on his life. His words bear repeating:
My mentors and teachers gave everything they had to see me succeed and improve in my art making, and never asked for anything in return, except for me to keep learning and growing as an artist. Their devotion to my success opened my eyes to what it truly means to “give back”, something I have been inspired to do wherever and whenever I can. The lessons I learned about character were enough to set me on the right path. It is my hope to someday become a successful writer who has the opportunity to give back to my city in the same way GlassRoots gave to me.
Yanice joined the first cohort of the GlassRoots-Penland Fellowship program, which identifies public high school students who have extraordinary potential and seek extra support before entering the traditional college process. Together with the Penland School of Crafts, GlassRoots gives our Fellows the tools to pursue personal and academic excellence by providing a supportive environment and the opportunity to explore and build their strengths, all while earning college credits. The impact is powerful - Yanice is now working on his B.A. in creative writing at Rutgers University, Newark!
Yanice's speech reminds us that civic responsibility matters; the idea of giving back was an important take-away from his time at GlassRoots. He is one of hundreds who have participated in GlassRoots’ programs and internalized these kinds of important values. But positive character development like this is just the beginning of what GlassRoots offers its students day in and day out, in Newark and throughout the state.
Your gift today makes it possible for GlassRoots to continue to work with youth and young adults to help them imagine and create new visions for their futures.
In today's world, career trajectories are meandering and varied. The average worker holds ten different jobs before age forty, and this number is projected to grow. We can't predict the job market or industries our youth will enter, but we DO know the critical skills young people will need to make their own way and navigate a course toward professional success. When they leave our Scientific Glassblowing program or Business and Entrepreneurship programs, students walk out the door with vital skills in money management, financial literacy, and interpersonal communication. Through every program we offer, GlassRoots guides students on the path towards independence, responsibility and accomplishment – in the classroom, in their homes, in their neighborhoods, and in the workplace.
Please join us to invest in the development of character. Join us and invest in a community dedicated to youth. Join us and invest in a vision for new urban life energized by the lively arts and commerce.
Make a gift today to immediately impact the future of our students!
With our great thanks,
Barbara Heisler, CEO
My name is Joshua, and the best words I can find to describe the opportunity that you all have given me is thank you. Within the fall concentration I have taken the liberty thanks to you, to take an Iron class with a wonderful instructor Andrew Hayes. I have learned everything from welding to forging and will definitely be applying it to the world outside of Penland, just as you most likely intended for me to do. Yet, before I got here I didn't feel I was able to craft at all. To be able to push the limits of my hands to keep up with the constant images that my imagination kept dreaming up. However, now at this monastery for the hands I have acquired a new found and deeper respect for artists and art itself, I have obtained an aesthetic that I am proud to call my own, and most importantly I have gained knowledge from those around me that I have lived with for two months. This experience and this way of living and breathing creation cannot be found or taught as well as Penland School of Crafts. So I thank you and greatly appreciate all that you have done for me and the other students at GlassRoots, and hopefully you continue this process/grant for future artists who have not yet awoken to their potential as a creator like me. Thank you.
Joshua is a student in the GlassRoots-Penland Fellowship, Cohort 2. View his work at the show in our studio on December 7, 2017. (Photo of Joshua by Mercedes Jelinek)
This report marks a second full year of data collection and analysis, building on work we began in February 2015, when we created and implemented a Program Evaluation and Assessment Protocol, funded through the generosity of the Victoria and Geraldine R. Dodge Foundations. The results of our evaluation efforts will continue to inform our policies, practices and programming choices for the coming year.
Throughout this report we refer to STEAM. STEM + Art = STEAM. In this climate of continued economic uncertainty, America is once again turning to innovation as the way to ensure a prosperous future. Traditional innovation remains tightly coupled with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – the STEM subjects. Yet we know that Art creates Value and a pathway forward for our youth and young adults. Art + Design are poised to transform our economy in the 21st century just as science and technology did in the last century. We add Art + Design to the equation — to transform STEM into STEAM.
In this report we pay particular attention to the GlassRoots / Penland Fellowship, our newest initiative. We are especially excited about this fellowship as it expands upon and extends our mission to inspire underserved youth to think creatively and realize a new vision for their future. At the same time it provides students with the opportunity to earn college credits with which to start their post-high school education.
Our data, both the quantifiable and anecdotal, show that GlassRoots’ programming for youth and young adults is successful and achieving program objectives, as evidenced in, among other measurement; high scores for program satisfaction, intent to recommend our programming to others, returning students, and participants who stated an intent to return to GlassRoots for more classes or workshops.
We are proud that GlassRoots serves a diverse constituency that reflects the community of Newark and surrounding communities, and look forward to your thoughts on our progress.
We have three great positions to fill. If you're a great person, apply!
Read more about GlassRoots on this website. Full job descriptions are below each announcement. Candidates must have ability to clear background checks and must have their own transportation.
Important: To apply, email a cover letter in the body of your message including salary requirements and attach resume to email@example.com. Please indicate the job in the subject field. No calls please.
Full-time Flatshop Instructor
GlassRoots is looking for a great Flatshop Instructor to join the artistic staff of our exciting and growing arts education organization in Newark NJ. This is a skilled artistic and technical work position which includes provision of instruction, fabrication and repair of glass pieces in flat shop / kiln forming studio. We’re seeking a self-motivated individual who is can assist in the development, implementation and delivery of our artistic programs.
Work involves instruction of students in flat shop/ kilnforming, the operation of facilities required for the instruction, fabrication and repair of a wide variety of glass pieces. On any given day you’ll be providing instruction to students participating in GlassRoots’ long and short term programs, maintaining the flat shop, advising and consulting with other program staff on the development of programs. Additional responsibility includes the creation of sales and commission works. Work is reviewed through inspection and observation of results.
Position begins as soon as December 1. This is full time position, with hours that may vary depending on class scheduling. Salary is in the low $30s. Benefits included.
Part-time Flameshop and Flatshop Instructor
GlassRoots is looking for a part-time Glass Art Instructor to join our artistic staff..
The ideal candidate will have experience in flameworking and/or kiln-forming and will be available to work on an “as needed” basis on-site or at off-site locations such as a school or community building. The ideal candidate will also have experience instructing youth and adults.
In lieu of experience, a candidate may have a strong desire to work in a youth serving art studio and receive on the job training. Pay will reflect that of an apprenticeship status.
Position begins as soon as December 1. This is part-time position and the hours will vary depending on class scheduling.
GlassRoots is looking for a part-time Administrative Assistant to support our ambitious growth plans, with a focus on our fundraising and development activities. The Administrative Assistant provides critical administrative and clerical support and reports to the Chief Executive Officer. This is a part-time position – four hours per day Monday - Friday with some flexibility in scheduling those hours; there may be occasional weekends and nights to assist with events.
Position begins as soon as December 1. This is part-time position and is not eligible for benefits.
Last week, at GlassRoots Annual Celebration, I had the pleasure of introducing two remarkable young men - Richard and Yanice - as our student speakers for the evening.
Yanice Toha was a Fellow in the first cohort of the GlassRoots-Penland Fellowship program. This fellowship program identifies public high school students with extraordinary potential who may need extra supports to enter the traditional college process. Together with the Penland School of Crafts, GlassRoots extends to these students the opportunity to pursue personal and academic excellence by placing them in a supportive environment, allowing them to explore and build their strengths while earning college credits.
Yanice is now working on his B. A. at Rutgers University, Newark. He credits our program with "giving everything they had to see me succeed and improve in my art making, and never asked for anything in return, except for me to keep learning and growing as an artist. Their devotion to my success opened my eyes as to what it truly means to “give back”, something I have been inspired to do wherever and whenever I can. If I hadn’t taken away anything else from my experience, the lessons I learned about character were enough to set me on the right path."
Those of you familiar with GlassRoots know Richard Paz well - he is one of our star flame shop instructors and the creator of our popular Bead Hive! What you might not know is that Richard came to GlassRoots as a shy nine-year-old in our summer program.
In Richard's own words, "Over the years GlassRoots became a constant in my life, my home away from home. GlassRoots was the place where I found community, I developed myself, and I discovered my passion for art... where I began to develop a stronger relationship with my work and more importantly, myself."
Wow! We know, from extensive research that the arts can have a very positive affect on youth that are facing tough challenges in their lives. Research has proven that at-risk students who have access to the arts, in or out of school, tend to have better academic results, greater likelihood of college enrollment, increased self-esteem and resiliency, better workforce opportunities, improved emotional intelligence, and more civic engagement, such as voting and volunteering.
Our own evaluation reports (the latest of which will be published later this month) bear this out. But, how often do we get to hear about it directly?
GlassRoots knows that the most effective arts programs for youth contain activities that are designed to provide opportunities for youth to learn new skills, recognize individual youth’s efforts, and reduce the influence of risk factors. As a result, our programs have become a safe haven for teens. Our programs emphasize dynamic teaching tactics such as hands-on learning, apprentice relationships, and the use of sciences, math and technology. Many also culminate in public performances or exhibitions to build participants’ self-esteem through public recognition.
We work hard to get this right. Our program and teaching staff wrestle with curriculum updates, with finding the right experiences and speakers, with the balance between instruction and hands-on learning. We don't have a lot of time, nor many do-overs. Many of the young people who could benefit most from our programs do not enroll at all, and a large proportion of those served do not participate long enough to earn education credentials, improve their work readiness and life management skills, and acquire the skills needed to move effectively forward in their lives. With exceptional people like Yanice and Richard at stake, we have to do this all well.
And last Wednesday, Richard and Yanice told us that we do.
Our annual celebration is like new year’s to us. We report to you on our programs and successes since our last celebration. This year, we get to put Richard and Yanice in the yes column. Our goal is to put every young person we reach in that column.
And so, we’re back to it. The celebration is over, but the work isn’t. We’re looking forward to learning who we’ll tell you about next year. We hope you’ll stay with us to find out.
Sixteen years ago, our founding Executive Director, recognized what has come to be widely-accepted knowledge now, that if we really want to prepare students to be successful in a 21st century global economy, we need to be teaching them entrepreneurship.
We live in a world in which the future is uncertain, rarely do we find individuals retiring from a career that they started after high school or college -- according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker currently holds ten different jobs before age forty, and this number is projected to grow. Young people need skills that will allow them to make their own way. We can't predict the job market and economy our youth will enter, therefore, we really can’t predict the content our students will need in order to be successful after they leave our programs. But, we know without a doubt, that our students will need skills that will allow them to navigate uncertain waters and chart their own paths. The advantage of teaching skills is that they are not uniquely relevant to any singular career path. After all, one can be an entrepreneur in any field, so it stands to reason that the skills needed for starting a business would also be desirable in terms of being an employee.
Entrepreneurship education teaches these skills. Entrepreneurship education equips students to seek out problem-solving opportunities, empathize with others, think creatively, take risks, accept failure as part of the growth process, and appreciate the correlation between hard work and success.
GlassRoots offers two year-long programs for high school students looking to develop their artistry, as well as develop these essential life skills. Our Business and Entrepreneurship Program combines hard business skills with the beauty of glass art. After school, throughout the academic year, high school students gain proficiency in glass making, create an original product, and compete in a final business plan competition. FLAME (Focus, Leadership, Arts, Mentoring, Entrepreneurship) is a glass art/business skills program for high school students offered during the school day that increases school engagement, self-esteem and ambition, while improving prospects for future employment. FLAME culminates in a design competition. In addition to basic business concepts, both programs teach skills associated with entrepreneurs, such as money management, financial literacy and interpersonal communications, which are relevant and beneficial for day-to-day life. During the last 3 years, 100% of the students in both B&E and FLAME who have been eligible to graduate high school have graduated.
Ten years ago, Devon was a student in GlassRoots’ B&E program (then called NFTE.) He shares: “One of the great things that GlassRoots taught me was how I could best organize my creativity. For many people, that organization might be the platform for their creativity to reach its full potential. GlassRoots taught me how to mold creativity with a direction. The NFTE program taught me from an early age the fundamentals of how to create something from nothing, while making it my own and still providing value to the world. GlassRoots showed me that once you hone your talents and take pride in them, you will see all the avenues where you can use them to bring value to the world. If you are bringing value to people through art, you can make a living doing something you love.
Today I am a businessman, working hard to make a living through glass art and other initiatives. I still use the skills and lessons I learned in GlassRoots every day of my life and I can honestly say that my success today is directly because of GlassRoots.”
Because entrepreneurship can, and should, promote economic opportunity, it can serve as an agent of social justice. Dion is a proud alumnus of GlassRoots. He writes, “For me, GlassRoots was more than a creative outlet or “afterschool program.” GlassRoots provided another opportunity to stay away from the street life that surrounded us here in Newark. It provided us a safe space through which we met fellow young Newarkers who, like us, wanted a chance to make it as independent and confident adults.”
As the world of work changes, we recognize that students need more opportunities for creativity, innovation, and collaboration. As our schools become test-driven, and some of our students receive instruction via computers, opportunities for students to create, innovate, collaborate, and demonstrate proficiency or mastery in real-life ways become scarcer. Entrepreneurship education not only encourages, but also requires students to be creative, to innovate, and to collaborate with others.
Dion addresses this, “GlassRoots has truly been a place that changes every young adult who enters its doors for the better. For me, the business and relationship skills I built in GlassRoots were necessary in helping me find my current path within the corporate world. GlassRoots introduced me to the world of entrepreneurship and project management, an experience that has greatly impacted my college and professional career. I was able to tackle my senior design project and academic experiences with much more confidence and wisdom thanks to GlassRoots. I also learned the importance of establishing good connections and networking with those within my market. GlassRoots has definitely helped shaped me into the man I am today while helping me become successful in my cyber security career.”
We don’t expect our young entrepreneurs to all become glass artists, our hope is that their work with glass and entrepreneurship leaves an indelible mark on them, leading them to a more successful and prosperous future. Entrepreneurship education holds great value for all of our students, and in particular, those entering the fields of science, technology, mission work, social work, healthcare, and education. The future belongs to the innovators and creators, and entrepreneurship education serves as a great incubator for the types of creative, innovative ideas our students and our world need in the 21st century.
"When we think of the powerful training you offer young people, we are reminded of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s visionary words: “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.” Your commitment to bringing intensive glass arts and entrepreneurial experiences to students is definitely contributing to a more creative Newark and helping to shape the destinies of each individual with whom you connect. We look forward to your continued growth and success over the next few years..."
With these thoughtful words, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation announced another year of support for GlassRoots' programs and operations. The Dodge Foundation's support exceeds beyond their financial gifts, and for this we are very grateful!
Read more at http://www.grdodge.org/about-us/featured-news/dodge-announces-52-million-in-new-grants/?mc_cid=e1ff1f6603&mc_eid=562da8274e