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.