GlassRoots Virtual Studios and Our Request for Your Support!
March 27, 2020
At this time of great concern for us all, we sincerely hope that you and your loved ones are in good health. I’m writing to give you an update about GlassRoots and how we’re operating during this crisis, invite you to join us in our Virtual Studios, and, frankly, ask for your support.
As of today, our plan at GlassRoots is to keep going right through this crisis. We’re committed to physically distancing, but we're equally committed to staying socially connected. Our studios are closed to the public, and they will be for the foreseeable future. Nonetheless, we remain dedicated to providing services to the youth and young adults we serve in the best ways we can; mitigating their isolation and encouraging engagement.
For a facility-dependent organization, this means we have had to expand our creative thinking in order to find different ways to engage with our community around our work, living our mission, through glass. We are maximizing our social media platforms to create and share interactive virtual programming each week, in our new Virtual Studios. In our first week, we led programs on mosaic making and flameworking; introduced an innovative and creative “Make It At Home” challenge; and hosted a lecture on female craft entrepreneurs (in honor of Women's History Month) for students in our Youth Entrepreneurship programs, together with sharing informative social media posts. Our plans for future virtual programming include interactive live demonstrations, lectures, movie nights, and even special product sales! Our weekly schedule is posted here.
We must also consider the financial implications of this virus and its damaging impact on the important work that we do. Without our income stream from programs, we have reduced staff hours and corresponding pay by 25%, while we remain liable for full rent, taxes, utilities and other overhead during this closure.
Please consider helping us through this unprecedented time, so that our service to underserved youth and young adults, through the transformative power of the glass art experience, can continue unabated. We are enormously proud of the incredibly positive impact GlassRoots has had on the lives of so many, and we look forward to continuing to ignite and build the creative and economic vitality of greater Newark. Your gift will help us do this.
Online giving allows your generous gift to be put to use immediately. If you are not comfortable sharing your credit card information through our secure website, please email us your contact information, and we will call you to process your donation directly. We also accept gifts of stocks and securities. Please email us for our wiring instructions.
With our heartfelt thanks and best wishes for your continued good health,
Dear GlassRoots Friends,
We miss you! We do hope that this note finds you healthy and well. We are determined to stay connected to each other and to each of you. At this time, we've been able to keep all of our staff employed, either working from home or singly in our studios. It is our plan to keep going, right through this crisis ... and while we're physically distancing, we're staying socially connected.
For a facility-dependent organization, it took us most of last week to organize ourselves to find ways to continue to engage with you around our work, living our mission, through glass. With such a tactile medium, we have had to stretch our creativity, and are delighted to roll out our first week of virtual programming. Our programming will include live demos, lectures, challenges, movie nights, even special product sales. We have some great surprises in store.
We'll be doing direct outreach to our students, but want to invite everyone in our extended community to join in, perhaps trying something new with you during this unusual time. Educators are invited to share our schedule with their students.
We will send out a regular communication with a full week's schedule each Sunday, and encourage you to join us on social media for reminders and more information. Stay connected - links to our social media sites are at the bottom of this email.
Please add email@example.com to your list of safe addresses so our emails don't hit your spam file.
Week 1: 3/24/2020 - 3/27/2020 Our Theme: Women's Her-story!
As we close out Women's History Month, each of our projects will connect to this central theme. Please watch our social media sites for related posts and opportunities to engage. Please note, all times listed are Eastern Standard Time.
Tuesday, March 24
Join Tiffany on Instagram Live at 11:30 am. What are Nipper Trimmer Pliers or Wheeled Nipper Pliers? Find out as Tiffany leads you through the creation of a glass mosaic, with a Women's History Month theme!
You Design It, We Make It!
Amazing Amira will open up a live poll on Instagram at 11:30 am on Tuesday so you can vote on a product to be made in our studio. Yes, your vote counts! Vote before 3:00 pm - then visit our social media sites on Wednesday to see the results.
Wednesday, March 25
You Design It, We Make It! Reveal
How did Amira do? Look at our Instagram and Facebook for the final product!
Make It At Home Challenge
Join Kate at 11:30 am as she introduces our weekly "Make It at Home Challenge", this week inspired by a Woman Artist. Via Instagram Live, Kate will introduce you to an item made in our studios and explore ways you can make it at home. Once you do, take a photo and tag it #glassrootsinc #madeathomechallenge. Stretch your creativity! We'll share all of the great results!
Thursday, March 26
Women and Craft Entrepreneurship
Get inspired and learn something new ... via Instagram Live at 11:30 am, Ellen will introduce you to a fascinating woman entrepreneur. Who do you think it will be?
Friday, March 27
Join us live at 11:30 am on our Facebook page as Kate guides you through a flameworking demonstration. This interactive experience invites you to ask questions and make comments during the demo. Art, science, design ... yes! Get out your sunglasses, because the flame will be bright as Kate manipulates glass in a flame and shapes the softened glass into unique glass beads or other items.
While our studios and offices are closed to the public during this national emergency, staff are coming in to complete work. However, our schedules are not as consistent as before the virus outbreak. For the fastest reply to your inquiry, please email our staff members directly at firstinitial lastname at glassroots.org, or simply write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will respond as quickly as possible.
We know you're getting lots of emails about organizations' plans in light of our nation's emergency situation. I'm writing too to share our plans -- and to share a special announcement. I do hope you'll read on.
As I wrote to you earlier, the health and safety of the GlassRoots community is our highest priority. As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread throughout the country, I want you to know about the actions GlassRoots is taking to help protect our employees and students.
We've all heard that social distancing is the way that we can all work together to slow and eradicate this virus. To that end, we have decided to suspend our public programs, classes, and studio rentals temporarily beginning March 16th through March 31st as a precautionary measure to reduce the exposure and spreading of the COVID-19 virus.
If you are registered for a program that has been cancelled, our program director, Lisa Duggan will contact you about rescheduling. At this time, we are asking that you don't request a refund unless absolutely necessary; we'd much rather see you in our programs when it is safe again to gather. Alternatively, please consider donating your course fees in support of GlassRoots' programs. Of course, should a refund be the only option, we will work with you to make that happen quickly. If your program was scheduled through a program partner, such as an Adult School, please reach out to their staff regarding cancellation policies.
Our virtual gift shop is still open on glassroots.org. Watch for new items to be added to our shop; purchases can be held for pickup when safe, or sent to you via UPS. If you are expecting a commission delivery, Kate Dowd will be in touch regarding delivery. We are asking that you do not come to the studio to retrieve items at this time.
Our staff will be in our offices and studios for the next two weeks, conducting a deep cleaning, making those much requested commission pieces and awards, and doing other tasks that are regularly put aside.
We care about you too. This has been a stressful time for many of us.
Knowing how much we all need beauty in our lives, our artists will have surprises for you during this period!
Watch your email -- and our social media sites -- for special announcements.
As always, should you have any comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
We appreciate your continued support and interest,
With all best wishes,
Barbara Heisler, CEO
The health and safety of the GlassRoots community is our highest priority. As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread throughout the country, I wanted to share some of the actions GlassRoots is taking to help protect our employees and students.
We are closely monitoring guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health officials around the state as this situation continue to evolve. We will continue to rely on their recommendations and expertise to inform our decisions.
GlassRoots staff has worked intensively on internal protocols, for use at this time, and, in our increasingly international space, should we ever face other similar circumstances.
We appreciate your continued support and interest,
With all best wishes,