We're taking a 'pause' the week of June 22-26; but only because we're getting ready to re-open in July!
For the week of June 22- June 26, GlassRoots is taking a break. Staff will be off, and we won't be adding any new installments to our Virtual Studios during that week.
Since the second week of our quarantine, our teaching artists, entrepreneurship team, board, and staff have been working very hard to provide fun, educational and useful content through all of our social media channels. We hope you enjoyed our Artists Talks in Through the Looking Glass; our design challenges in You Design It, We Make It and the Make It At Home Challenge; our Facebook and Netflix watch parties, Collector's Corners, WorkerSpace Lectures, uplifting posts and even the wacky Scavenger Hunt! As our YES! students finished their entrepreneurship programs remotely, your online votes helped crown our winner! And, we hosted our very first Virtual Hot Shots - a concert in your living room celebrating all that is GlassRoots!
Our goal through this all was to engage with you, our community. We know what a difficult time this has been for everyone, and we do hope our programming brought joy and perhaps new knowledge and creativity to your home. In reality, it was a time of testing and learning for us as well. Who knew that a glass art studio that is, by design, so hands-on, could pivot so quickly to providing quality distance-learning content?
Indeed, as the future holds such uncertainty, we are now poised to offer remote classes as a regular feature of our programming. With a unique hybrid model of taped and live instruction supported by pre-assembled glass art kits, we can bring parts of GlassRoots to you, as an individual or a group activity.
With our mobile hot shop, we anticipate announcing public glass blowing demonstrations outside of our studios as we keep the flame going. We are hoping that some corporations may wish to have us park outside of their offices this summer?
And, when the timing is right, we'll be re-opening our studios for in-studio programs as well; offering classes with capped capacity and individual lessons delivered with social distancing in mind.
You can read more about our Phased-in Reopening Plan here, including the precautions we're implementing to keep our staff and you safe.
None of this is easy. We are working with City and State officials in making all of our plans, and will make revisions along the way. We will do our very best to keep you informed, and welcome your thoughts and suggestions.
Of course, we have experienced significant financial loss over the past two months with the suspension of our school programs and spring lessons. With our summer season also in flux, we expect lower enrollment and much higher costs – as a small nonprofit business, we’re feeling it. We are deeply grateful for any support you can provide right now. If you are not planning to come to our studios and are willing to donate what would have been your class fees, please let us know, or click here to donate. We intend to keep up the fight and continue providing programs for years to come.
While we're gone this coming week, you can enjoy the amazing programs that aired in March, April and May on our YouTube, Facebook and Instagram channels. We'll be back on July 2 with the next episode of our WorkerSpace Lecture Series.
With our very best wishes for your continued health and safety,
Statement from the Board and Staff of GlassRoots
June 1, 2020
Art is powerful. Art can transform society and individuals. Art can lay the foundation for creation of institutions of justice and civil society. Art allows for coming together as a people of love. The staff and board of GlassRoots stand with our students, community members, and supporters, and express our outrage at the racial violence that has filled our streets this spring once again. We acknowledge the pain of our community and those around the country. At a time when we should be joined to fight a viral killer, the virus that is killing our black and brown brothers and sisters is the sickness of racism.
At GlassRoots, we intend to keep making our art in support of community and social justice, to hold programs that create economic opportunity, to tell our students that they can be agents of change, to open their eyes to opportunities to rise up and fully embrace their potential.
Our Newark knows better than most American cities the wages of the sin of institutional and individual racism. Decades of rebuilding have put this great city in its rightful place as one of America’s jewels. Even so, we continue to fight racism daily, when we get those calls wondering if it is “safe” to come to our studios, when it is suggested that we move our studios to the suburbs, when our students don’t have access to the same educational opportunities that their suburban peers enjoy, including reliable WiFi at home, and when too many of our residents face disparate treatment in the criminal justice system.
We often talk about what people see when they look at GlassRoots. Do they see a place to buy glass, a nice after-school program, an art school? We know what we see – what we are – an organization using the arts to move forward toward a just community, one that values every individual’s contribution, and that represents the cultural and economic vitality inherent in a city as vibrant as Newark.
We at GlassRoots will continue to tell our students and everyone in this city that their lives matter; that we stand up for justice for George, for Breonna, for Ahmaud; that we stand for the Black transgender women who have been killed: Dustin, Neulisa, Yampi, Monika, Lexi, Johanna, Serena, Layla, Penélope, Nina, Helle, and Tony.
Art, at its highest expression, is a political act and a conscious effort to create and participate in social change and social justice. We encourage everyone to use art as a tool for healing. We at GlassRoots make these commitments to our students, to our staff, to our board, and to our community.