GLASSROOTS RENOVATION OF HISTORIC BUILDING TO BRING ART, JOBS AND EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES TO DOWNTOWN NEWARK
Contact: Carly O’Brien
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2018
Mayor Baraka, Rutgers Chancellor Cantor among Dignitaries Joining the Celebration
NEWARK, N.J. – GlassRoots, a Newark-based nonprofit that transforms lives through the art of glass-making, today announced that it will take part in renovating the ground floor of the old St. Michael’s Hospital – an abandoned historic building – into a creative hub that will serve youth and adults throughout Newark and New Jersey. The refurbished site will connect community members with arts, sciences and education and drive economic growth toward revitalizing a once blighted neighborhood.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, GlassRoots Board President Kathryn Markel, Founding Board Member Dena Lowenbach, and Jan Nicholson and Barbara Nicholson McFadyen, Trustees of The Nicholson Foundation, joined Barbara Heisler, Chief Executive Officer of GlassRoots, at the groundbreaking ceremony today. The original St. Michael’s Hospital is a long-vacant building constructed in 1867. Following the renovation, GlassRoots will occupy over 18,000 square feet of the building as an anchor tenant and collaborate with other educational and arts groups to catalyze the development of the entire neighborhood.
“GlassRoots is so much more than the glass arts. Through glass, we introduce math and science in unique ways, help our students create paths for their futures and nourish important life skills in our community,” said Barbara Heisler, Chief Executive Officer of GlassRoots. “The move to this larger space will allow us to welcome more people in our community and help lead a resurgence of creativity and economic vibrancy in Newark.”
Programs at the new facility will join art, entrepreneurship and STEM education in both practical and creative ways, helping local youth and adults explore their artistic sides while developing knowledge and skills to succeed in their careers.
The estimated total cost of GlassRoots’ facilities renovation is $2.1 million, of which nearly $1.5 million has been raised to date through GlassRoots’ 20/20 Capital Campaign. The Nicholson Foundation, a Newark-based organization, will contribute a transformational gift of one million dollars to the project.
GlassRoots is working side by side with the philanthropic community to cultivate and secure support to not only reach the $2.1 million goal – but to exceed it, according to Kathryn Markel, Chair of the 20/20 Campaign. “We are tremendously grateful to Jan Nicholson and Barbara Nicholson McFadyen for their confidence in our efforts and their commitment to seeing that GlassRoots remains a vital part of the Newark and New Jersey community,” she said.
“My father supported GlassRoots at its inception because of the vision that it could reach, engage and help Newark’s youth,” said Jan Nicholson, President of The Nicholson Foundation. “Today, 17 years later, it is giving young people boundless opportunities for personal and professional development.”
GlassRoots is one of many organizations turning the old hospital into a creative hub, including Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company and Newark Arts. “Newark Arts is thrilled that a new cultural center will be anchored by GlassRoots. For the arts community, University Heights neighborhood, and arts organizations that will share space there, it’s a win-win-win. We’re excited to be among the prospective tenants that will create critical mass for the city’s arts sector,” said Jeremy Johnson, Newark Arts Executive Director.
Other partners in the project include the City of Newark, New Jersey Community Capital, Hanini Group, Hollister Construction and Crawford Street Partners.
The newly-renovated GlassRoots space will include:
"Our Community Asset Preservation Corporation is excited to be a partner in fueling the redevelopment of this community asset in University Heights. We are thrilled that GlassRoots will call St. Michael’s home and look forward to bringing other Newark nonprofits and educational institutions to this arts and cultural incubator as well," said Wayne T. Meyer, President, New Jersey Community Capital.
The full renovation process is expected to take eight months, and the new spaces are planned to open to the public early in 2019.
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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 (STEM+Art), and are offered as in-school residencies, after-school and summer arts programs, workforce development programs, and as workshops for teens and adults, using competency in handling molten glass as a pathway to personal development. For more information, please visit www.glassroots.org, call 973.353.9555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Nicholson Foundation: The Nicholson Foundation is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of vulnerable populations in New Jersey. The Foundation’s approach emphasizes partnerships and performance-based grant making; its goal is sustainable systems reform. For more information about the Foundation, visit http://thenicholsonfoundation.org.
The mission of GlassRoots is to ignite and build the creative and economic vitality of greater Newark, with a focus on under-served youth and young adults, through the transformative power of the glass art experience.