I am looking to offer under-served youth of Los Angeles the opportunity to learn the art form of glassblowing. In my 4 years of instructing at-risk youth at the Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC) in South Los Angeles, I have witnessed first hand the positive impact glass art has on their lives.
Glass is an engaging medium that not only allows kids to creatively express themselves but it teaches various life lessons. Kids learn to work together as a team, to be accountable and responsible, they learn patience, timeliness and communication skills that help them truly grow and develop not just as artists but as well rounded individuals. And for youth in communities that face extreme violence and poverty, it serves as a positive influence that gets them off the streets and working towards something constructive that can change their lives. Unfortunately WLCAC could not sustain the glassblowing program due to lack of resources. The under-served communities of Los Angeles struggle each day for basic resources, so glassblowing is certainly a luxury that most never have the chance to experience.
My goal for this project is to change this reality. Not only do these kids deserve the chances that others have but the glass world needs the diversity, enthusiasm and creativity that these youth offer. With this project I hope to raise the funds to open a small glassblowing workshop within my existing studio in East Los Angeles. The space is already there, we just need all the basic equipment to get a hot-shop started. The existing studio, where I currently assemble my sculptures, is a small, thriving artist community, so offering under-served kids an opportunity to be part of a positive community and learn a unique art form will truly make an incredible impact on their lives. My goal is to offer free glassblowing workshops to youth in the local community.
In addition to youth learning this art form, they will also be engaged in other community art related events. In the past, my students have been invited to display their work in an exhibition at the Santa Monica Museum of Art. I have taken some students to two glass conferences, thanks to many supporters including the Minkoff Foundation, Clay and Glass, as well as Watts Labor Community Action Committee. In these conferences students were able to interact with professional artists, attend lectures, and watch glass blowing demonstrations. They also had the opportunity to do demonstrations in front of an audience. Recently two of my students were awarded a fellowship to attend Corning Museum of Glass for one week as a part of a new program there called Expanding Horizons. I am currently working with a couple of non-profit organizations to set up an exchange for their youth to come an learn the art of glassblowing.
I feel very passionate about the work that I do because I myself come from an under-served community. This Kickstarter will help me continue the work I have already begun. I truly believe glassblowing has a lot to offer youth in trouble, and I feel that I have the capacity to help steer these kids in the right direction. Please help me make this possible!
To see former students at work, please click the link below:
How Can You Make a Difference?
To get this program up and running, we need to begin with some basic glassblowing equipment. Our goal is to raise enough money to purchase an efficient 55lb furnace (just the right size to allow students to learn beginning glassblowing techniques), glory hole, marver, annealer, work bench, some basic pipes, glass, and safety equipment. If you can help us surpass our Kickstarter goal of $18,000 you will also be part of 2 years of operating costs for this small and very efficient set-up. You will also be a part of the opportunity to change the lives of under-served youth in Los Angeles. By contributing you will not only be offering a much needed resource to a community of little resources but you may very well be saving someone's life.
Risks and challenges
This is a new venture for me but I am confident that with a lot of hard work and dedication this project will be a success. I have extensive experience in not just teaching youth but organizing events, demonstrations, day trips, etc and helping them work towards their goals. Funding for glassblowing is always a struggle but I have budgeted and projected costs to ensure the project is not only attainable with this initial startup but manageable thereafter.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)