Press release from North Carolina Glass Center:
The North Carolina Glass Center (NCGC) was generously awarded $10,000 from the North Carolina Arts Council with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and $3,000 from the Asheville Area Arts Council for their One Neighborhood program; and $12,500 from the North Carolina Arts Council for Operation Gather, a new program for Veterans and Active Duty Military.
The North Carolina Arts Council’s Arts in Education grant and Asheville Area Arts Council’s Grassroots program grant will help support NCGC’s One Neighborhood program held in collaboration with OpenDoors of Asheville. This community-based residency brings in middle and high school students living in multi-generational poverty in surrounding neighborhoods of the River Arts District into the hot and flame shops for 10 weeks. Participants, who are already enrolled in OpenDoors’ programs, will be taught and mentored by NCGC artist instructors on the art, science, and math of glassblowing and flameworking.
NCGC was also awarded a Military and Veterans Healing Arts Grant from the North Carolina Arts Council. NCGC will broaden efforts beyond the annual Veterans Hot Glass Day held in November to offer free classes throughout the entire year in both glassblowing and flameworking to Veterans and Active Duty Military in their Operation Gather program. The goal of Operation Gather is to provide a safe space for Veterans and Service Members to socialize with each other, build bridges in the community, and to help participants cope with stress and emotional concerns unique to the military population.
“Working in the glass studio requires focus and attention that fully occupies the brain while also creating a sense of camaraderie as you have to work as a team. Being able to offer the experience of glass to youth, Veterans, and Active Duty Military is extremely rewarding and beneficial not only to our participants but also to those of us who work at the North Carolina Glass Center. Our intention is to help those who live with challenges many of us cannot comprehend and who have sacrificed so much for others find a means of coping with stress by offering them a creative outlet that allows for expressing oneself in a positive way. We are pleased to receive funding from the state and local arts councils as it allows us to make a larger, more positive impact in our community,” says NCGC’s executive director Stefanie Gerber.