Crafting Limitless Futures.
Project FIRE was co-created by glass artist Pearl Dick and clinical psychologist Bradley Stolbach in partnership with Healing Hurt People - Chicago and with the support of a University of Chicago Medicine Urban Health Initiative Faculty Fellowship in 2014.
Shortly after the launch of the program, Project FIRE joined forces with the well established and respected nonprofit, ArtReach Chicago. Project FIRE is now the flagship program of ArtReach, and has paved the way for a variety of innovative social justice arts programs taking place at ArtReach.
In June of 2018, ArtReach Chicago and Project FIRE moved into a new space in East Garfield Park which boasts a glass hot shop, flameworking studio, full ceramics studio, classrooms, and community meeting spaces.
Project FIRE combines glassblowing, mentoring, employment, and leadership opportunities for youth injured by violence. In addition to being an artist development employment program, Project FIRE provides trauma psychoeducation, case management, and medical treatment.
Project FIRE works with 18 young people per session. Sessions take place in the Spring, Summer, and Fall.
1.) Prevent violence in youth who are among those at the highest risk for violence through a combination of glass arts education, mentoring, and trauma-specific psychoeducation.
2.) Offer youth a safe place to connect with peers facing similar struggles, and provide protective, positive, safe relationships with older youth and adults.
3.) Provide a program that functions as a sustainable ecosystem that gives participating youth concrete art skills and certifications, management experience, and other social-emotional support.