Impacting Newark's Youth Through Glassmaking

Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Barbara Heisler, CEO of GlassRoots, to discuss the GlassRoots 20/20 campaign and how it will allow the company to expand its reach to help Newark area youth.

11/12/18 #2177






"Fire and glass. Imagine being a young person and being told that you can do something with these two elements. They pick up a piece of glass and they start to melt it. They start to create a liquid out of a solid. That's a magical thing that happens. They're learning chemistry, but they don't really realize that. They start to twirl the melted glass onto a mandrel and all of a sudden, they've created a bead. They're now an artist. I'll tell you what, Glassroots is doing some good stuff. And the young lady we have right here knows all about it. She's barbara Heisler, CEO of Glassroots. Glassroots is...? A youth serving arts organization in Newark New Jersey. What were we looking at right now? So, glassroots uses the glass arts to interact with young people, and introduce other skills. So, students come in to work with glass, but they end up learning math and science and business and entrepreneurships. How so? Explain that. So, glass is a really interesting material in and of itself. All of the arts are transformative, but glass, in particular, provides the opportunity to work with a material that's an amorphous solid. Hmm. It... it's neither liquid nor solid. And imagine all the opportunities that that gives to explore what can happen with it. And then once they understand the properties of the material they're working with, then creating and inventing gives them the opportunity to move into a whole new space to create businesses, to understand business skills as they get older, and to create new visions of their future. It's about leadership. It's about entrepreneurism if you will... It's about all kinds of collaboration. But the other thing I'm fascinated by and reading about... Because I met your organization well... By the way I have a beautiful blue vase that your team... I was speaking at a horizon foundation event... Right. With a group of not-for-profit leaders... Right. And you were one of them. I was there. And that was the gift I got. You got an award from glass roots. so it's come to... It was fabulous. It's... glass roots that's one of our... we actually work as entrepreneurially as we teach. Actually, there's nothing that we teach that we don't do ourselves. And so one of our sources of income are the awards that we make, the products that we make, the Commission's that we fulfill... What do you mean commissions? So, if you go into the... one of the big hotels in Newark right now, there's an 8 foot by 10 foot mural. It's a triptych of Edison's ticker tape. Yeah. and that was made by our staff and students. Is that true? It is..."