Pearl Dick, Karen Benita Reyes, N’Kosi Barber, Artesha Williams — Session II

Glassblowing and trauma-informed intervention

Pearl Dick, Karen Benita Reyes, PhD, N’Kosi Barber, Artesha Williams (ArtReach Chicago, Project FIRE)

Project FIRE (Fearless Initiative for Recovery and Empowerment) is an artist development employment program that offers healing through glassblowing. Project FIRE combines glass arts education, mentoring, and trauma psychoeducation to support trauma recovery and create jobs for youth injured by violence in Chicago. Project FIRE has become a model for programs that bring together instruction and studio time in the glass hot shop combined with mentoring and discussions about the impact of traumatic violence guided by a clinical psychologist. This panel will discuss the goals of Project FIRE, including preventing violence in youth who are among those at highest risk for violence, offering youth a safe place to connect with peers facing similar struggles, and providing protective, positive, safe relationships with older youth and adults.