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Project Fire

Project FIRE, our signature program, is a glassblowing and trauma recovery program for youth injured by gun violence in Chicago. In addition to healing through glassblowing, Project FIRE is an employment and mentoring program that provides trauma informed support groups, case management, and medical treatment. The program is in partnership with Healing Hurt People-Chicago, a hospital based violence intervention program that provides case management support to participants. 

Project FIRE works with 25 young people per session. Sessions take place in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. Each individual meets for 4-8 hours per week, each day beginning with three hours of glassblowing, followed by one hour of youth co-facilitated trauma informed support groups, called SELF groups. 


  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.


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, Firebird Community Arts. Project FIRE is now our flagship program and has paved the way for a variety of innovative social justice arts programs taking place here.

Project Fire

Project Fire Impact

In the past four years, seven of our participants and two instructors received scholarships from the Corning Museum of Glass in New York.

62% of our Project FIRE participants have remained active in the program's mentorship or employment for four or more years.

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Project Fire