About

Glass artwork

Our mission is to empower and connect people through the healing practice of glassblowing and ceramics.

Firebird Community Arts offers highly personalized ceramics and glass blowing instruction from our warehouse-turned-art studio located in Chicago’s East Garfield Park neighborhood. We deliberately relocated here in an effort to be closer to, and of better service to, the Chicago communities most in need of affordable, high-quality arts instruction and a safe space within which to practice art as a tool for healing.

For us, that means offering arts instruction to people living in a variety of neighborhoods on the South and West sides of the city. It also means bringing people together, who would not otherwise meet, to learn from and connect with one another.

After several decades of work, we have helped thousands of people grow their empathy, work through challenges, find new jobs and see the positive connections between them and those who live around them. Art helps us all heal.

Read the Firebird Manifesto

History

A 501(c)3 born in 1990, the mission of our organization grew as we broadened our community reach. In 2015 we became ArtReach Chicago and expanded to the Firehouse Art Studio on Roosevelt near Racine. Since 2018, we moved all operations to our current studio at 2651 W. Lake in East Garfield Park. In 2020 we grew into our new name: Firebird Community Arts. Here we honor the legacy of our roots by empowering and connecting Chicagoans through the healing practice of glassblowing and ceramic arts.

Our flagship program, Project FIRE, began in 2015 and informed our understanding of the arts as a tool for healing. As a result we have structured our programs to include trauma-intensive programs with robust wraparound services and healing justice programs that focus on cultivating wellbeing and reimagining futures. Firebird Community Arts signals the rebirth of our organization. Our use of two fire-based artforms to reimagine and rebuild ourselves brings to mind how mythological firebirds regenerate themselves through fire from ashes.

Firebird Community Arts signals the rebirth of our organization. Our use of two fire-based artforms to reimagine and rebuild ourselves brings to mind how mythological firebirds regenerate themselves through fire from ashes.

More about our history

Leadership

Board

Partners