On April 27, 2022, UrbanGlass will honor Bead Project founder Annette Rose-Shapiro and the unique outreach program she founded in 1997, with an evening cocktail reception and fundraiser to celebrate the 25-year anniversary. The Bead Project is a 10-week scholarship program designed for creatively inclined women (including ciswomen, transwomen, and femme-identified non-binary folks). Students learn the art of glass beadmaking as well as entrepreneurial skills to provide new economic opportunities and a powerful outlet for creative expression.
The Bead Project "offers students a transformative experience, new tools for self-expression, and the skills to turn glass beadmaking into a supplemental form of income, while becoming a part of a dynamic creative community," according to an invite to the event.
In her "Reflection" essay in the current print edition (Spring 2022, Glass #166), Rose-Shapiro charted her personal discovery of glass beadmaking, an area with rich traditions and at scale that made it more accessible to beginners like herself. As she quickly became more proficient and began to sell her own work, Rose-Shapiro saw that glass beads might also offer an economic opportunity for some of the women who she had met at UrbanGlass open-house events in Downtown Brooklyn.
The April 27th event will also recognize artist, author, and educator Paul J. Stankard, who was an early and generous supporter of the Bead Project.
"One of the great things that happened was the involvement of Paul Stankard," Rose-Shapiro recounted, citing his willingness to travel from South Jersey to Brooklyn one Saturday each month to teach a special session. "He taught us a lot about flameworking techniques, and supported the group by purchasing some of their work."
The April 27, 2022, event will take place at the UrbanGlass studios at 647 Fulton Street, and will run from 6 PM to 9 PM. The event co-chairs are UrbanGlass board members Rob Cantave and Erica Rosenfeld.
To learn more about this event, review sponsorship opportunities, or purchase tickets, please visit the 25th Anniversary Benefit Celebration for the Bead Project's event page.