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Wednesday April 22, 2020 | by Andrew Page

The Glass Art Society rolls out regional relief grants, plans virtual conference in place of cancelled 2020 May event

The Glass Art Society is set to announce three new regionally-focused emergency relief funds for glass artists in New York State, the Northwest, and the Washington, D.C. areas respectively. They are targeted to artists in specific geographic areas, a contrast to its worldwide emergency grant relief fund that rapidly disbursed $10,000 in grants of $250 each to the first 40 qualified applicants from around the world. While the artist organization is looking to replenish its international grant program's funding, these new regional relief funds are looking to disburse $10,000 (NY), $5,000 (NW), and $2,000 (D.C./Virginia/Maryland) to a narrower pool of artists. To apply, you must be a current member of GAS and have your primary residential or business address in one of the three areas. Funded by The Corning Foundation, Chihuly Gardens and Glass, and the Kendeda Fund, the initiative is part of an outreach effort GAS is making to help institutions get funding to individual artists efficiently. It is not available to students or nonprofit organizations, but only to individual artists. Executive director Brandi Clark says that she hopes that GAS can offer grant programs in other geographic areas internationally, and will do so if they can negotiate funding.

"We do have an above-average connection to the the artist community," Clark said in a telephone interview with the Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet. "Most people recognize us an ideal way to reach glass artists."

Clark says that anyone looking to partner with GAS to get funding to individual artists impacted by the current coronavirus crisis can contact Kristin Feurguson, the development manager of the Glass Art Society via email at kristenf@glassart.org.

The artist organization is also preparing to announce that while its 2020 conference set to take place in Sweden will remain cancelled, a virtual conference featuring many of the same featured presenters and events will take place on the same scheduled dates, from May 20 - May 22, 2020.

"it’s going to be a mix of live-streamed demonstrations, happy hours, portfolio reviews, and some recorded content from those people who can’t live stream," said Clark. "It's also going to have a silent auction and a goblet grab, executive happy hours with educators, small-business happy hours, and other special events people expect from a GAS conference. It' another opportunity to bring the community together in a different way. We want to keep people focused on sharing and working together." 

Clark said to look for an official announcement on the virtual 2020 GAS conference next week, and that the organization is working with a local university for the technical support and expertise to make the conference work in digital form.

"We’re committed," promised Clark, adding that it won't take place behind a paywall but will be offered on a pay-what-you-will basis. "It’s going to happen, and it is going to be available to anyone whether a member or not. It’s just another way we feel we can give back to the community at this time."

 

Glass: The UrbanGlass Quarterly, a glossy art magazine published four times a year by UrbanGlass has provided a critical context to the most important artwork being done in the medium of glass for more than 40 years.