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COVID-19 Response

December 21st, 2020

With our programs restarting, both in-person and virtually, the studio continues buzzing with new work and fabrication projects. Our administrative staff is more regularly in the office, and our tech staff continues to work extremely hard to facilitate studio protocols and keep our community safe. This was proven by a recent wipe test administered by Geosyntec, a consulting and engineering firm working with us on our Covid-19 response, which came back negative for any trace of the virus. Thank you so much, techs!

Given rising cases across the country, and the holiday season approaching, we implore our community to put health and safety first in their decision making. Our success in keeping the studio safe and available to our community is reliant on the responsible actions of our artists, students, teachers, and supporters. Guidelines issued from the state recommend limiting travel, and keeping indoor gatherings to 10 people or less. More information on these guidelines can be found here

UrbanGlass continues to follow guidelines from the city and state for safety protocols and guidance. Governor Cuomo recently enacted a New Cluster Action Initiative to address rising cases of coronavirus in certain areas of Brooklyn. The action plan delineates three zones with different severity ratings of red, orange, or yellow. UrbanGlass is not in an identified cluster zone, would not be required to close unless in a red zone. We will keep you informed and share information regularly so our community can plan accordingly. 

Our continued success also relies on many generous individuals and institutions who provide UrbanGlass with the critical resources we need to keep our programs thriving. In a year when so many of our anticipated sources of revenue - in-person classes, fundraising events, event rentals - have been cancelled, we are looking to the support of the community to ensure our success into 2021. Please consider a gift today to help UrbanGlass continue this necessary work. Thanks to a very generous one-to-one matching gift from an UrbanGlass Board Member, all donations made by December 31 will be matched up to $25,000. Please help us reach this goal by visiting urbanglass.org/support to make your gift today!

Art Center Program Coordinator Meg Wachs assisting a customer with virtual personal shopping.

Spend some time in our store, UrbanGlassWare, shopping for handcrafted goods to support local artists and craftspeople. If you prefer, you can also shop from the comfort of your home through our online store. We are offering curbside pick-up (available Wednesday-Saturday, 11:30 am-6:30 pm) and virtual personal shopping for your convenience. For more information or to schedule, please email store@urbanglass.org. Once you purchase your items, share how they look in your home using the hashtag #myurbanglassware, and we will repost your picture on our instagram and facebook!


Go on a Glassified Mission with our Take Home Activity kits, meant to mimic glass processes and inspire creativity! These are a great gift for budding artists of any age. For every Glassified Mission Kit purchased at UrbanGlass|ware, we will donate one kit to one of our partner public schools in Brooklyn. Your support will empower young people to develop the tools to build a strong artistic voice and recognize creative possibilities in ordinary objects!

Artist Grace Whiteside at work in the studio.

Before scheduling your rental time in the studio, please review all of our updated 2020 Health and Safety Policies, including guidance on returning to the studio, PPE, and more. Please email our Director of Operations, brian@urbanglass.org, to schedule time in the studio or with any questions or concerns. 

Artist Bianca Abreu leads a virtual beadmaking demonstration.

The Education Team continues to develop virtual offerings, including upcoming Design Building Block and Business of Glass workshops to guide you in planning for studio time, and provide advice and strategies to run your own glass business. UrbanGlass@Home offers free guidance from our staff on a variety of topics from how to write a press release to casting with chocolate at home. We are slowly restarting our Private Lesson program, please fill out an interest form to schedule your next lesson. We are also offering new virtual tour and demonstration options for your group, party, or school!  

Pratt Survey students at work in the flame shop.

Our Pratt Institute Glass Survey course has ended. Students spent the in-person semester exploring flameworking, kilncasting, coldworking, and hot casting in our studios. Look out for images of student work on our blog soon! 

The Agnes Varis Art Center remains open with new, reduced hours, from 11:30 am-6:30 pm, Wednesday-Saturday. Our staff has been trained on PPE usage and state health guidelines and is ready to welcome you back. Make sure to stop by and enjoy the surreal landscapes of the current exhibition, Outer Special, featuring the work of Lucia Riffel and Lily Reeves, curated by Angelica Fox. 

Our voicemail messages are being directed to our email, as the office staff is not in the space full-time. Please visit the staff page on our website for contact information, and we will respond to your inquiries promptly.  

Young explorers showing off their completed Faux Fused Leaf Take-Home Kits at Fort Greene Park.

We still need your help as we recover from the impacts of COVID!

Gifts made to the UrbanGlass Relief Fund provide urgently needed support to artists who rely on our studios to run their small businesses; the students who visit our facilities to learn to express themselves through contemporary art and craft; and the many members of the public in search of an inclusive community can continue to rely on UrbanGlass into the future. Click here to make your gift at any level.

Resources for the UrbanGlass Community can still be found online here.