Be The Spark! Emergency Fund

Our Be the Spark! Emergency funding campaign is a reaction to the dramatic impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our organization. The major impacts include:

  • Suspension of all classes resulting in a loss of $10,000 per month in earned income.
  • Cancellation of events like Glass Blowers Battle, Art Hops, and Visiting Artists resulting in a loss of revenue of $6,000.
  • Temporary cancellation of our Journey Beads program resulting in fewer beads distributed to children.
  • Delayed timeline for safely resuming classes due to the nature of transmission of COVID 19 resulting in economic uncertainty for the type of classes we offer.

The purpose of this fund is to provide immediate support for essential operations of the organization and keep glass art alive in Kalamazoo. Donations will support general operating expenses – rent, utilities, restructuring of classes and facilities with COVID 19 considerations, class materials, safety and sanitization, marketing, instructors, and staffing.

Gifts in any amount are appreciated at Glass Art Kalamazoo. Your gift will be the spark that ignites glass art in our community. You can donate directly on this page. You can also contact Carrie Vanderbush, Executive Director, at 269-552-9802 or 269-720-2302 to discuss how you can contribute to this campaign

Who we are and why your help matters!

Glass Art Kalamazoo was founded in 2002 and is a community based, non-discriminatory nonprofit arts education center. Glass is a medium that can be prohibitively expensive and difficult to access. As part of our mission to provide exceptional experiences in glass art, we:

  • Teach over 2,500 students annually in fused, lampworked, and hot glass art
  • Expose over 6,000 people annually to glass art through demonstrations and special events
  • Create over 3,000 beads annually for young cancer patients at Bronson Children’s Hospital
  • Over 100 members that include emerging artists, supporters, and friends of glass
  • One of a kind in the greater Kalamazoo area

Why is Glass Art Kalamazoo important?

  • Arts are an integral part of a healthy community. They are considered the soul of the community.
  • Community arts organizations provide a space for art education, collaboration, skill-building, and artistic fulfillment.
  • Institutions like GAK contribute to Kalamazoo’s unique identity. There are few organizations that offer the breadth of access to glass art thereby contributing to the vibrant culture of Kalamazoo.
  • Without GAK, the Journey Bead program will greatly diminish its impact, young artists won’t discover this unique artistic medium, and existing artists will need to find another location to practice their craft.

Why you should “Be The Spark”!

  • Your gift will literally keep the fire burning in our furnace and the lights on so we can teach, create, and promote glass art in the future.
  • Your gift will inspire future artists to pursue glass art.
  • Your gift will allow existing artists the space to create.
  • Your gift will help us to continue to provide beads to children with cancer.
  • Your gift will keep glass art alive in Kalamazoo!

If you would like to contribute to the support our programming, please consider making a monetary donation today. Any amount helps, and is greatly appreciated! To make a donation, please click the “Donate” button below:




Glass Art Kalamazoo is a community-based nonprofit organization founded in 2002 by a local group of glass artists. Our mission is to enrich the community by providing exceptional experiences in glass art. While much of that work is done in its studios at the Park Trade Center on West Kalamazoo Avenue, Glass Art Kalamazoo also works with schools, nonprofit groups and businesses to educate the community in the glass arts.

 We believe that art in any form nourishes the heart and soul.

Suggested Gift Plans

All gifts and offers of financial support are especially critical at this time. To assist in understanding how you can help us in the most direct and impactful ways, we have established the following suggested gift plans. Please consider supporting us in one of these significant ways:

  • $5,000 will fund keeping the furnace lit and the lights on
  • $2,250 will finance program staff and class materials
  • $1,000 will help volunteer artists create Journey Beads
  • $500 will support marketing our restructured classes to the public

All gifts at any level will help our organization meet the challenges of this crisis.