Two AAMD glass museums are using their glass studios as an innovative way to connect with veterans and active military.
On December 3, The Corning Museum of Glass participated in Veterans Glassblowing Day, a national initiative that provides free glassblowing to veterans and active service members. The mission of Veterans Glassblowing Day is “to provide US veterans and those in Active Service with a free opportunity to experience glassblowing with the intentions of developing a marketable skill, building joy through artistic expression, and creating community through a yearly national event.”
As the only Veterans Glassblowing Day participant in New York State, The Corning Museum of Glass hosted a wide range of veterans from different ages and backgrounds. (One veteran of Desert Storm who experienced 120° temperatures in Saudi Arabia was unfazed by the intense heat of the hot shop furnaces). See pictures and learn about some of the veterans who participated at Corning’s blog, Behind the Glass.
The Museum of Glass (MOG) in Tacoma, WA, who also participated in Veterans Glassblowing Day, regularly engages with the Tacoma military community through Hot Shop Heroes: Healing with Fire. Developed in partnership with the Warrior Transition Battalion at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Hot Shop Heroes uses glassblowing as therapy for wounded warriors with physical and mental injuries. The program, which piloted in 2013 and is now offered three times a year, is particularly effective for participants suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. "This class awakened a previously hidden joy in creating things by hand. I was able to actually feel something other than numb," said one pilot participant of their experience in Hot Shop Heroes. View of video of the program at the Museum of Glass website. More information on Hot Shop Heroes is also available in Next Practices in Art Museum Education (see page 51).
Top image: Veterans Glassblowing Day at the Corning Museum of Glass. Image courtesy of The Corning Museum of Glass.
Bottom image: Hot Shop Heroes photo by Dane Gregory Meyer. Image courtesy of the Museum of Glass.