“Little Dragon” Mobile Glassblowing Studio Outreach Program
FCAC’s “Little Dragon” mobile glassblowing studio was made possible by a Sunday’s Child grant, awarded in 2016. We provide educational and inspiring presentations that showcase the art of glass blowing. Our talented artists offer fun information about glass art including history, chemistry, & physics! We offer several tiers of rates, depending on the size and type of your group, including: Standard Group/Event rate, Small Group rate, Fundraising Event rate, and Title One School discounted rate. We are actively seeking grants and corporate sponsorship to secure a limited number of free programs for Title One Schools in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties.
Read more about our “Little Dragon” Mobile Glassblowing Studio!
For information on site requirements and pricing structure, please download our Mobile Glassblowing Studio Intake Form (PDF).
High School Mentorship Programs in Glass and Ceramics
In 2010, the FCAC Glass Guild recognized the need to attract young artists to the medium of glass. For young artists, it is very difficult and expensive to learn glass blowing, especially without role models and access to the equipment and the tools needed for success. FCAC’s Mentorship program is a solution to help motivated students in Grades 9-11, offering them a free opportunity to experience an intensive, hands-on learning series. We have expanded the program to also include pottery on the wheel, in addition to glassblowing. Each spring, we offer the Glassblowing mentorship and every fall we offer the Ceramics Mentorship program.
First City Art Center works with the Escambia County High School art teachers, who recommend interested students every year. Each of these students is asked to apply for the opportunity, providing a one-page narrative about his or her pursuit of and interest in art as well as a few photos of their artwork. After a painstaking process of elimination, four to six students are chosen to participate in each program. FCAC Guild members volunteer their time and talents to teach selected students, and a few of the volunteer teachers are former students of the mentorship program!
Once the students successfully complete their free six-week course, they can become junior members of FCAC’s Guild. Students have the opportunity to continue improving their skills by assisting with the production of hand-made pumpkins and cups for our fundraising events.
Over the years, the GGAF has awarded a variety of grants to FCAC, allowing us to purchase a new raku kiln in 2013, microphone equipment in 2014, chairs in 2015, mentorship teaching supplies in 2016 and 2018, and in 2017 we purchased a “Switchlift”, allowing us to provide students with the use of a handicapped accessible potter’s wheel! Free pottery workshops to elementary students from various schools in the Escambia County School District were made possible through a grant from the GGAF committee and board. Two free photography workshops were made possible through a GGAF grant to elementary school children. In one workshop, students learned how to use a pinhole camera and in the second, students were asked to take photos of their world. FCAC, in partnership with the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival, presented “Glass Jam” for over seven years. At these events, members, invited guests and patrons enjoy high caliber art created live, in addition to the opportunity to bid on these one-of-a-kind pieces in the live auction.
Keep Pensacola Beautiful and First City Art Center are hosting “Pieces Adrift”: an art show and silent art auction in which all of the pieces have been created using trash and debris found locally on beaches and waterways. Through this collaborative event, we aim to bring awareness to the littering problem that threatens our waterways and to encourage new and productive ways of thinking about trash in order to promote recycling, reducing, repurposing, and reusing. This event will occur on Saturday, September 7th, 2019 at FCAC, and the funds we raise will benefit both non-profit organizations. For more info. on how to participate and/or attend this great event, please click here: Pieces Adrift Art Show
For the past three summers, FCAC has partnered with the MESS Hall for two weeks of our “Creatisphere” Summer Art Camp program. Summer camp students will split their time equally between both non-profit organizations, experiencing both hands-on art and hands-on science projects throughout the week. This has been very popular and we look forward to continuing this partnership.
FCAC has a long-standing relationship with Manna Food Pantries. Each year, our Pottery Guild artists create hundreds of ceramic bowls for Manna’s “Pick a Bowl, Fill a Bowl” fundraising events. Last year, First City Art Center collectively contributed hundreds of volunteer hours and approximately seven hundred bowls were thrown, trimmed, and glazed for Manna’s fundraising event. In 2017 and 2018, FCAC also organized a silent auction for Manna, and FCAC artists donated their artwork to benefit both non-profit organizations.
Since 2015, FCAC has partnered with PSC’s Visual Arts Department to offer an “Introduction to Glass” course for college credit. This course is offered in both Fall and Spring semesters and is held at First City Art Center with registration through Pensacola State College.
FCAC partners with the University of West Florida Department of Art to host UWF Bachelor of Fine Arts showings and openings at our facility. This gives art students the opportunity to experience the work and planning that goes into showing their work to the public. Over the years, FCAC has developed a reciprocal relationship with UWF. The University has also provided many interns from the Department of Art for FCAC. We look forward to continuing our relationship and helping more art students bring their unique vision and contributions to our community.
Also known as SoLA school, FCAC has developed after-school programming for SoLA students, and many of the students and teachers often volunteer at FCAC’s fundraising events.
Other Recent Outreach includes:
For several years in a row, First City Art Center turned bowling pins into works of art and presented them as Team Spirit Awards during the Bowl For Kids’ Sake fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of NWFL.
In 2017, the bowling pins were decorated by the First City Pottery Guild, Glass Guild and Studio Guild artists, as well as the Jardin Foundry. The first completed pin was made by Lorraine Bracher of the FCAC Pottery Guild. Pat Regan of the FCAC Studio Guild will be painting a second one, and the Jardin Foundry will be making an aluminum casting for the third pin. The mold from Jardin will also be used to make a glass casting for the fourth pin. These pins will all be true works of art! FCAC is grateful to all the artist who are sharing their talents to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida.
For four years, FCAC participated in the Pensacola Little Theater Kids Expo. At this popular event, various organizations set up stations where kids can have some fun and engage in the creative process. FCACs contribution included our potters who offered a hands-on, make-your-own clay station.
FCAC partnered with Covenant Hospice Care to create an art-based workshop. The five-hour session mini-workshops were developed for children in bereavement, aged 6-10 and 11-15. The kids worked in clay, painting, drawing, glassblowing and glass bead making. The children kept all the items they made during the workshop.
FCAC has developed weekly workshops in partnership with Pyramid, Inc., an organization committed to to serving those with severe disabilities. These workshops allowed adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to work with their hands in the medium of clay.
Eight visually impaired students participated in blowing their own glass ornaments at the First City Art Center. The instructor prepared them for the experience by providing them with tactile examples of the different forms of glass before they became objects.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services of NW FL, Inc.
Eight hearing-impaired students received a workshop in glassblowing.
A joint fundraiser in which the FCAC pottery studio created original place settings and AFL’s catering prepared a buffet. The sit-down dinner featured entertainment, live and silent auctions.