For budding or experienced artists, both young and old who seek a place to learn the glass arts, SiNaCa is a non-profit school that provides community outreach programs and individual instruction to nurture curiosity for the art and science of glass making because we are passionate about sharing the enriching experience of creation.
SiNaCa Studios was founded by five local glass artists in 2007. The organization’s initial focus was threefold. First, bringing the glass art community together to hold exhibitions, promote glass as an artistic medium, and generate funds toward founding a school. Second, use the funds raised to open a facility designed to impact the community through glass arts. Third, leverage the new facility to provide accessible, educational, and affordable experiences for the general public, as well as teach courses to share the traditions and techniques of all disciplines of studio glass.
In May of 2010, an old gas station in the “Near Southside” area of Fort Worth was chosen as a perfect location and renovations began. The development of the studios for glassblowing, kiln forming, flame working and cold working and gallery space was completed and operational in late December 2010, and open to the public on January 1, 2011. Classes were offered, students enrolled, and the operations of SiNaCa Studios School of Glass and Gallery became real. Throughout the first six years of operations, the facility has received several upgrades, more programs have been added, and there are many more to come.
Since first opening our doors in January 2011, over 7,000 diverse people have participated in classes and over 30,000 have visited our studios. Our free monthly “Open Studios” event alone has drawn over 15,000 visitors through the facility to view demonstrations, interact with performing artists, and browse the onsite gallery.
Learning at SiNaCa Studios takes many forms. We offer courses for everyone ranging from a novice wanting to acquire new skills to the professional artist needing to perfect their glassmaking techniques. Although there are several private hot glass studios in the metroplex, none provide an opportunity for the general public to learn about glass or experience the creation of glass art in an educational setting. Furthermore, we are the only not-for-profit glass art studio providing philanthropic programming in collaboration with other charitable organizations within our community.
Currently, SiNaCa Studios provides a variety of in-house instruction for students in glass blowing, kiln forming, and flame working, ranging from introductory level to advanced study. Programming available to the general public varies from thirty-minute workshops to courses lasting eighteen hours over six class meetings.
SiNaCa Studios has fostered many partners in our nearly six years of operation. The following list includes several of the most prominent relationships and a description of SiNaCa Studios’ collaborative programming.
- One Safe Place: providing art therapy programming to underserved youth in Fort Worth who are victims of domestic violence (org)
- Project Success: providing art programs for unsheltered youth to break the cycle of homelessness by providing a creative outlet. (projectsuccessfortworth.org)
- Fort Worth ISD: providing various programs to students and teachers in-class and after-school including “Glass from Afar,” “Playing with Fire,” and “Teach the Teachers”
- Beads of Courage: hosting bead making events to support the organization’s care programs for children coping with serious illness and their families (org)
- Fort Worth Museum of Science and History: providing programs and youth activities through their events and fairs throughout the year (fwmuseum.org)
Our core operational values include community, creativity, collaboration, innovation, education, focus, and passion. SiNaCa is comprised of our board of directors, staff and volunteers; we all share these values and strive to ensure others view our organization in such ways.
A board of directors meets quarterly to guide SiNaCa Studios School of Glass and Gallery. The board’s composition of business people, educators, and artists provide a healthy diversity of leadership to ensure positive and balanced growth for SiNaCa Studios. There are four officer positions on the board, supported by non-officer members that all provide 100% participation to the organization. The board of directors continually recruits new members to bring fresh energy to the organization.
There are five key administrative roles that keep the facility operational on a daily basis: executive director, associate director, administrative director, artistic coordinator, and development director. In addition to the administrative positions, each discipline-specific studio has a manager. Presently, the executive director, associate director, administrative director, and artistic coordinator are full-time paid positions.
In addition to the administrative team, SiNaCa Studios has a team of volunteers that work in our studio and gallery and provide support during special events. Our volunteers are invaluable to the organization. Each volunteer takes part in a training session where they are given an overview of SiNaCa Studios, our mission and current offerings, a tour of the facility, and taught the basics of the different disciplines of glass art.