Project FIRE

Project FIRE (Fearless Initiative for Recovery and Empowerment) is a youth artist development program that combines glassblowing and ceramics, arts education, mentoring, trauma psychoeducation and employment to promote trauma recovery in young people injured by violence. Project FIRE is a partnership of Firebird Community Arts and Healing Hurt People Chicago.

Project FIRE was founded by glass artist Pearl Dick and trauma psychologist Brad Stolbach. Grounded in the notion that “Art is Healing”, the action of artmaking provides young people creative, healthy ways to decrease anxiety and worry, soothe, and regulate emotions and behavior. Project FIRE also strengthens participants’ sense of self, self-esteem, connection to others and overall awareness and discovery about identity and worth. Youth are provided a safe space for collaborative art-making – building connections and confidence and leading to a sense of belonging, pride, and, eventually, ownership, leadership, and responsibility. Infused with HHPC’s SELF framework, Project FIRE youth participate in support groups led by HHPC staff and peers to deepen aspects of trauma healing called forth by artistic expression, collaboration, and creativity.

Art helps people heal from past trauma and rediscover themselves, allowing them to craft new futures.

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“Project FIRE Offers Peace Forged in the Flame”

Some of the young people who are benefitting from the collaboration between HHPC and Ignite Glass Studio, The Chicago Reader.
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“Project FIRE Ignites Passion for Glass Making”

Art as good medicine for youth who have suffered traumatic exposure to violence, Chicago Tonight, WTTW-TV.
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