For Allison Key, glassblowing came as a skill she couldn’t shake.
“My dad is a glassblower. He’s been on the torch for 40 years,” says Key. ”I tried to go to college and not become a glassblower, but that didn’t work out so well.”
The allure of traveling the country alongside her dad as he sculpted glass during music festivals and art fairs eventually had her hooked. Now she’s the co-founder and executive director of the Michigan Glass Project, a non-profit organization that holds annual events to raise funds for Detroit causes.
Returning for its eighth year, the Michigan Glass Project will again host its live art and music festival to benefit Art Road, a non-profit organization dedicated to getting art classes back in Detroit public schools. The two organizations have partnered since 2015, making it possible for Art Road to expand its reach by adding three schools and extending the program to middle school students.
“[Art Road’s] cause alone, people want to stand by it. They know how important it is,” says Key. “The second year we raised money for Art Road, we got to talk to kids [in middle school] who hadn’t had art since elementary school. We were able to raise money to bring it back and they were so excited.”
The three-day festival kicks off on Friday, July 19th at the Russell Industrial Center in Detroit and features live glassblowing, painting, two stages dedicated to live music, vendors and food.
Click the audio player to hear Allison Key and Chris Goldstein, producer of the live music stage, in conversation with CultureShift’s Ryan Patrick Hooper.
This story is a part of Detroit StoryMakers.
WDET’s Detroit StoryMakers initiative empowers local storytellers in bringing Detroit’s stories to life. Support for this initiative comes from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs and through matching gifts from station donors.