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Hilltop Artists has launched a $62,000 Generosity crowdfunding campaign

Hilltop Artists has launched a $62,000 Generosity crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for a new glassblowing furnace.

Tacoma, Wash.— $62,000 in 56 days to “Fuel our Furnace.” Founded over 20 years ago as a grassroots community effort to serve youth, Hilltop Artists invites the public to come together again to reach an ambitious goal and keep their students blowing glass.

Furnaces are the center of a hot shop. In the early days before Hilltop Artists had a furnace, students were limited to warming up recycled glass bottles and reshaping them.

Distinct from a heating chamber - one of which was funded in a history-making 2014 crowdfunding campaign - furnaces hold molten clear glass and are kept hot 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The beloved furnace in the Jason Lee hot shop is wearing out and must be replaced this summer.


This furnace will be the fourth that Greg Piercy, long-time Operations Manager at Hilltop Artists, will see installed at Jason Lee. “It’s great to see the community come together for the kids,” says Piercy. “I’m proud to have taught many generations of Hilltop Artists, and am happy future generations will get to use this new equipment.”


The campaign includes a video, created by Hilltop Artists Board Member, Tyler Kalberg, that features current students and their younger siblings who hope to be Hilltop Artists when they are old enough. They each explain how important this new equipment is and what impact it will have on their family.


The Hilltop Artists “Fuel our Furnace” crowdfunding campaign is a key piece of a larger capital campaign to secure funding for five years of equipment upgrades. Several local funders have awarded grants towards the overall $147,000 goal.


The new furnace - the most expensive component of the capital campaign - will serve thousands of Hilltop Artists students for years. The campaign ends at 5 P.M. PST on June 7, 2016, and Hilltop Artists’ ambitious goal of $62,000 has had strong support so far - over $18,000.


A recent gift of $5 came with this special note, "I used to live in Tacoma, and I went to Jason Lee at the time. The Hilltop Artist program helped change me by giving me a way to express my artistic side. The staff and students there were so friendly, and I would feel bad if I didn't donate, even if it’s just a small donation. Thank you Hilltop Artists!”


As Hilltop Artists has seen over two decades, our community is stronger when we come together, and together, amazing things can happen.


The campaign, with a video and more information about the project, can be found on the front page of the Hilltop Artists website: http://hilltopartists.org/.


About Generosity.com: Generosity.com - part of Indiegogo.com - is a popular crowdfunding platform and acts as an online funding platform for many types of projects. Generosity is specifically for nonprofits and doesn’t charge the organization fees like most fundraising platforms, which means Hilltop Artists will keep more funds for the equipment.


About Hilltop Artists: Hilltop Artists is a Tacoma-based nonprofit whose mission is “Using glass art to connect young people from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds to better futures.” Established in 1994, Hilltop Artists provides tuition-free hot glass instruction to over 550 students each year through nine different programs. Hilltop Artists is a proven force in helping students overcome barriers they face in academic and social success. No students are ever refused services based on their past behavior, grades, disabilities, or artistic talent.



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