Glass-blowing program for teens ‘more than just art’

From the outside, Hilltop Artists is an industrial arts program — teens carrying long metal blowpipes with molten glass on the ends, moving quickly between furnaces and workstations to create vases, floats and other pieces.

But look closer and it’s more than just an opportunity for teens to explore their creativity, says Dr. Kimberly Keith, executive director of Hilltop Artists. It’s about youth development — teaching resiliency and life skills and keeping kids in school.

“Our mission is to get youth from different and diverse socioeconomic backgrounds to better futures,” Keith says. “[We’re] helping them to obtain an education first and foremost, and we do that through the hook of making glass.”

Hilltop Artists serves many at-risk teens in Pierce County, providing a safe place to build self-esteem and positive relationships with adults and peers, learn responsibility and accountability, and have opportunities for creative achievement.

Volunteer for Hilltop Artists

Video by Chris Ceresa & Roxanne Cooke

This story was produced in support of MultiCare’s mission, “partnering for healing and a healthy future.” We support community organizations working on initiatives, programs and projects that improve our community. Some of the nonprofits profiled are recipients of MultiCare’s Community Partnership Fund.