Using glass art to connect young people from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds to better futures.

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Hilltop Artists seeks new Executive Director!
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Learn more about our Leadership Transition.
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What we Do

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Our Programs

All youth, ages 12-20, in Pierce County can participate in our programs, which take place in public schools in Tacoma and Franklin-Pierce School Districts.

>>Learn more about our programs

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Our Impact

For the past four years, our Team Production students have had a 100% graduation rate. 58% have gone on to Post-secondary education, 50% are employed, and 25% are doing both.

>>See our impact

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Artwork

Hilltop Artists students explore glass art through glassblowing, flameworking, mosaics, and fusion. Team Production creates glass art for commissions, installations, and our biannual glass sales.

>>Take a look at students’ artwork

Featured Stories

01 Nov

Student Story – Zach

  Zach started in our summer program two years ago and hasn’t looked back! “I’m not really into sports so I’m glad I have Hilltop Artists.” Zach, a student at Stadium High School, is part of the After School program at Wilson High School and hopes to join Team Production in the future.   “It is cool to express myself through art. I love having a tangible object as a result of my effort.” He…

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14 Sep

Student Story – Jacob

Jacob had a busy summer! Jacob was the third student to represent Hilltop Artists in Tacoma's Sister City, Biot, France. For three weeks this summer, he soaked in the French culture and studied glassblowing with renowned glass artist, Antoine Pierini. “I spent long hours in an active hot shop working with Antoine and learning new techniques. I even learned how to trap an air bubble -- but the on-purpose, exactly-where-you-want-it kind of air bubble.” Going…

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24 May

Student Story – Ellye

Ellye first heard about Hilltop Artists from some friends. At the time, she was looking for something to do outside of her homeschool classes. When she first arrived in the Jason Lee hot shop, the noisy equipment and heat were overwhelming. But once she started working with glass, it didn't take long for her to fall in love with the art form. During After-School, Ellye loves blowing glass with her friends. She also enjoys watching…

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17 Mar

Student Story – Julian

It all started with a wavy bowl. Julian, a student at Jason Lee Middle School, didn't have much interest in glass art, but needed some kind of elective so he signed up for our Daytime classes. When Summer School rolled around, he thought, "why not" - and that's when things changed. Later talking about an experience with his friend Tanner, he said "it was really special to make a wavy bowl together" - and he…

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09 Feb

Student Story – Jesus

Jesus first learned about Hilltop Artists from his cousin Luis, who has been a Hilltop Artists student for four years. You may remember reading about Luis's dedication to bead making from when he was our May student of the month. Jesus says he loves everything about making beads. He likes doing dots a little better than stringers, but ultimately he thinks it's all pretty cool. Jesus just hopes that someday he will be as good at…

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14 Jan

Student Story – Emily

Emily - a Team Production student for over two years - is an excellent beadmaker. You may have spotted her elaborate hollow bead necklaces at the Winter Glass Sale - they’re her specialty. Not only does Emily love making beads, but she also enjoys the social aspect of Team Production. She has many friends in the program, and especially appreciates meeting all of the people who are so interested in what students do, like donors,…

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20 Nov

Student Story – Asa and Ezekiel

For Tacoma's Nutter family, Hilltop Artists has been a pastime for generations. Brothers Seth and Shane Nutter were glassblowing students in the early days of Hilltop Artists. The program developed their love of art, and today Shane still blows glass at Area 253 Glassblowing, while Seth is a visual artist, sometimes using glass in his work. Seth passed his love of glass art to his sons, Asa and Ezekiel. Both of them would help out…

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10 Sep

Student Story – David

David, our September Student of the Month, has had quite the year in Hilltop Artists. David became a Hilltop Artist when he joined the Jason Lee In-School Electives program over five years ago. After also attending our Summer School Program, he applied for Team Production, where he has flourished as a dedicated member and emerging artist. This past summer, David was the second student to represent Hilltop Artists in Tacoma's Sister City, Biot, France. For…

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20 Jul

Student Story – Dani

Hilltop Artists’ Team Production program has been a gateway to many glass experiences for Dani, our July Student of the Month. Dani joined Team Production 3 years ago after taking a pumpkin workshop at the Tacoma Glassblowing Studio. She was a stand-out glassblower right away. Dani landed an internship at Museum of Glass in December 2013 where she had the opportunity to work with world-renowned glass artist, Lino Tagliapietra. She still blows glass with the…

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01 Jul

Student Story – Luis

Hilltop Artists beadmakers are all very talented artists. Luis, the May Student of the Month, is no exception. He began beadmaking as a Daytime student four years ago, and joined Team Production soon after. Luis says he loved beads from the start because he can add more detail to his work than in glassblowing. He especially enjoys participating in Faces of Courage, a partnership between Hilltop Artists and Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. Luis loves the…

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20 Feb

Student Story – Layla

A Hilltop Artists student, Layla, was reflecting upon her own history when she told our Beadmaking Instructor, Carla, “Maybe if I had had women like you, Kathy, Lauren, and Jessica (Hilltop Artists staff members) in my life earlier, I might not have gotten into trouble like I did.” Layla first came to Hilltop Artists through Arts Connect, our program for girls referred to us by the court. After she completed Arts Connect, she wanted to stay…

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17 Feb

Student Story – Kenny

Kenny has shown strong dedication to glassblowing over the multiple years he has been a Hilltop Artists student. He began blowing glass as a Daytime student in 7th grade, and joined Team Production in 9th grade. After that year, Kenny faced some difficulties in his personal life that forced him to leave school and glassblowing. One year later, he returned to the hot shop and Hilltop Artists staff told him that he could rejoin Team…

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What’s Happening

Hilltop Artists in Residence added an event. ... See MoreSee Less

Hilltop Artists' Valentine Gallery Hours

February 8, 2017, 5:00pm - February 8, 2017, 9:00pm

Come find the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your sweetie during our gallery hours! From 5pm til 7pm on February 8th, our Jason Lee Middle School gallery will be open for glass sales. There will be special Valentine’s Day themed glass art as well as a variety of delightful student-made glass bowls, vases, and jewelry. Hope to see you there!

3 days ago  ·  

Tacoma kids have it! Check out this awesome video about Jack from Tacoma Public Schools: www.tacomaschools.org/tkhi/Pages/Videos.aspx

Photo Credit: Tacoma Public Schools
... See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago  ·  

Upcoming Events

Date/Time

Thursday

Jan 19, 2017

5:00pm - 8:00pm
Event
Third Thursday at Museum of Glass
See Hilltop Artists Students In Action Watch Hilltop Artists students …read more
Date/Time

Wednesday

Feb 08, 2017

5:00pm - 7:00pm
Event
Valentine's Day Gallery Hours
Show your sweetheart how much you care Come find the perfect Valentin…read more
Date/Time

Thursday

Feb 16, 2017

5:00pm - 8:00pm
Event
Third Thursday at Museum of Glass
See Hilltop Artists Students In Action Watch Hilltop Artists students …read more
Date/Time

Thursday

Mar 16, 2017

5:00pm - 8:00pm
Event
Third Thursday at Museum of Glass
See Hilltop Artists Students In Action Watch Hilltop Artists students …read more

Get Involved

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Participate

Hilltop Artists provides youth, ages 11-20, with hot glass instruction, related arts training, and adult mentors focusing on increasing students’ academic and interpersonal success.

>>Sign up for our programs

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Donate

Hilltop Artists is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that relies on public and private donations. All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. In order to keep our programs tuition-free, we depend on the generosity of our supporters and advocates.

>>Donate to Hilltop Artists

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Volunteer

Hilltop Artists is a community that believes in the power of volunteering to enrich the lives of our youth and the world around us. We have many ways for you to become involved with Hilltop Artists by volunteering.

>>Become a volunteer