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Water Street Glassworks (WSG) is committed in its mission to be a leader in the public access glass community. As the situation changes and new guidelines are issued by the CDC and the State of Michigan, we continue to adjust our protocol for operating with health and safety as our top priorities, particularly related to blowing glass in our facility. Our team has developed new techniques and utilization of new equipment to allow for safe glassmaking under these circumstances, and we have added  alternate inflation devices in our hot shops. We are sharing this detailed protocol with you so that your decision to visit WSG and participate in our on-site programming is fully informed.

We will be requiring adults that take classes at WSG to provide proof of vaccination as a part of their class acceptance, and adhere to our mask policy. We are encouraging our visitors to mask up when visiting WSG, as part of our layered strategy to protect our customers, students, and staff.

We are proud our studio team is part of a global network of artists who share ideas and support one another. This protocol is carefully tailored to our facility. As this situation evolves, this information will be updated.  

UPDATE AS OF 4/5/2020

Invest in the Arts - Invest in the Future


We invite you to help our artists and staff. 

Over the past two weeks, Water Street Glassworks has undergone a dramatic shift, as we have been forced to close our doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This crisis has profoundly impacted not only WSG, but the lives of so many others, including our own customers and community. We thank all of you who are working on the front lines to combat the virus and offer our sympathies to those whose health and economic well-being have been adversely affected. 

In an effort to preserve the legacy of our founders, Jerry and Kathy Catania, WSG's board of directors has stepped up to guide us as we envision our future in the midst of today's challenges. I am pleased to share with you that every member of our Board has already pledged financial assistance.

We desperately need support from you, our WSG patrons and advocates of the Benton Harbor Arts District. At this moment, it is especially important, and we ask you to give anything you can. Specifically, we need to cover our basic operating expenses during the time we cannot be open to the public. We must replace the income we have lost from gallery sales and events such as our beloved ArtHop. Your gift will help continue our support of Fired Up! students and the Benton Harbor community, which has been critically impaired. 

Benton Harbor and WSG are on the cusp of another tipping point: survival of its downtown. Water Street Glassworks needs your support at this time, more than ever, to continue as an artistic anchor in the Arts District. Please give generously! 

We Need Your Help TODAY!


  • Meet our payroll needs by supporting our instructors and staff, in this time of uncertainty.
  • Pay our utility bills, which are a large part of our expenses and must be paid. 
  • Fund our Summer programming, enabling us to re-light our fires again! 
  • Support an exciting, new glass exhibition this Fall featuring,"Blown Away" glass artist: Edgar Valentine. 

 Art expresses the humanity in ourselves. We are asking you to find the generosity in your hearts as we come together to sustain our beloved Water Street Glassworks. You can donate online or mail a check to 140 Water Street, Benton Harbor, MI, 49022. 

The team at Water Street Glasworks wishes you a safe and happy Spring.

UPDATE AS OF 3/18/2020

Dear Friends of Water Street Glassworks:

I am writing to share some important information with you, our glass community. In alignment with the current statewide closures, per Governor Whitmer's Executive Order 2020-9, as a Place of Public Accommodation Water Street Glassworks is required to close to the public until March 30, 2020. We are hopeful the restrictions will be lifted on April 1 and we will reschedule any cancelled classes at that time. Students will have an opportunity to reschedule, turn their purchase into a donation, or receive a credit for a future class. 
Our staff is diligently working to create a wonderful Summer catalog of new and exciting classes. We also are taking this opportunity to deep clean our studios as well as do necessary repairs on equipment. 
Our patrons and staff are what make our school the special place it is. I want to personally invite you to join us by sharing on our Facebook and Instagram pages your favorite class or project. We all need the beauty and hope art brings in our world more than ever during this time of uncertainty. We will continue to put the health and safety of our most precious asset, people, first! If you need to reach us, please e-mail, leave a message on Facebook, or call us at 269.925.5555. We are not in the office, so the best way to contact us is by e-mail. 


UPDATE AS OF 3/13/2020

Dear Water Street friends,

I am writing to share some important information with you, our glass community. We will continue to put the health and safety of our students, customers, and staff as our highest priority. Our regular classes will proceed (class sizes are small) and we will continue to put the health and safety of our students first.

We believe we are taking all precautions recommended to clean and sanitize our studios, but the best defense against the spread of the Corona Virus (COVID-19) is to limit community spread through social distancing in large group settings.


  • The virus causing coronavirus disease (CO-VID19) is a new virus, which causes a respiratory illness ranging from mild cold-like illness to severe pneumonia. 
  • More than 80% of people diagnosed in China have mild disease. 
  • Older individuals (>60) and those with medical conditions are most likely to have severe symptoms and complications. 
  • As of March 11, 2020, there are 2 presumptive positive COVID-19 cases in Michigan. 
  • As of March 11, 2020, there are NO confirmed cases of community spread of COVID-19, but experts predict eventually there will be community spread.


  • Spread is similar to common cold/influenza-through respiratory droplets. 
  • Enters through the mucus membranes (eyes, nose, and mouth). 
  • People are most at risk when in proximity (within 6 feet) of someone who has the disease.
  • The disease can live on hard surfaces for up to 3 days.


The health and safety of our staff, students, and customers is our highest priority. As the new coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread throughout the country, we wanted to share some of the actions that Water Street Glassworks is taking to protect our glass community. We are monitoring information daily from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( as well as Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS),, our state and local health officials. 

We will continue to rely on their recommendations and expertise to inform our decisions. While the current risk in our area remains low, we are following the current CDC recommendations to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 by:

  • Posting COVID-19 information/prevention signage in our studios. 
  • Anti-bacterial Soap dispensers and paper towels are well stocked. Increased frequency and rigor of cleaning and disinfecting hard surfaces in our shops and offices, (including end of day sanitization) and implementing protocols for students to assist in sanitizing any equipment used. This includes wiping down door handles, light switches, sinks and facets, countertops, chairs, glass blowing pipes and surfaces, safety glasses, and tools. 
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be installed at the front door and down in the studios.

  • Providing hand sanitizer (must be >60%alcohol), disinfectant wipes, and tissues for use by our customers and students who wish to clean their own workspace or hands. We are utilizing protective gloves when touching food and other public areas.
  • Requiring our staff to stay home when they are sick. This may affect scheduling of some classes and we appreciate your understanding during this time.                                                                                                                                   
  • We ask that customers or students that are sick to stay at home. At this time, we are applying more liberal rescheduling terms for all classes, events, and activities to provide students and our customer’s greater flexibility in making decisions that are best for them, without incurring financial penalties.

We understand that this issue is a cause of concern for many people and our thoughts are with those who have already been affected. We will continue to place the health and well being of our students, customers, and staff as an utmost priority while we monitor the development of COVID-19. 

We appreciate our glass community and your support as we try to mitigate the impact of this virus on our community with our precautionary measures. Please remember that art brings joy into our lives and we invite you to join us in the studio! As always, please feel free to call if you have any questions or concerns at 269.925.5555.