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The heat of the furnace. The glow of the molten glass. The heft of the blowpipe. Glassblowing is a dangerous art that celebrates the strength of one — one artist versus the piping hot glass being shaped into something new and beautiful.


I’m Brian Solem, communications manager and staff writer for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC), and I think this artistic celebration of one person’s power makes a fitting setting for IGNITE, a cocktail party and save-the-date event presented by AFC on Friday, May 16, from 6-9 p.m. at Ignite Glass Studio in Chicago. After all, AFC celebrates each individual person living with HIV/AIDS and enables people to come together as one to fight for an end to this epidemic.

Glassblowing Image2Glassblowing isn’t the only thing guests will experience at IGNITE: A 24-foot open bar will be stocked with premium booze; global cuisine will be offered; amazing raffle prizes will be on hand, including luxury vacation packages to Las Vegas, Santa Barbara, Beverly Hills or New York City.

The space itself is worth noting — a working glass studio in the heart of Chicago’s West Side that guests can explore. And for those who are more interested in partying than partaking in a gaffer’s demonstration, there’ll be dancing, music by DJ Marc “Moose” Moder, and a rooftop that might be the best place to have a cocktail on a Friday night.

AFC has been glowing for years — 30 years, to be exact — and IGNITE is the kickoff event to commemorate the many years of service that this organization has provided to the Chicago metropolitan area and beyond. This nonprofit collaborates with community organizations to develop and improve HIV/AIDS services; fund and coordinate prevention, care, and advocacy projects; and champion effective, compassionate HIV/AIDS policy.

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Tickets for IGNITE can be purchased online in advance at

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