THE tenth International Festival of Glass set to take place in 2024 will be the last to be organised by the team at Stourbridge’s Ruskin Mill Land Trust.

Mystery surrounds where the world-famous festival will be held going forwards but its future has been secured after the festival organisers agreed to transfer responsibility for running the event to the Glass Art Society, based in Seattle, Washington, in the USA.

The event, which incorporates the British Glass Biennale – a prestigious international competition for glass artists, will be held at venues in and around the Stourbridge Glass Quarter from August 23 to 26 in 2024 when the festival will be handed over to the GAS.

The International Festival of Glass team said in a statement: “We are delighted to announce that the International Festival of Glass and the British Glass Biennale have their future secured.

“Ultimately, we had to make a choice as to which organisation could best take forward the vision of the festival, provide maximum benefit for the UK glass community and continue to work with our national and international collaborators to ensure the festival and the exhibition remains a significant global event for glass.

“The successful organisation is the Glass Art Society. Brandi Clark and her team at GAS have expertise in organising complex glass events, a massive following of artists and collectors from around the world and a keen eye on the strengths and weaknesses of the current glass scene. By choosing a network it opens up possibilities for positive collaboration with UK glass centres as potential host venues. We feel this will bring the festival and the UK glass community the best possible future.”

Festival director Janine Christley said: “We hope everyone will support GAS with the same warmth and enthusiasm that the festival has enjoyed over the last 20 years. We look forward to the festival and British Glass Biennale becoming even more ambitious and exciting under Brandi’s proficiency and leadership.”

Brandi Clark, executive of GAS, said: “GAS's focus on supporting and promoting the international glass community has positioned us to steward and expand the solid foundation the Ruskin Mill Land Trust has built over the past 20 years. We are honoured to be trusted with this endeavour and are eagerly anticipating our first festival in 2026.”

Festival director, Janine Christley, and the RMLT trustees, reportedly decided they were no longer “able to commit the considerable time and attention such a large complex event and major glass exhibition requires”.

They said their focus going forwards would be working with young people with learning difficulties but they would continue promoting and supporting the glass community at The Glasshouse, with research and development of glass made specifically for therapeutic use, a new dedicated gallery for the Ruskin Glass Collection and smaller glass-related events and exhibitions.

The British Glass Foundation, which is responsible for Stourbridge Glass Museum, put in a bid to take over the festival but was unsuccessful, despite letters of support from the V&A and Corning Museum in New York.

It has not yet been confirmed whether the festival will continue to be held in Stourbridge in the years ahead.