The Sea of Glass Center for the Arts

January 14, 2014 |
The small complex with the cute little dome at 330 E. 7th St. has taken on many personas over the past 30 years; almost all of them somehow focused on community building, self-actualization and a connection to the arts.
In the early- to mid-1980s this was the original Ortspace, home to the innovative (currently in transition) OTO Dance troupe. When OTO Dance moved down the street it became the Zenith Center, a funky but accessible space that held everything from concerts to yoga classes to massage school graduations.
Rahman Jamaal performs at The Sea of Glass grand opening Jan. 17. photo courtesy: Global Change Multi-Media

Rahman Jamaal performs at The Sea of Glass grand opening Jan. 17.
photo courtesy: Global Change Multi-Media

Years later, under the ownership and direction of Jason Auerbach and Janice Herradora, the 6,700 square feet of enormous potential became known as Anjali. With extensive renovations to not only the big room used for yoga classes, workshops, dances and concerts (Krishna Das once packed almost 400 people inside for an evening of ecstatic chanting), but also the interior, formerly used as living space, Anjali was beautifully refreshed, anything but funky, and stood in stark contrast to its more “lived in” surroundings on Fourth Avenue.

Part of the Anjali vision was to renovate the east end of the complex so that it could house a raw foods/vegetarian restaurant. This in conjunction with a small retail space, on-going yoga classes and a concert and dance venue available for rent to the community, all seemed like great ideas housed within an exquisite and newly designed space. Unfortunately the restaurant never opened, yoga classes came and went and the concert/workshop facility was vastly under-utilized. Eventually Anjali closed and for several years remained dark.
Now, with the opening of The Sea of Glass Center for the Arts, the Food for Ascension Café, CosmoArt Studio and Sacred Treasures, a retail space for “fine arts, jewelry and clothing,” the space once again holds the promise for becoming a hub of activity looking to bridge spirituality and new age sensibilities with 21st century alternative consumerism. The restaurant bills itself as “all local, all organic, all love” and comes with a delightful, outdoor rooftop patio while the Sea of Glass comes complete with a large stage, built in sound system and lights and acoustic sound baffles built into the roof. It looks like a great place to play as well as hear a performance.
With the Sea of Glass subtitled “A Center for Global Change Through Higher Consciousness,” and words like ascension and sacred as a part of its branding, the complex also comes with a certain vibe – what some might consider baggage – as well.
Bought for a price well into seven figures, the complex is owned and run by the Avalon Organic Gardens and Eco Village. Located in Tubac, Arizona, Avalon is an intentional community running a large organic farming operation and very much committed to the principles of permaculture and sustainable technologies. Avalon is also a part of the Global Community Communications Alliance, a church and religious organization founded in 1989 in Prescott, Arizona by Anthony J. Delevin, publicly known as Gabriel of Urantia.
All the businesses are celebrating with a grand opening on Friday, Jan. 17, starting at 7:30 p.m., with performances by VansGuard, an 8-piece activist folk rock band with ties to Avalon, along with hip hop artist Rahman Jamaal from San Francisco and with Tucson DJs Kirkout and Humblelianess spinning.

Saturday, Jan. 18 features a freestyle rap workshop at 2 p.m. with Rahman Jamaal followed by a screening of indie film “The Beat” at 4:30 p.m.

For more information on these and other upcoming events, along with ticket prices, visit or call (520) 398-2542. Event proceeds benefit the organization’s Personality Integration Rehabilitation Program, Avalon Gardens Internships and scholarships for instructional classes in music, dance and other arts at The Sea of Glass.

Category: Arts, Business, Community, DOWNTOWN / UNIVERSITY / 4TH AVE