UpCycle Game Night: Textile Hackathon

Bunny Yan of Squirrelz leads our UpCycle Game Night

Thursday, February 23rd
5:30 – 9 p.m.
RSVP

Inspired by our extensive collection of fabric, trim & notion and other fashionable donations the game night theme is a Textile Hackathon. Whether you are a fashion designer, an arts & crafts fan, or simply brimming with ideas, all are welcome! Feel free to bring your own excess materials & craft tools. We highly encourage sharing. We will also surprise you with the design materials we’ve been collecting to throw into the mix. So come out and play, have some drinks, some snacks and let’s make something cool!


MFTA has an accessible front entrance and accessible restrooms. If you would like to utilize wheelchair seating or ASL, or additional accessibility accommodations at the event, please contact Sara Cobb as soon as possible at disabilityfacilitator@culture.nyc.gov / (212) 513-9376.

February Third Thursday: UrbanGlass and Amanda Patenaude


Amanda EcoIcons _Rascle
UrbanGlass and featured artist Amanda Patenaude lead our February Third Thursday Workshop. We’ll explore sculptures and mosaics made from reused glass followed by a hands-on workshop making art with supplies from our reusable glass section.

Established in New York City in 1977, UrbanGlass fosters experimentation and advances the use and critical understanding of glass as a creative medium.

February 16, 2017
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
RSVP

 

MFTA has an accessible front entrance and accessible restrooms. If you would like to utilize wheelchair seating or ASL, or additional accessibility accommodations at the event, please contact Sara Cobb as soon as possible at disabilityfacilitator@culture.nyc.gov / (212) 513-9376.

Attendance is free thanks to our generous Friends of Materials for the Arts funders, including the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.

Rubin and Shelley FoundationFOMA Logo

MFTA Third Thursday: Printmaking with Michael Kelly Williams

Our artist-in-residence Michael Kelly Williams leads our first Third Thursday Artist Workshop of the new year!

Last Set Before Noon, 1979, 25 x 25 inches, woodcut litho colors on B.F.K. Rives

 January 19, 2017
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
During our free workshop, Williams will show us how to make prints with creative reuse methods. We’ll have an opportunity to make our own unique prints to take home. People of all ages and art making skill levels are invited. Start the new year with a healthy dose of inspiration and creativity!

Check out NY1’s feature on Michael Kelly William’s current exhibition “Found and Funky”.

Free but first come, first served. RSVP suggested. 

RSVP

Get Ready to Party Masked Marvelous is Here!

masked-marvelous-2016-invitation-be-our-guest

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Hosted by
BD Wong

Special guests:

Harold Moeller from the Bindlestiff Family Cirkis • Red Carpet by Calling All Parties • Colby Cannon • Coney Island Circus Sideshow • Dzieci Theatre • Krena Dean • Mama Tabia

Join us on Thursday, October 27th for an evening of dancing, mask making and celebrating the incredible artistry of the MFTA community.

 

Can’t attend?
donate

#MaskedMarvelous

 

Special Thanks
in-kind-sponsors

 

 

Volunteer Spotlight: Adobe

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By Alissa Valeri

To get us ready for recipient “shopping”, 15 volunteers from Adobe generously offered their time to help organize the MFTA warehouse. The volunteers organized donations on the warehouse floor from 10 am to 3:30pm, breaking for just an hour to eat lunch. When asked about Adobe’s visit to MFTA, Volunteer Coordinator Nakeshia Betsill remarked that they were the “longest working group” she had ever seen volunteering with us..

Adobe’s commitment to helping MFTA resulted in substantial progress on the warehouse floor. The volunteer team unpacked and sorted five bins of beads, pearls, and necklaces into boxes for the Trim & Notion section. In addition to this, they unpacked and distributed 8 bins of hardware supplies which included objects such as lights bulbs and duct tape. Finally, a large portion of the afternoon was spent bundling greeting cards together, arranging books on the bookshelves, and laying out reams of paper in the Paper Room.

MFTA would like to commend the Adobe volunteers for their industrious day. Adobe has also donated office supplies, paper, computers, furniture, and more to our warehouse. Companies like you help provide our recipients with a pleasurable and productive shopping experience, for which we thank-you!

Alissa Valeri was the Summer 2014 Communications Intern at Materials for the Arts.

Director’s Notes: Prop Summit

photo2By MFTA Executive Director Harriet Taub

One of the greatest things about working at Materials for the Arts is our access to very talented people.  For those of us who love performance, we are eternally grateful for the designers and artists who work behind-the-scenes making magic creating theater sets, costumes, and props. This past Friday, I headed to the 6th annual Prop Summit held by the incomparable Jay Duckworth, Prop Master at the Public Theater.

Here is how Jay describes the Prop Summit: “Just before the fall theater season, props masters, artisans, and special effects people meet in the East Village, deep in the heart of the Public Theater. Professors from Emerson, Yale, Julliard, NYU, and Princeton, along with their students, meet with Props Masters from The Met, The Public, and Broadway and off-Broadway freelancers to share ideas and talk about the trade.”

Over drinks and snacks, the group of about seventy was able to kibbutz, regale each other with tales of great successes (and perhaps some fizzles), and network the night away.  Midpoint, the group moved from the Public’s awesome prop shop to the newly carpeted Newman Theater to listen to guest speakers that included Tony Award-winning Set Designer Donyale Werle and me, Executive Director of Materials for the Arts Harriet Taub.

Jay says, “This year’s theme was A Greener Theater, and I was so happy to get two people who are really at the forefront of their discipline. Donyale and Harriet are role models for all of the young artists in the field, and we as a collective could not have two more informed leaders to speak to us.”

Donyale is passionate about reducing material throwaways in theater and moving towards using more environmentally friendly materials.  Her set designs focus on sustainability, which seem to come naturally to her. She uses found objects, thrift shop finds, and many other second-hand materials. She serves as the Co-Chair of the Pre/Post-Production Committee for the Broadway Green Alliance.

“The materials teach me, instead of the other way around. I couldn’t force a material to do what I wanted it to do,” says Donyale.

This idea comes out of her upbringing in Nashville, Tennessee. “I come from a family of environmentalists. My dad is a landscape architect who was involved in the solar movement in the 1970s, so I grew up that way.”

I was thrilled to be part of this summit and have the opportunity to wax poetic about what we do at Materials for the Arts. Most importantly, I am an advocate of creative reuse. Thinking about the materials we are surrounded by and then giving them a new purpose is a passion of mine.  We send way too much to the landfills…repurposing and rethinking helps divert lots of valuable materials back into the community through the work of artists, designers, students, teachers, and other creative minds.

The best part of this summit was that it connected a group of very hard working, like-minded props people. In their hectic schedules, they are often working in isolation. A favorite part of being out on the MFTA floor on shopping days is watching folks network and ask each other questions like, “What are you going to do with that?”

I wish that this type of event could happen for set designers, choreographers, costumers, and art therapists.  Whether folks have access to MFTA or not, this Summit helped kickstart the conversation of how professionals in the props field use each other as a resource to either give or get stuff.  The sharing economy – you gotta love it.

 

Big Moves at the Whitney Museum

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By Alexandra Ruiz and Alissa Valeri
Part of a mini-series highlighting New York City museums as materials donors and recipients of MFTA. We deeply appreciate these cultural institutions’ generosity and contributions towards the sustainability of the city’s arts and education community.

Next spring, the Whitney Museum will be opening a new building in downtown Manhattan near the High Line. During their big move, they have continued donating to Materials for the Arts and supported programs like the Hudson Guild and Regent Family Residence. Over the last 10 years, the Whitney has donated a substantial 20,078 pounds of materials to MFTA worth a total of $36,524!

The Whitney has provided the warehouse with many items that have found their way into schools and organizations such as Forest Hills High School and the Brooklyn Arts Council. This March, we received our biggest donation ever from the Whitney, weighing in at 5,240 pounds. Then, in May, Director of Retail Operations Jennifer Heslin kindly dropped off 50 bins of arts and crafts supplies, 20 household items, 5 bags of fabric, and 5 bags of office supplies. In the past, they’ve also donated unique items like their gift store bags and cameras.

Also, the Whitney Museum is one of our recipients. This spring, MFTA served as a materials resource for producer Alexandra Rosenberg and performer and designer Elisa Santiago during the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Alexandra stocked up on materials for the upcoming performances of three different operas. They incorporated picture frames, household items, and also nearly 300 pounds of fabric and trim for costuming.

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The Whitney is now displaying a special exhibition of Jeff Koons’ work until October 19.  The exhibition is the artist’s first ever retrospective and will be the final exhibition in the museum’s current Upper East Side home before the re-opening of the new space in the Meatpacking District. Jeff Koons’ work draws attention to mass production and consumption and highlights our infatuation with inessential objects. The Whitney’s Family Programs Coordinator Billie Rae Vinson recently visited us to find supplies.

On the weekends, the Whitney Museum offers families a wide variety of events and programming for children of all ages. Drawing inspiration from the Jeff Koons’ retrospective, the Whitney is providing pop-up activity stations in the museum galleries on select Saturdays. Inspired by Koon’s material experimentation, like a giant Play-doh sculpture, the stations encourage visitors to explore different art materials.

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Thank you to the Whitney Museum for their partnership as donors and recipients. We wish them the best of luck in relocating to their new space and look forward to exploring it ourselves in the near future!

Alexandra Ruiz is the Donations and Development Intern and will be starting her first semester at Brown University this coming fall. Alissa Valeri is the Communications Intern. She is a rising junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in Art History and History. 

MoMA PS1 and Architectural Reuse

© 2014 MoMA PS1

© 2014 MoMA PS1

By Alissa Valeri

Part of a mini-series highlighting New York City museums as materials donors and recipients of MFTA. We deeply appreciate these cultural institutions’ generosity and contributions towards the sustainability of the city’s arts and education community.

Leading contemporary art center MoMA PS1, one of our neighbors in Long Island City, Queens is housed in a renovated 100+ year old school building. The museum was founded in 1971 by Alanna Heiss, and originally known as the Institute for Art and Urban Resources, an organization dedicated to organizing exhibitions in underutilized and abandoned spaces across the city.  The first exhibition opened in 1976, two years before Materials for the Arts was founded. Today, MoMA PS1 organizes contemporary exhibitions in unique, classroom-sized galleries that honor the school’s original architecture. By visiting Materials for the Arts, MoMA PS1’s presence in the warehouse represents ways the museum continues to upholding the spirit of giving new life to old objects.

Curators and artists alike of have sifted through the numerous warehouse bins in search of trim, arts and crafts items, household objects, and hardware for educational programs and upcoming installations. Artist Donna Huanca recently visited Materials for the Arts for her colloboration with MoMA PS1’s Sunday Sessions, a weekly live arts presentation. Donna created an architectural collage installation called SADE ROOM (famously reclusive) for the storefront of the museum’s project space, the Print Shop. The installation was viewable on Jackson Avenue 24 hours a day from early March until mid-June, and it also doubled as a performance site for the Sunday Sessions. Around 530 pounds of materials from MFTA were used in this project, including fabric, trim, framing, mirrors, bike tubes, and mannequin parts.

Over the years, MoMA PS1 has also donated 1,334 pounds fabric, building supplies, display cases, and more to MFTA. Thank you MoMA PS1 for being a great LIC neighbor!

Alissa Valeri is the Communications Intern. She is a rising junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in Art History and History. 

Donor Spotlight: Metropolitan Museum of Art

metmuseum
By Alexandra Ruiz
Part of a mini-series highlighting New York City museums as materials donors and recipients of MFTA. We deeply appreciate these cultural institutions’ generosity and contributions towards the  sustainability of the city’s arts and education community.

Sitting right on Manhattan’s iconic Central Park is the city’s beloved Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met has been a materials donor to us since 1993. They have donated 18,648 pounds to the arts community through MFTA. Not only is the museum’s magnificent size and architecture impressive, but so is the museum’s broad and extensive contributions to the artistic community. Since they’ve started donating to MFTA, they have provided 18,648 pounds of materials, valued at $29,650 to New York City’s art, culture, and education programs. What especially sets the Met apart for us is how they make art more accessible by providing free admission for kids and offering extensive online resources that are available for public use (like the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History).

Luckily for us and for our recipients, bits and pieces of the palatial Met have made their way into the MFTA warehouse. In the past year alone, the Met has donated to us three times, contributing much needed items like fabric and office supplies. The biggest batch they have ever donated to MFTA was 4,150 pounds of quality paper and beautiful fabrics. They have also donated 15 easels, 57 frames, lots of mannequins, and printers in the past. Their materials have benefitted a wide array of organizations such as the Atlantic Theater Company, public schools, Richmond Hill Historical Society, and Socrates Sculpture Park.

The Met also oversees the Thomas J. Watson Library, where anyone is free to browse and learn about the museum’s 2 million plus artworks that date from prehistory to the present. In April 2013, the library donated a conference table through our online direct donations system.

The museum has been a great cultural resource for the NYC community through their ample donations to the MFTA warehouse and their numerous programs, classes, and exhibits. For a fun way to get to know our valued donor, try out one of the Met’s free guided “Drop-in Drawing” sessions inspired by the art at the Met — free materials are provided for all participants! The Met also offers free concerts and performances by practicing artists.  Thanks to the Met for working with MFTA to help build a stronger cultural community in the city!

Alexandra Ruiz is the Summer 2014 Donations and Development Intern. From Brooklyn, she currently is a member of the NYC-based band, PetalWar. A recent graduate of Bard High School Early College Manhattan, she will start her first semester at Brown University this coming fall. 

American Museum of Natural History Gives Back

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Urban Advantage program celebrates its ten year anniversary. Photo via AMNH.

By Alexandra Ruiz and Alissa Valeri

Part of a mini-series highlighting New York City museums as materials donors and recipients of MFTA. We deeply appreciate these cultural institutions’ generosity and contributions towards the sustainability of the city’s arts and education community.

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) has played an important role in fostering consciousness throughout the city in sustainability. Since its founding in 1869, the museum has been an active practitioner of sustainability and been dedicated to alleviating the bio diversity crisis. They conduct scientific research with the impressive 32 million specimens in their collection – a vital resource in the scientific and intellectual community.  They combine these efforts with a dedication to public and educational service that is impressive (considering their enormous size and interface).

A donor to MFTA since 1993, the museum is an especially valued ally to the arts community.  AMNH has donated 14,716 pounds of materials to the MFTA warehouse, providing support  to the many appreciative organizations that benefit from their generosity, including the Isabahlia Ladies of Elegance Foundation, Pratt Institute, and the New Horizons Counseling Center.

P1110619Their biggest donation to date was made in June 2014 and consisted of 2,847 pounds of household items. Many of their donations serve functional purposes, such as plexiglas, hardware supplies, 37 light fixtures and  fabric. lightingBesides helping others through their donations, the American Museum of Natural History is also a recipient of the wonderful materials stocked in our warehouse. Since registering as a recipient in 1991, AMNH  incorporated arts and crafts supplies, trim, and household objects into their educational programming and special events.

 

One such program is Urban Advantage, a middle school science initiative Now in its tenth year, the program supports more than 50,000 middle school students from 177 public schools across the 5 boroughs in long term scientific investigations. The program works with the Department of Education as well as other cultural institutions and MFTA recipients that inspire science learning, such as the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, New York Hall of Science, and Queens Botanical Garden.

 

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Discovery room. Photo from AMNH

The Museum provides opportunities to explore science, the natural world, and cultural histories to nearly 5 million children and adults each year.  Like MFTA, the museum embraces education by offering interactive experiences. They are a greatly admired donor, recipient, and role model of ours, and we are lucky to have them working with us in this global sustainability mission. As all of our donors and recipients know, we can’t do it alone!

Alexandra Ruiz is the Donations and Development Intern and will be starting her first semester at Brown University this coming fall. Alissa Valeri is the Communications Intern. She is a rising junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in Art History and History.