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Ask any event planner — weddings leave a TON of waste. And it's not hard to see why — just think of your own dream wedding Pinterest boards! All those vases, fabric, candles, and crafts are majorly gorgeous, but rendered nearly useless after your guests have shimmied off the dance floor.
Luckily, as New York City brides, you don't need to waste a stitch of it. In fact, you can even donate it to (creative) city kids in need!
Right under our own noses (in a 35,000-square-foot facility in Long Island City, no less), Materials for the Arts acts as Mecca of creative assets for public school arts groups and educators.
Described by its facilitators as "Costco combined with Pearl Paint and a thrift shop," Materials for the Arts is a one-stop-shop for creative donations of all kinds. On any given day, the organization will accept a vast array of goodies from around the city — bolts of excess fabrics from Marc Jacobs, votives from a swanky event planner, and even tablecloths from a bride who is looking to give back to the kids in her community.
Volunteers expertly sort and organize MFTA donations, then open the warehouse doors for free, bi-weekly "shopping days," where up to 5,000 member educators select materials to aid in project-based learning for their classrooms. The MFTA even "teaches the teachers" how to think outside the box with donations encouraging math, science, and social studies educators into the space, and letting art teachers "think beyond the tempra paints" to find creative materials for truly outstanding projects.
We absolutely love the vibe and vast giving power of the MFTA. Last year, the organization donated 1 million pounds of free materials valued at over $6.5 million to arts groups and educators. It's a brilliant mission that lets creativity foster creativity in our city!
So how can you help? As a bride, it's easy to get caught up in all the pretty details of your big day, but even easier to forget what happens after tear down. We love the idea of doing a bulk donation of your wedding decor to the MFTA. In fact, you can even donate in lieu of favors, placing a small note about the organization's mission on the table settings! Much like the materials inside the MFTA doors, the opportunities are truly endless.
Creative Reuse in the Classroom, Episode 3
"It's not just the art teachers that come here, teachers of all different subjects can come get materials, use it for their math, science and social studies project based instructions."Creative Reuse in the Classroom, Episode 3 heads back to Materials for the Arts for a closer look at how teachers are using the MFTA Education Center for various classroom assignments and professional development needs.Posted by Materials for the Arts on Wednesday, May 13, 2015