It’s time to hit the ground running and there is no better place to start your planning than at Materials for the Arts. Our Direct Donations service presents an excellent opportunity to take advantage of dozens of items you can use to reshape the way you operate. For those of you who have never used Direct Donations, it is an additional service we provide that allows you access to donations we are unable to bring into our warehouse but are available with donors throughout the five boroughs. You can inquire about items ranging from kitchen sinks to theater seats or you can specify your search by sorting through our 200+ listings using the posting date, category or zip code.
Above and Beyond:
Office Reuse Express
The end of 2008 saw the creation of Office Reuse Express, our notification service for last minute quality office furniture being put up for donation by fellow New Yorkers. Happy with our initial response, we plan on expanding it to other areas such as construction supplies, metalworking tools and photography equipment. If you have not signed up yet, please email me at email@example.com
Last year Materials for the Arts launched an electronics drive to collect lightly-used laptops, digital cameras, scanners, projectors and other technology through Tekserve (119 West 23rd Street, Manhattan; www.tekserve.com). When consumers purchase a new piece of equipment, they are asked whether they are replacing a piece that they would like to donate to an arts organization or public school arts program. Our six-month-old partnership with Tekserve called Charity 2.0 has increased the number of useable computer units we bring into our warehouse and make available for use by our groups. Electronics should be complete and in immediately useable condition, never more than four years old. Donors receive a letter for their tax purposes reflecting the value the donor places on the items and will enjoy thank you letters from the teachers and non profit organizations who are giving these tools a second chance prior to recycling.
One less piece of paper is progress made
You might have noticed that we no longer send out paper invoices for Direct Donations. Thanks to the features on our member pages you can now check your Thank You Letter information online and help us in reducing our carbon footprint one step at a time.
Coming up in 2009:
MFTA: Market Place
This year we will be testing out a new feature called MFTA: Marketplace. Our goal is to create a space where recipients can reach out to fellow recipients for help with equipment loans, production advice or maybe just to make a professional connection. We also will be running a regular blog dedicated to green issues with references to articles and videos relevant to our City and the rest of the country.
Theater on the Cheap
This spring we will be presenting our second Theater on the Cheap workshop series. Our workshops focus on addressing the technical issues that are frequently in the way when producing a performance piece on a tight budget. We spend our time exploring the ways you can use our regular stock of hardware to save some money and still keep that professional look.
What Have You Done with that Trim lately?
Everyday we are fortunate enough to hear from our recipients about the amazing projects they have devised using the supplies they received from Materials for the Arts. This year we want to put together our own video quilt of those stories to further prove the strength our community. Our goal is simple: send us any video recording you may have (please be sure to send it as an mp4. file, we would prefer it have sound if possible) of a project you completed using materials from our warehouse or from an onsite visit, or through Direct Donations. These pieces will be put together to form a visual scrapbook providing even more proof that reuse and the arts go hand in hand.
Now in our 30th year of existence we are looking to make 2009 our best year to date with brand new classes added to our Education program, more on-site pickup days through out the five boroughs and a substantial increase in floor space at our LIC warehouse to expand the amount of items available for our recipients. If you want to learn more about these projects or how to get involved, you can go to www.mfta.org and check out our news section.
Thank you for making 2008 the great year that it was and we look forward to working with you in our shared passion for improving the lives of our neighbors and contributing to a culture packed, green friendly New York City.