DONOR SPOTLIGHT: David Stark Design and Production
Since 2008, David Stark Design and Production has been donating some of the most inspiring, imaginative and useful donations to MFTA. From feathers, fabric and faux flowers, to glitter, sand and bales of hay, donations by David Stark Design and Production have reached a broad spectrum of MFTA members, spanning the boroughs, reaching diverse populations with different purposes, all sharing the common goal of carrying out ongoing arts programming.
Back in December we received yet another incredible donation by David Stark Design and Production, of over 1.5 million crayons! What were they doing with all those crayons? And how did MFTA get lucky enough to receive them? We spoke with David to find out more. Here’s what he had to say:
Q. Why did you have all those crayons?! In honor of the 50th anniversary of the U.S. State Department’s Art in Embassies program , David Stark Design and Production was asked to plan the gala event. The organization is a privately funded program that leads the charge in cross-cultural dialogue and understanding through the visual arts. It took us about a year to plan!
Q. Were the crayons donated by Crayola? How do you go about procuring materials in general?
Yes, a very generous 1.5 million crayons were donated by Crayola, to create a giant pyramid. In this case, Art In Embassies had an existing relationship with Crayola, and when they learned that their donation would be up-cycled after the event and re-used for MORE art making beyond the event, they were excited!
Q. How many hands were on board to create the event?
There are many, many teams that come together to create such an incredible event like this one — from lighting, catering, our internal team . . . . When all is said and done, hundreds played a part in creating this one fabulous evening!
Q. What is your creative process and how do you seek/find inspiration?
At David Stark Design and Production, we work as a TEAM. Of course, we could never pull off some of the feats that we do without a whole village helping, but the creative process for us starts at the initial stages of ideation and creation – our whole team brainstorms, and we all feed off of each other to push ideas and break boundaries. It’s fun!
We get our inspiration everywhere, and we are very open minded. The hardware store, movies, museums, the newspaper, the supermarket, the art supply store, the internet – everything is fair game!
Q. How many projects do you work on at one time?
We take on 60-70 projects annually, and at any one time, we can be working on 5-15 projects. Let’s just say it is never boring around here!
Q. How did you first learn about MFTA and what specifically do you like about donating to us?
Years ago, I was invited by someone from the Mayor’s office to an introduction/open house at MFTA and was simply blown away by the offerings and teaching programs that MFTA offers. I have been hooked ever since. For years now, we have been focused on creating evocative installations from materials that have the ability to be up-cycled after an event. MFTA is a natural partner in our overall creative strategy.