Leveraging the power of Leftovers – Materials For the Arts NYC

Running with my current “Love for Leftovers” theme, I wanted to share the work of NYC’s Materials for the Arts this week.

MFTA is operated through NYC’s Department of Cultural Affairs and receives substantial support from both the City’s Department of Education and Department of Sanitation (an seemingly unlikely, but exceedingly important partner!).

MFTA describes their organization as “New York’s premiere reuse center”, and through their pick up and direct donation services, provide NYC individuals and businesses an opportunity to get rid of un-needed supplies through an eco-friendly channel with the added benefit of supporting local arts organizations and public school arts programming. Last year MFTA saved 1,630,000 lbs of materials from the waste stream, offsetting CO2 emissions equivalent to 553,500 trees, or 25x the amount of trees in Central Park.

In addition to serving as a “raw materials recycling center”, MFTA offers a wide variety of events, workshops, and classes to help people see and experience creative reuse up close. This month you can view community map mosaics made by students from PS209Q from recycled materials as part of their social studies curriculum, learn how to make an instrument from recycled materials and join MFTA’s local musician jam session, or build a “catcher” with mixed media artist Mary Valverde.

Got some stuff you want to get rid of? Check out MFTA’s most wanted items list here.