Since 1991, The Scrap Exchange has been collecting materials from local businesses and residents and distributing these reclaimed resources to educators, artists, performers, makers, and students through a variety of programs, classes and events. The mission is to promote creativity, environmental awareness and community through reuse. The material also inspires and equips artists and art programs around the region. The materials and resources provide community and school groups with a working space for projects, programs and actions.
The organization is an economic engine for entrepreneurial activity built around materials reuse and waste-recovery. It creates green jobs and workforce development opportunities through a range of community partnerships. The creative reuse arts center contains a retail store, an art gallery, a Design Center to host classes, a Make N Take classroom for open studio art-making, and much more.
As a place of inspiration and for resources, The Scrap Exchange has provided a home for artists since it inception. One of the beliefs of SE is “we are all artists”. Working, inspiring and germating artists are part of the fabric of the work at SE. Within the walls of SE there is a thriving community of makers and artists who gather for regular meet-ups, take classes and acquire items to use in creative ways. The Cameron Gallery hosts eleven shows per year to highlight artists who embrace reuse as a part of the artistic process. It was difficult to categorize SE for this grant proposal. SE is often associated with the visual arts but performing artists come to find materials for shows, filmmakers have created works on our premises and used our materials for props. Creative reuse is inspiring to many art forms.