Founded in 1978, Materials for the Arts (MFTA) is New York City’s premiere municipal reuse center. A program of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, with support from the Departments of Sanitation and Education, MFTA collects a wide variety of reusable materials from businesses and individuals and makes them available, for free, to nonprofits and civic organizations with arts programming and New York City public schools.  By providing a way for people to donate their unneeded supplies to thousands of creative and educational activities across the five boroughs, MFTA diverts over 1 million pounds of materials from the landfill each year. Friends of Materials for the Arts, in collaboration with the City of New York and the creative community, is the nonprofit partner that guides and supports educational programming, warehouse operations, and other initiatives of Materials for the Arts.

Program Description

Waste Characterizations

33-00 Northern Blvd, Third Floor,
Long Island City, Queens

Exhibition Opening: Thursday, September 12, 6PM-9PM in the MFTA Gallery

Ongoing Exhibition: Monday through Friday, September 12 – December 20, 10 am – 4 pm

Artist Workshop: Thursday, October 17, 6 – 8 pm

Waste Characterizations Study Presentation: Thursday, November 21, 6 – 9 pm

All programs free and open to the public.

In partnership with the NYC Center for Materials Reuse, Materials for the Arts is serving as test site for the creation of a comprehensive waste characterization study: analyzing the composition of and volume of donated materials. Artist-in-residence Vadis Turner highlights MFTA’s environmental impact and the value of reuse. Turner creates abstract works made from ribbon and fabric donated by NYC’s fashion industries to Materials for the Arts. Her exhibition examines how to minimize our carbon footprint through art and investigates how repurposing discarded materials can reduce the damage caused to our urban environment. Accompanying the exhibit will be a free public art workshop held to introduce the science of waste characterization and the concept of creative reuse to the public.

Special Thanks

Barbara & Jim Korein
Bonnie & Doug Weill
Ballroom Marfa
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
The Public Concern Foundation