Spring Cleaning came early this year for LMD. In the hopes of getting a jumpstart on being organized for 2017, my staff and I began taking stock of our inventory in January. LMD amasses a lot of ephemera. Every kind of wedding linen you can imagine, throw pillows and colorful blankets from a Coachella inspired Bat Mitzvah, even hundreds of Converse from a custom made sneaker chandelier. Our storage space was busting at the seams with lampshades, moss covered pots and votives in every shape and color under the rainbow
In past years, we’ve organized fire sales inviting friends and some industry folk to drive over to our studio and fill their cars and vans with treasure. But with the current administration cutting funding to the Arts, we decided to donate LMD’s unwanted inventory to Materials for the Arts. It was my colleague Rebecca who found the organization and donating to MFTA was the best thing we could have done with our supplies and hard goods.
Materials for the Arts collects unneeded items from businesses and individuals, and make these donations available for free to its recipients: nonprofit organizations with arts programming, government agencies, and public schools. It felt good to purge and declutter but my team and I had no idea that the do-good feeling was only just about to begin.
When someone donates to MFTA, you receive thank you letters from every organization that has taken your wares. It was very rewarding for the LMD staff and I to read about where our things landed and how the items were used. We received letters from The Lowell School, a not for profit coed special education school that has a visual arts and theater program, The Church of Saint Luke in the Fields conducts a Saturday evening performance art class for LGBTQA homeless teenagers, and Housing Works thanked us on behalf of their Adult Day Healthcare facility, serving clients who have HIV/AIDS. There were many other letters, varying from charter schools focused on special needs children to Senior programs in under resourced communities but the one thing they all have in common is a shoe string budget for Arts programming. If you are able to donate to this amazing organization, I encourage you to do so, the timing couldn’t be more right.
The MFTA warehouse is operated by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs with additional support from the City’s Departments of Sanitation and of Education.