Photo by Miranda Kuchera
Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse inspires creativity, conservation, and community engagement through reuse. We operate a non-traditional art supply shop located at the intersection of Wilkinsburg, Homewood, and Point Breeze, where people can donate used art and craft supplies, as well as shop for these unique items all in the same location. We also facilitate hands-on creative programming that educates the public about the benefits of reuse for the environment, community, and self. We see reuse as a vehicle for boosting self-confidence, learning new skills, and creating opportunity for all as we work to support and inspire a healthy and creative community.
Despite a relatively small budget, which since 2017 has fluctuated between $171,000 to $375,000, Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse has continued to grow and deepen its impact based on the expressed interest and need from our community. We receive an average of 55 tons of donated art and craft supplies that are diverted from the landfill each year to spark creativity in our community,
with an average of 6,000 individual donors and 100 business donors. Additionally, an average of 25,000 individuals visit the non-traditional art and craft shop annually with 11,000 children and families participating in our educational workshops.
We aim to continue and expand our core programs and services to ensure that more people can realize the many benefits that sustainability and creativity provide to our community. Through our donation program, shop, educational programs, and artist in residence initiative, we celebrate the power of reuse by encouraging the transformation of non-traditional materials into fuel for creativity.
Our donation program accepts donations of hundreds of types of creative materials that would not typically be accepted at a thrift store, but still hold vast creative potential. The current demand for donating materials far outweighs our ability to accept and process these materials, presenting an opportunity for robust expansion.
Our shop is where most community members first discover the organization. Open 7 days a week, our shop offers donated art and craft materials at significantly discounted rates so that everyone can access the raw materials that they need for their creative pursuits. In addition to individuals, families, and educators, dozens of community partners and organizations utilize the shop to access materials for youth programming and community events. The goal for the future is to continue to refine our shop procedures and volunteer program, while continuing to create sustainable, green jobs for our community.
Our educational programming couples hands-on creative education for all ages with an opportunity to explore issues of sustainability and activism in a meaningful, personal way. Uniquely tailored to the group and aligned to the partner organization’s outcome goals, educational activities feature upcycled journals, pop tab jewelry, reclaimed yarn art, and more. The goal for the future is to offer programming free of cost for marginalized, historically underinvested communities, while continuing to offer paid Teaching Artist positions to creative community members.
Our Artist in Residence Program provides our community free and welcoming access to creative opportunities, local artists, and the artistic process, as well as funds, materials, and support to artists. In addition to Demonstration Days and Community Workshops, the gallery is on view, free of charge, to everyone who visits our center. Artists of color, as well as low-income, differently-abled, LGBTQIA+, and immigrant and refugee artists are especially encouraged to apply to this program.
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No sexism. No racism. No ableism. No ageism. No homophobia. No transphobia. No hate. We believe that people from marginalized communities deserve to be supported, respected, and safe.