Materials for the Arts Provides Free Art Supplies to Teachers

Photo by Materials for the Arts

A creative reuse program based in Long Island City is helping public schools and nonprofits get free school supplies this year.

Starting on Aug. 27, Materials for the Arts is hosting its fifth annual supply shopping event, where members can pick up much-needed free resources from the organization’s warehouse.

MFTA members can make appointments to shop the warehouse at 33-00 Northern Blvd. on Tuesdays beginning at 10 a.m. and Thursdays beginning at 1:30 p.m. Each member is allowed a 90- to 120-minute shopping window. Existing members can visit the MFTA website to make an appointment.

Individuals must be MFTA members to participate in the supply “shopping spree.” Department of Education schools and nonprofits must meet certain criteria to be eligible MFTA members. Click here to find out how to become a member or check if your DOE school is already an MFTA member.

In addition to shopping the 35,000-square-foot warehouse, the organization encourages individuals and companies to donate supplies or funds. Donations, which are tax-deductible, can be dropped off at MFTA, qualify for free pickup, be shipped or posted online to the Direct Donations list. Those who drop off donations can do so on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The following is a list of MFTA’s most wanted items from donors:

  • Art books — only creative and performing arts-related
  • Art supplies — paint, brushes, glue, tape, glitter, crayons, markers, etc.
  • Audio and video equipment
  • Beads and jewelry
  • Chairs — especially rolling office chairs and folding chairs
  • Computers (nothing over 4 years old)
  • Digital cameras and tripods
  • Fabric — rolls and large pieces (no scrap)
  • Flat-screen TVs
  • Folding tables
  • Ladders
  • Musical instruments
  • Office supplies
  • Paper — drawing pads, reams of copy paper, foam core, mat board, seamless backdrop rolls
  • Picture frames, stretcher bars, canvas, easels
  • Power tools
  • Trim and sewing notions
  • Theatrical lighting & clip lamps

Since its inception in 1978, MFTA has supported the arts and cultural communities while promoting reuse, recycling and waste reduction. Over 4,300 public schools and nonprofit organizations receive free supplies through the program, which is run by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs with DOE support.

For more information visit the MFTA website, email or call 718-729-3001.