Scrap Exchange Hosts “Smashfest” Anti-Consumerism Fundraiser on Black Friday

What: “Smashfest”, a Black Friday fundraiser for The Scrap Exchange
When: November 29, 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Where: The Scrap Exchange, 923 Franklin St., Durham
Proceeds Benefit: The Scrap Exchange creative reuse arts center
Event Highlights: Outdoor event with live music, firepits, movies, junk jams, mosaic making and crockery smashing!

It’s no secret that the day after Thanksgiving is nicknamed Black Friday, and for good reason! The biggest shopping day of the year is marked by mass consumerism and celebrated by malls and retailers all over the country. The crowds, overspending, and fight for parking spaces are enough to give anyone a massive headache.

The Scrap Exchange, a creative reuse arts center in Durham, NC, will celebrate a different kind of “Black Friday” by hosting the third annual Smashfest, a fundraiser designed to question consumer culture by allowing customers to purchase breakable items, only to immediately smash them! This unique event provides a stress-relieving end to an otherwise frantic day of bargain hunting and over consumption.

Smashfest will be held on November 29, from 4-9pm, in an outdoor space outside The Scrap Exchange that has been donated by the Cordoba Center for the Arts to use for the event. Admission to the event is free for viewing or participating in non-smashing activities. Attendees can purchase breakable items that the Scrap Exchange has collected throughout 2013 (such as discarded mirrors, plates, mugs, ceramics, pottery and other bric-a-brac) and either smash them to bits against a large concrete wall, or rescue them from being smashed! Smashing techniques include hurling small objects against a wall, applying a sledgehammer to larger objects, and even swinging a bowling ball suspended on a tether through large mirrors. (See video for preview!)

Smashfest is not just about breaking unwanted mass-produced items, but also about reusing a variety of discarded materials, even smashed bits of glass and crockery, to make new creations. Mosaic artist Jeannette Brossart will use Smashfest remains to kick off a 3-month artist-in-residence program with the Scrap Exchange to create mosaic pieces that address literacy. During Smashfest, Brossart will provide an interactive demonstration of mosaic techniques and applications with smashed glass and crockery gathered through the evening. Following Smashfest, Brossart will lead a series of community workshops with groups and the general public to create mosaic art. The residency culminates with an exhibit in February featuring the mosaics created from Smashfest remains together with pieces of Brossart’s individual work, and additional work from area artists that also address literacy. This exhibit, tentatively titled The ABCs of Reuse, will open February 21, 2014 in the Green Gallery at The Scrap Exchange, and run through March 15. This project is supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a Division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Smashfest provides a winter festival experience throughout the evening. Firepits will be lit to provide warmth and light. From 4-6pm Shannon Morrow will lead parents and children in Junk Jams, which are interactive participatory music-making sessions using upcycled percussion instruments. Local musicians will provide more live music from 6-9pm, including performances by The Charming Youngsters, Pink Flag and pianist Ronnie Capps.

Raleigh-based vintage film archivers A/V Geeks are returning to Smashfest for an encore performance. A/V Geeks will project vintage educational and industrial film footage of consumerism, mayhem and madness against the concrete smashing wall to further set the mood and provide safe moving targets for smashers to aim at!

This year’s event marks the third Smashfest, an idea originated by Scrap Exchange staff members Daniel Bagnell and Nicole Hogan in 2011 to invite discussions about excessive consumption and waste in modern society that necessitates organizations like The Scrap Exchange to deal with handling excess materials sustainably. Smashfest is now an established annual fundraiser used to raise funds for general Scrap Exchange operations. The Scrap Exchange is a 501(C)3 nonprofit organization that collects and diverts useable materials from the landfills and makes them available to the public for reuse via programming and a retail store within a 22,000 square foot creative reuse arts center. The Scrap Exchange diverts more than 40 tons of materials from the solid waste stream annually and is one of the largest nonprofit creative reuse centers in the US and an industry leader in creative reuse center operations and programming.

Smashfest is sponsored by PBR, the Cordoba Center for the Arts, and the North Carolina Arts Council, a Division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information on Smashfest, contact Lindsey Miller at 919-213-1278, or visit scrapexchange.org.

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