Message from the Director: April/May 2016

Dear Friends,

Our 25th anniversary is here! (April 1991 to April 2016) We are reflecting on our past, planning our future, and working as always to fulfill our mission.

The Past … Let’s take a moment to think back to 1991 and the early years of the organization. It is the people who made it go that I most want to remember and honor.

Founded by Chris Rosenthal, an arts educator from Australia who had previously founded a program in her native country called Reverse Garbage. In the late 1980s, Chris came to the U.S. on a grant from an Australian arts council to teach others how to start creative reuse centers. In the early 1990s she landed in Durham and started The Scrap Exchange.

Early supporters, board members, and staff include Bryant Holsenbeck, Joe Appleton, Lyn Gould, Elizabeth Amend, and of course Cathy Kielar, who has been on and off (currently ON!) the Scrap Exchange board of directors for 25 years. John Shaffer served as artistic director, fearlessly collecting and creating for the organization. Former Executive Director Pat Hoffman led the organization for close to 10 years and did an outstanding job during her tenure; she remains one of my close friends and is a long-time mentor to me.

The Present … The Scrap Exchange invites you to join us on our journey of celebrating the organization’s milestone Jubilee year and honoring our history and where we are going. This week we are celebrating with…

Customer Appreciation Week – Monday 4/11 through Friday 4/15, in the store. Free coffee and snacks, along with special sales for you, our customers.

Friends and Family Show – Opening reception Friday 4/15 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., in the Cameron Gallery. An open, non-juried hanging for anyone making art from recycled, reclaimed or reused materials. Are you interested in participating? There’s still time! Please see our call to artists for details.

DIY Festival and Jubilee Celebration – Saturday 4/16 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Come prepared to learn, listen, make, and meet your DIY community! Artists, demos, skill-shares, Eco Lounge, live music, face painting, scrappy carnival rides and games, a DIY mural with mother-and-son artists Travis and Edie Cohn. All free and open to the public! Special thanks to Laura Beidinger from the City of Durham’s Neighborhood Improvement Services for their support of this event!

And of course we have our usual slate of programming — summer camp, creative classes, community sewing, yoga classes, Third Friday… Check out our website calendar for the full listing of upcoming events.

The Future … The Scrap Exchange is working to establish a National Center for Creative Reuse and to create a Reuse Arts District in a portion of the Shoppes at Lakewood. The organization has a contract to purchase the north end of the shopping center — 82,000 sq. ft. of space in 3 separate parcels with 10 acres of land.

Plans for the Reuse Arts District are still being developed, but currently include a thrift store, maker spaces, and rental space for community groups, nonprofits, and startups … with expansion in the future for performing arts, recreational opportunities, a shipping-container mall, affordable housing, and so much more…

We are moving forward with the Reuse Revolution!

We are in the midst of a national conversation about reuse and the critical issues related to fulfilling basic needs in communities. The reuse industry addresses these questions by establishing resource recovery systems that provide food, transportation, housing, furniture, clothing, jobs, and more. It is a means of poverty alleviation and empowerment, innovation, and widespread economic impact.

I could go on and on! But I’ll stop here. Stay tuned for more—-!

Thank you for your love and support … Past, Present, and Future.

Yours in Reuse,

Ann May Woodward
Executive Director
The Scrap Exchange

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