It’s back-to-school shopping time and that means for teachers, too.
Art Salvage, a creative reuse nonprofit in Spokane, is hosting an event to help educators gather art supplies for the coming school year.
“This is a new event for us and we’re planning to do it annually,” founder Katie Patterson Larson said. “The goal is to connect teachers with creative resources and materials beyond the typical crayons and paints, though we have those, too.”
Educators will be invited to fill a bag of materials for free. Supplies include paper, scrapbook paper, mixed media supplies, fabric samples, yarn, leather scraps, road maps, postcards, mat boards and more.
“We know teachers spend money out of their own pockets,” Patterson Larson said. “We want to support them with materials, and also invite them to come and see the available resources we have at Art Salvage.”
The nonprofit has grown by leaps and bounds from Patterson Larson’s basement in 2014 to its storefront in 2018.
She started Art Salvage with her leftover crafting and art materials. Then she began collecting similar items from friends and family members and searching out old art supplies at estate and yard sales. The goal has always been to keep reusable things out of landfills and demonstrate the value of reusing and recycling.
Donations are by appointment only at the store. Items always in demand include things that dry out like glues and acrylic and watercolor paints. Not needed are silk flowers and holiday décor.
“Those are easy to find at thrift and craft stores,” she said.
The most unusual donation they received last week was a bowl full of animal teeth.
“They went fast!” she said. “I love the diversity of all our stuff. It’s fun to ask people what they’re making.”
Three staff members and approximately 25 volunteers keep Art Salvage afloat.
“Our volunteers are why we can do so much,” Patterson Larson said.
Art Salvage is offering more than just materials at Educator’s Day. A gift card drawing is planned and tiny hidden treasures will be placed in containers throughout the shop. Handouts featuring craft ideas will be available, and three free workshops for educators are scheduled. Registration is required for the classes.
“We’ll be demonstrating wine cork stamps, envelope books and abstract portraits using vinyl wall coverings,” Patterson Larson said.
Most of Art Salvage’s donations come from individuals. Patterson Larson said they know businesses would like to donate materials, but they’ve simply run out of space at their current location.
“We want to be a community resource,” she said. “Four years into having a storefront is just the tip of the iceberg.”
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