In October 2012 we wrote here about the commercial property at 3101 12th Street NE being vacated by long term tenant First Time Computers. Now, almost a year later a new business has moved in at the corner of 12th and Irving.
Sure! My name is Heather Bouley. I first discovered “creative reuse” when I was a volunteer in New Orleans at a center called Recycle 4 the Arts. They sold second hand materials for pennies and also offered affordable classes on how to interact with the materials. As a volunteer I didn’t have tons of money so when Christmas and birthdays rolled around I wandered through R4A for crafty inspiration and materials to make gifts for family and friends. I found tiles to make coasters, fuzzy poster board for journal covers and fabric for tote bags. I never officially called my self an “artist”, but R4A made art accessible to me. Prices were ridiculously low, it was a non-intimidating environment and the materials were salvaged, which added the bonus of greening the whole art process as well. When I came back to the DC Area (where I grew up) I realized we didn’t have a creative reuse center and decided to do something about it!
SCRAP is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire creative reuse and environmentally sustainable behavior by providing affordable materials and educational opportunities to the community. You can think of us like a thrift store for arts and crafts supplies. We are fiscally sponsored by SCRAP in Portland, Oregon and part of the SCRAP USA network. SCRAP PDX started over a decade ago by teachers who didn’t want to throw away their art supplies at the end of the year so they compiled them in one location. Then it organically grew in to a thriving nonprofit organization. SCRAP DC officially got going in 2010. We were a mobile operation for a year before moving in to a tiny space at the 52 O Street Studios. We pretty much out grew that within the first 20 minutes of being open, but we stayed in the cozy studio for 2 years and are excited to now be at 3101 12th Street.
We initially started looking at Brookland because of the Monroe Street Market and kind of fell in love with the neighborhood. It’s only 2 miles from our previous location at 52 O Street Studios, easily accessible by public transportation, already an arts hub and, best of all, it’s a close knit community. We met with the Menkiti Group who readily grasped our vision for a creative reuse center in the neighborhood and we figured out a plan to make it work!
We’re already open for business. Store hours are Wednesday-Friday, Noon-6pm and Saturday, 10am-2pm. We’re planning a Grand Opening for Thursday, October 3rd!
You can expect creative inspiration. You’ll find fabric, yarn, paper, architecture and design samples, beads, gift wrap…the list goes on and on. You’ll find examples of what to do with the available materials. You can expect a warm welcome from volunteers who staff the store and can help you find what you’re looking for or come up with creative alternatives if we don’t have exactly what’s on your list. You can probably expect to see an organized mess too, but that’s all part of the fun.
We plan to engage the community by sharing our space, offering programming, and being a resource.Space–SCRAP is physical space where people are creatively inspired, where neighbors sit and create and get to know each other, and a place to share ideas and conversation. There is the retail store to purchase materials, a Re:Boutique (coming soon) that features local artists’ finished creative reuse work, an open crafting space, and workshop space available for birthday parties, happy hours, classes, and conferences.Programming–We’re lining up classes to offer to all ages that will cover a variety of crafty subjects–knitting, basket weaving, recycled art, sewing, etc. If a community member wants to teach a class on printing with potatoes or learn how to make a throw pillow we can make it happen! Also, we partner with local organizations to provide affordable workshops tailored to their needs. This past spring we worked with a local charter school for their Vocabulary Fashion Show, offering a workshop for students to work on their costumes and opening up SCRAP for consulting hours with parents and students where they could brainstorm ideas for their costumes with a SCRAP volunteer. We also offer birthday party packages and are planning to offer a camp over spring break this year.Community Resource–Besides being a place to meet and learn we’re also responsible way to clear the “stuff” out of your house (consult our materials list). The SCRAP USA network diverted 143 tons of materials from the waste stream in our last fiscal year. Additionally, we are a volunteer run operation so we offer a place for community members to get plugged in whether that’s for fun or for student service hours!
We’re open to any artist, crafter, DIY-er who wants to be a part of the SCRAP community. Our major consideration in making selections is making sure the space fits their needs. Studio information can be found on the Washington Property Management Website, under the “Brookland Artists’ Studios” listing. The online application takes you to Studio Interest Form and we’ll be in touch from there! Or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.