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Art of Recycle

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Environment, Recycling

Mission: Our mission is to develop, heal and grow community through recycled art. We aim to inspire more art and assist artists in developing skills for art creation by using and re-using the available resources around them. Our objective is to teach people how to create "art with purpose" reusing discarded, unwanted, and excess items; creating generations of artists and crafters who are more environmentally conscious.

Results: To date we have inspired, encouraged and brightened the lives of thousands of individuals. Free Crafting Area: Our Craft Castle has benefited tens of thousands of children, adults and individuals with special needs by providing a safe haven where people can craft at no cost. This particularly benefits families and special needs community with limited budgets. Thrifty Craft Store: We have successfully kept tons of trash out of our local landfill as well as provided tens of thousands of people with low cost craft supplies that they may not otherwise have been able to afford. Free Teachers Section: We have created a successful program that provides free crafting materials and other teachers supplies to teachers of every grade level and their students of every skill level. Volunteer Opportunities: The general public, people doing community service, students, seniors and people with intellectual disabilities are all welcome to volunteer at AoR. We provide individuals with tasks that are suited to their particular skill levels. We have teamed up and networked with other organizations such as local school districts, local businesses and other non-profit organizations in order to assist and facilitate them with needed materials and occasional funding in order for their organizations to function more smoothly.

Target demographics: All potential and current artists and crafters and to facilitate the teachers of art.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 25000

Geographic areas served: Ephrata, PA and we facilitate people within a 100 plus mile radius. We affect people globally through our social media sites and website.

Programs: Art of Recycle is a community arts resource center for families, educators and the public. We offer a free crafting area, free teachers supplies, low-cost art materials to the public and assist children and special needs individuals with social skills education. At Art of Recycle we provide a free crafting area during our hours of operation, which is open and available to everyone of every age as long as they are capable of crafting at any skill level. Our crafting area is stocked full of all sorts of free crafting supplies that are donated to us by the community around us. We also provide the use of tools and equipment (such as sewing machines, hot glue guns, stamps, cutters and scissors, heat guns, and much more) that many people may not otherwise be able to afford, and we instruct people on how to use those tools if they need instruction. We are community supported. We have developed a thrifty craft store that is stocked with new and used items donated by the public. Revenue from the craft store helps to pay our rent, utilities, insurance and other overhead costs. The thrifty craft store is full of donated, new and slightly used, craft supplies that are sold at affordable prices making crafting an affordable hobby to anyone and everyone. Art is a necessity.

Community Stories

76 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working with this organization for almost a year. My students with special needs have been volunteering and learning many important work skills and experiences. They are truly support our local community and give back so much! Our students create crafts that are sold at the IU13 Winter and Spring Bazaar. Art of Recycle has given students their supplies for free and has helped to promote their mini business. Monies raised by the students go back to the students to provide them with opportunities many of them may never get to experience otherwise.Art of Recycle has also done workshops with our students. They continues to share their gifts and creativity each day. They do ALL of this and do not take a paycheck.God has blessed both Chelas and Nobody with an amazing gift. I personally am very grateful to have them as a part of the Ephrata community!

1 Julia V.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

a fantastic place run by fantastic people. Every city should have 2 people as caring as Mr. Nobody and Chelas and also have a place as great as Art of Recycle.

2 Patricia78

Client Served

Rating: 5

From Chelas' body painting, to Nobody's puppet theater, these folks are so professional! Kids of all ages are grinning ear to ear when they visit Art of Recycle - there's a new fun thing in every corner.

Art, art, art! shrieks, survives and flourishes at Art of Recycle.

I have watched it evolve over the years and it just keeps getting better - - way to go, y'all!

1 Quetzalcoatl J.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Awesome place keep up the good work art is always important for society :0)

1 MrNobodySpecial

Board Member

Rating: 5

Art of Recycle is such a magical wonderland! We wanted to create a place that art could thrive, and does it ever! It makes my heart dance with joy to see the craft castle full of kids (and moms, dads, grandparents, etc.) all crafting away. I feel like I am at the beginning of a great adventure and I am so blessed to be a part of it.

I love being able to be a part (the narrator puppet) of the finger puppet theater. I get to see the creativity and silliness of kids creating stories and being able to help guide them in positive storylines where trouble is more often because of misunderstandings rather than evil intentions.

I am glad to see that the local community loves and needs and enjoys the center as much as I do. I get up every day excited to go volunteer, there isn't a happier place for me to be. I could go on and on but if you really want to experience and understand it you just have to get to Ephrata and come see it. It will change you too!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

They are just so awesome! They do so much good for the world

1 Andrea72

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Art of Recycle's staff are fantastically creative and fun!

1 Adriana7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Art of Recycle brings a unique arts influence to Ephrata that has been missing since at least I was in school. Now an art student at a local university, I am thrilled to see the art supplies as well as odds & ends AOR carries that can be used for my projects or for fun.

Art of Recycle is engaged in the community as well. I run into them at almost every local event, as well as in Lancaster city as well! They are passionate about bringing an arts culture to the local community--young & old alike!

Plus, Josh & Chelas are a lovely duo & always make me smile!

1 Joey5

Client Served

Rating: 5

How much do I love The Art of Recycle?.....let me count the ways
Makes me feel welcome and at home
Gives me that child's feeling of finding a treasure
Is filled with fun stuff to look at, touch and use
All ideas are ok
There is no wrong way to do things
Freedom to create
No question is too silly
I know this place will change the lives of all who enter
It is a safe place
It is a nurturing place
I can get the things I need without spending much
All children are accepted and can express themselves creatively
Children will learn things they never knew about themselves
I have a place to take my stuff and know someone will benefit
My thoughts about our earth and recycling are changing
I now have a box to collect things I come across to take there next time
The building looks so beautiful enhancing the community with murals
colorful flowers in clever containers built with discarded materials
The encouragement that I can do it too
You are never too old....this place welcomes the child...even if you are 66

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I just happen to use the public parking lot in while in Ephrata and was pleasantly surprised to find Art of Recycle. I was first attracted by the Craft Castle bunting outside and then further intrigued by the upcycled furniture at the back door. Upon entering, I was overwhelmed with a recycler's paradise of collected, usable materials. Though I was not currently on the hunt for wooden frames, furniture posts or hundreds of other small parts, I was able to find some fabric that I "needed" and was able to purchase for a very low price.

It is satisfying to observe that children have a place to go that embraces their natural curiosity to wonder and therefore discover through the use of their hands, imagination, and found materials. As an educator, I see a decline in self-made exploration in a world of technology and immediate stimulation. Knowing that children can discover a process to satisfaction by seeing a process of creativity keeps me in hopes of well rounded future adults.

Thank you, Art of Recycle for being part of a better world through upcycling.

1 Kate H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I took my 3 girlies in to check it out and wound up staying for 4 hours! I think I was the one who complained about time to go the most! We LOVED being "allowed" to think outside the box and just enjoy being creative!!! The puppet theater was a huge hit with the kiddos, and I believe before the summers over we will have a whole army of finger puppets! (So far we've off to a good start!) I am in love with the tree on the puppet stage and dream of having one just like it in our basement! We of course could not leave with out picking up a few extra supplies before heading home! If ever my tree house dream becomes a reality, I know just the place to pick up supplies!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I can think of no better place to go and imagine what is possible, and then realize the dream than the Art of Recycle. I recently had a prop to make for a performance and took the basic parts there to assemble and paint because I don't have room in my apartment. The owners were really helpful and generous, and while I was there I was inspired by some LED lights that I ended up buying and adding to the prop. I took an upholstery workshop and learned how to re-cover a footstool that belonged to my great-grandmother. I never would have considered trying to fix it on my own, so the offer of the workshop was just what I needed, and I learned so much. We've stopped in and played in the craft castle to make finger puppets and use the puppet theatre, or just to browse and get inspired. The owners are always friendly, helpful, and are always up to something incredible - making a dragon, creating a giant kaleidoscope, or painting a series of tiny doors that will be for fairy houses. This is a safe, happy, and inspiring space for the dreamer and creator in all of us.

1 Alyssabean

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm so glad to have stumbled upon the magical place that is Art of Recycle! They've got a great, big selection of the most random trinkets and crafting materials that are extremely affordable for even the most starving artist. Just walking around the store was giving me ideas for future projects- and the fact that you can use the space to actually work is FANTASTIC. Art of Recycle made me feel hopeful for our small town creative community, and I can't wait to go back.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Art of recycle is an amazing place for adults as well as children. You can find odds and ends craft supplies that you can't find anywhere else. The craft castle is an amazing place for everyone. My daughter, niece and nephews love going there. They are always asking if it's open so they can go. The craft castle has so many craft supplies that the opportunities are endless. The kids always come home with something different. It is a place where their imagination can run wild. The staff are always so helpful with creating ideas and helping get the project started. They offer classes for different projects and we are looking forward to attending some of them.

1 Jennifer230

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband and I had a wonderful time painting during an evening of guided meditation-inspired painting. The cost was a donation and we brought our own small canvasses. Our fellow participants and all of the Art of Recycle folks were encouraging and friendly.

1 Susan216

Client Served

Rating: 5

I decided to check out the Mosaic workshop at Art of Recycle, the donation was $10.00, which was way affordable. When I got there, I was greeted with a warm welcome from Mr. Nobody Special. Chelas who is the group organizer was very knowledgeable regarding this craft and gave easy to understand instructions. And all of the supplies were provided. I was nervous and have been in the creative closet a long time. "I asked Chelas if I was doing the project Right and she said "There is no wrong way to do art" . After that comment I felt like "Yeah" and I got busy, an idea popped into my head and I ran with it. Not only did I learn a new craft, but i took home the most amazing mosaic art. And they found a frame and cut it and attached it to my masterpiece. They went out of their way to make my experience not just an experience. My expectations were over exceeded. I can't wait to go back to learn other art forms.

The space is user friendly not only for adults but for kids too! I felt right at home.

Thank You Art of Recycle for providing a Art Freeing time for me. Since I have attended this class, I have begun to do mosaics on my own, which i would never have attempted without the support of this Non Profit.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

LOVE Art of Recycle! Great atmosphere with a feeling of home, but with more STUFF! At home I have garbage can, recycling bin, and a bag for Art of Recycle - because there are some things that SOMEONE can use for a craft, even if its not me.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Art of Recycle is an amazing place to visit! They make you feel like you are part of the family. It's a great place to take your kids when they are feeling antsy and its too hot to hit the park.

Thank you for having such an amazing place to bring the kids!

1 Carrie50

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Art of Recycle is "The Coolest" idea EVER!!! There are so many fun things to poke through!! It is a fantastic place to get your creative ideas in overdrive!! The areas for kids to play and create is just so great!! The owners are friendly and fun and very helpful!! If you have never been there...GO NOW!!! HURRY UP!!! :) YOU WILL LOVE IT!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Art of Recycle is a great idea to turn today's lost treasures into tomorrow's aesthetic and creative dreams! The staff is super friendly and the set up is full of energy and innovation! I've never seen a place so festive and so unique. Affordable prices and integrative workshops are the first of things you may find, but with time, friendship is inevitable -- Not only with the staff, but with your guests as well! I made a wish, progressed toward finger puppets and then even had a short, fun, and improvised theater production. Wish I lived closer -- I miss this place!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This place is amazing...no, it's whatever is beyond amazing. I thought it was geared toward kids, but any person who enjoys being creative can find a way to express their creativity through this shop. To visit this shop is truly a unique experience. You can purchase a huge variety of craft supplies, you can create your projects on the spot, you can learn a new craft, and you can let your children's imaginations run wild as they create their own unique pieces of art and put on the cutest puppet shows. Mr. Special and Chelas really help to inspire visitors to tap into their own creativity and find ways of expressing themselves. I would highly recommend anyone who has a creative spirit to stop into Art of Recycle.