In the 1970s, the Neighborhood Arts Program of the San Francisco Arts Commission received a grant to place professional artists in schools. Our co-founder, Anne Marie Theilen, was in charge of this program and oversaw a group of over 140 teaching artists. Unfortunately, there was no budget for materials, so the artists struggled to find supplies for their classroom.
Meanwhile, many local businesses were filling landfills with items that were perfectly usable for artwork, such as paper with the wrong logo on it, fabric samples from interior designers, industrial discards, product overruns and other materials. Anne Marie realized there was an opportunity to solve both problems with one solution and, with the famous San Francisco artist, Ruth Asawa, formed SCRAP in 1976.
SCRAP, the nation’s oldest creative reuse center now diverts around 250 tons of materials every year. Inspired by SCRAP’s model, hundreds of creative reuse centers around the world have been established to reduce what is discarded in every corner of the globe.
The reusable supplies we divert from the waste stream end up in the hands of tens of thousands of educators, students, artists, and nonprofits throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Our creative reuse programming includes workshops for teachers, students, and creative souls from every walk of life, Free Teachers’ Supplies Give-Aways, school field trips, art tables at community events, and exhibitions of art made from reclaimed materials. All of our activities educate, reuse materials, and inspire creativity.
Today, we focus on these four areas of impact:
SCRAP is grateful for major support from San Francisco Unified School District, San Francisco Department of the Environment, Altamont EAB, Vital Projects Fund, and hundreds of individual and business donors. If you would like to join them in supporting SCRAP, please click HERE to learn about the many ways you can help us continue and grow our programs.