SCRAP is the nation’s oldest creative reuse center, and has been diverting waste from landfills for use as art supplies. Founded in 1976, SCRAP was created to provide art supplies to art teachers in the San Francisco Public School system. Since then, hundreds of creative reuse centers around the world have modeled their activities on SCRAP.
In the 1970s, the Neighborhood Arts Program of the San Francisco Arts Commission received a grant from the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act to place professional artists inside schools. Our 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 the classroom.
Meanwhile, businesses in the area were discarding items that are perfectly usable for artwork such as paper with the wrong logo on it, fabric samples from interior designers, industrial discards, and other materials. Anne Marie realized there was an opportunity to solve both problems with one solution and formed SCRAP.
Four decades later, SCRAP diverts more than 250 tons of reusable art supplies from the waste stream annually. These materials end up in the hands of tens of thousands of artists, educators, students, and nonprofits throughout San Francisco and the Bay Area. Our creative reuse programming has grown to include workshops, Teachers’ Give-Aways, field trips, art tables at community events, and creative reuse art exhibitions. All of our activities serve to educate, reuse materials, and inspire creativity.
SCRAP is grateful for major support from San Francisco’s Department of the Environment, San Francisco Unified School District, Altamont EAB, Vital Projects Fund, and many individual and business donors.