Cultural Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts in New York State’s Southern Tier
I have dreams, dreams to remember.
One of these is a Materials for the Arts in the Corning Elmira area.
Think Salvation Army or Goodwill for the arts. This is a place where businesses and individuals donate their excess or unwanted tools and materials and these tools and materials are made available to artists.
I envisioned it on Tioga Avenue, facing the river, romantically close to the railroad tracks, perhaps on the slab of concrete where the plant used to be. Or maybe at the end of town, near Dennisonn Park, also close to the railroad tracks and river.
This brilliant idea has been realized in several cities.
“Materials for the Arts, NYC helps artists realize their visions, provides students with a richer educational experience, and furnishes businesses with a simple and efficient way to enhance the cultural life of their city while promoting environmental awareness and reuse.”
They collect surplus home, office equipment and furniture, materials, fabric, paint, paper and other industrial cast-offs and make them available to Not for profit arts and cultural groups, art teacherand Social service, health, and environmental organizations with an ongoing art program. Warehouse shopping hours are Tuesday and Thursday.
Think of all the great internships and good green jobs this would generate! There would be collectors of goods, transporters of goods, catalogers, and curators. There would a need for IT people to document the inventory, site managers to present and shelve materials, website designers and managers.
There could be workshops on welding, soldering, hammering, shaping, painting. The place could have a studio and have youth and elderly artists in residence.
I think every city should have one of these. I was convinced of the opportunities in recycling when I began to make paper. There was so much high quality waste going to the heap. Every corporate re-organization meant new stationery, and the old goo stationery—high quality paper with cotton content became high quality pulp, notepads, and sketchpads.
I remember finding the most amazing pieces of metal at the metal dump in Beaver Dams— or such a magic kingdom that was. If I owned a pickup I would still be Swimming in all the possibilities tossed there.
It would be wonderful to aid the trash into treasure journey, create jobs and provide materials for the arts.