2019: Year in Review
As an eco/art collective we are reducing waste by increasing makers, and working on three fronts: generating material to make things from, finding new and creative ways to reuse material, and encouraging the community to play with us.
Clothing Drives and Swaps: these are a way to reach people who both may want to donate or have access to gently used clothing. Starting at the end of 2018, we began a year of clothing drives/swaps, leaning as we went, beginning with:
Hodgson /Davisville/WIP Bag2School drive & Swap Nov/Dec 2018
Many things happening at once in the end of 2018. We co-hosted our first swap with with eco clubs from two schools, while we were applying for grants, moving forward on faith that we would get one.
This drive generated a lot of beautiful material that we used throughout 2019, and was a very successful partnership, well supported by the Davisville and Hodgson communities.
This drive collected 2500 tonnes of textiles and reused/donated/up-cycled all of it, with the help of Bag2school.
Over the year we built on our connections to co-host a series of drives/swaps in different neighbourhoods and in different situations. During March break we partnered with a local church, Glebe Road United to host a swap on a Saturday, with up-cycling crafts and repairs. We had great volunteers and much more participation. For September, we connected with the Oakwood Village BIA (through Davisville PS), and agreed to host a swap as part of their new Urban Festival series. And as the cold weather approached, we were contacted by the settlement worker at Davisville to help with a clothing drive for a school in need. Beginning in November We partnered with 4 different institutions to co-host a #eternalswapmeet and Winter free shop in one school... beginning in Oakwood Vaughan with Davisville PS we had a clothing drive with two swaps, We began a new connection in Moss Park with Building Roots with a swap in their Moss Park Market- we hope to continue in 2020 with workshops in the same space. Finally came back to Hodgson eco club to wrap it up with a (second annual?) giant clothing drive/swap event bridging into 2020 that we hope will generate more up-cycling possibilities in the new year.
January until May 2019, We continued to apply for grants and re-apply for one that we do eventually get, an Artists in Community Planning grant from the Ontario Arts Council in May 2019. In the meantime we experiment with various ways to play with different communities and make things from different up-cycled materials. In February, we led a sewing workshop with graduating students from Davisville as a cozy things fundraiser (we split the proceeds.) In March we lead a March Break workshop at the daycare camp (80+ kids between 6-12, making parachutes from plastic bags.) We also co-host the swap at Glebe Road United, which includes up-cycling crafts: making T-shirt bags and weaving with T-shirt yarn, and at the end of the month we host a weaving workshop with Seniors at Meighen Retirement home. In April, we have our first booth at an event! We get a double table at the Bowmore Maker Fair, where we create a communal artwork and make inspirational notebooks with GOOS paper, various paper and upholstery fabric samples. We also connect with EvalovesGreen to get another bag or two of fabric samples. At Easter we partner with Appletree Market to eco up their Annual Easter Egg hunt with nests made to catch the plastic eggs. The nests are used as planters later in the Spring.
Summer 2019! We seek out new community connections via drop in workshops every few week at the Tuesday Farmer's Market as part of Renata's garden programming, attended by kids and adults, sometimes in conjunction the library reading program. We also did voluntary work as artists in the garden, making signs and nests, as well as providing programming. As well as connecting with individual eco/art minded people, we built relationships with more community groups: the Toronto Public Library (we have applied for a partnership with them), Appletree Farmer's Market, Renata's Garden in June Rowland's Park, Oakwood BIA, plus participating ad hoc with Protests and Festivals. Through the market manager we connected with the Moss Park Market across town and Building Roots, a food security community building group.
September-December 2019 we experiment with running up-cycling workshops in Mt. Pleasant area. We have no space of our own so we partner in a maker space experiment with Castle Makers to activate the basement of this new houseware/up-cycled furniture/consignment store on Mt. Pleasant, first by hosting a WIP booth outside the shop during the Fall Harvest Festival and then by offering low cost workshops in the basement space.
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art experiments turning waste into beauty