As an arts organization, Agora Gallery is always concerned about the state of arts education around the world. We want to do our part to make sure that schools and the students who attend them have the materials they need to learn and create and produce the next generation of artists. That’s why we donate to NYC’s Materials for the Arts.

MFTA occupies 35,000 square feet on the third floor on the third floor of a warehouse in Long Island City.

MFTA occupies 35,000 square feet on the third floor on the third floor of a warehouse in Long Island City.

Materials for the Arts is run through the New York City government’s Department of Cultural Affairs and is the city’s leading nonprofit to redistribute art supplies throughout the city. They help keep over a million pounds of materials out of the waste stream and reduce the city’s carbon emissions. They also help keep the arts alive in schools with struggling budgets throughout the city.

After so many exhibitions over the years, galleries like Agora can often wind up with a considerable collection of materials, like stretcher bars and frames. Rather than letting them collect dust in our storage for one minute longer, we contacted MFTA to see if they had any need for them. We were glad to find that these frames and stretchers are one of the organization’s most needed materials.

What happened next can basically be classified as a raid: we rummaged through the gallery, checking every nook and cranny for unclaimed stretcher bars and unused art supplies. (Don’t worry – all of materials have been left behind with our artists’ consent!)

We then gathered everything into our offices and appreciated our loot: a nice collection of items that could certainly support a full painting class or two.

Agora Gallery's materials being donated to the MFTA

Agora Gallery’s materials being donated to the MFTA

MFTA has a number of different options for getting materials from donors like us to where they need to go. They have drop off, pickup, shipping, or even direct donation options. What worked for us is to send one of our own delivery people to the MFTA warehouse out in Long Island City.

Upon arrival, everything was evaluated by the donations team and deemed in good condition for donation. Now these materials are spending some time in the MFTA warehouse, but before long they will be making their way to the schools and studios that need them.

It was a wonderful experience donating and we hope we can impact the NYC art community more in the future.

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If you are interested in learning more about the MFTA and what you can do to help, check out their website:

You can join the cause by donating or volunteering your time to their cause.

Volunteer Nights: Every Wednesday (except Holidays) from 6 – 8 pm, help the MFTA sort and display a variety of donated materials in their warehouse.



Third Thursdays: On the Third Thursday of every month at Materials for the Arts, guests are invited to a free reuse art-making workshop, exploring unusual supplies found in our warehouse.

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