With my Art nonprofit background in mind, Arts & Scraps Detroit really connected with me. Arts & Scraps is a nonprofit that uses recycled materials to work with community members as well as to teach science, technology, and math through art innovation. The non-profit started as a place that was gathering materials that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill and making them available as a resource to teachers. Soon, their art materials became a resource for all community members, including entrepreneurs and artists. Because they were founded by a teacher, they began to teach classes and create unique education classes based on recycled materials for teaching STEM with art innovation. Arts & Scraps is such a unique place in the community that brings creativity, STEM, and entrepreneurship with people of all different backgrounds to one place.
I especially love the variety of impacts of sustainability and STEM & art education. They use the scrap mobile to bring their programs out to schools and be in the community. They take their scrap mobile with them and it’s full of recycled scraps. Students get to come and chop for themselves to get them to make choices of material they want to take home to build something.
Their measures of impact are very impressive. In 2021, they used 12 tons of recycled materials that would have gone to landfills otherwise, taught 5,679 children, and had over 27,000 volunteers. Using these metrics, Arts & Scraps has been financially viable through sales of art projects, corporate sponsorships, and foundation grants. Grants and institutions made up 46.5% of their income, product sales made up 16.8% of their income, and individual contributions made up 10.9%. Some of their largest partners include Ford, Sidewalk Detroit, and Green Living Science. Their model is widely used among large nonprofits, and with limited costs due to their recycled materials, they use the funds well.