From funky thrift shops to retro furnishings, everything old is new again—and those aren’t the only ways to recycle and reuse. At The James, we’re passionate about taking a socially responsible approach that is liberated from excess and insensitivity: You’ll see this commitment to the environment throughout our hotels, from our eco-friendly pillows to our recycled paper products.

We’re also proud to support local nonprofits that embrace this same philosophy. That’s why we’re thrilled to introduce you to Materials for the Arts. This New York-based organization collects unneeded items from businesses and individuals and makes these donations available for free to its recipients.

Paying It Forward

Materials for the Arts was formed in 1978, when a young artist working in Central Park for the Department of Cultural Affairs heard the Children’s Zoo was looking for a refrigerator to house medicine for their animals. In the days before Craigslist and Freecycling, getting the word out for used supplies wasn’t easy, so she made a radio appeal for help. When her office was quickly inundated with donations, the concept of Materials for the Arts was born.

Today, the organization has grown to include a 35,000-square-foot warehouse, a fleet of vehicles, an online donations system, and robust education programs, making Materials for the Arts New York City’s premier donation center supporting the arts and education. Donors can provide a wide range of used goods and materials, such as art supplies, office chairs, computers, cameras, paper, fabric, and more. These donations are then distributed to the groups that need them, including New York public schools, government agencies, and organizations with ongoing art programs, like social service, health, and environmental programs.

Want to get involved? Visit Materials for the Arts for more information.