Who we are:

The Art Education Department at VCU and MCVP are working to open a thriving creative reuse center for Richmond called, STUFF REDUX. Every year literally tons of materials head to landfills – but many of these items are not trash. Often, these materials can be reused in projects ranging from kids crafts to home improvement. Creative reuse centers help to decrease the steady flow of materials to our landfills by collecting and redistributing items ready for upcycle to artists, teachers, assisted living homes, summer camps and community members. In addition to the clear environmental benefits, creative reuse organizations have demonstrated marked success in promoting creativity, environmental sustainability, community engagement, education, collaboration, and the arts. There are over 100 creative reuse centers across the US and Europe. Some have existed since the 1970s, but most have emerged in the last 20 years. Places like SCRAP in Portland, The Scrap Exchange in Durham, and Materials for the Arts in NYC are leaders in the reuse revolution. It is time for Richmond to join this powerful movement.

Our mission is to promote environmental sustainability, creativity, and community engagement in Richmond by collecting traditionally discarded materials from local businesses and redistributing them to community members for use in creative and educational projects.

Where we have been:

In 2008 Sarah Branigan and Diana Wagner, along with a dedicated group of teachers and community members in Richmond founded Stuff, Inc., an all volunteer organization that collected donated materials from local businesses and held birthday parties as well as community events featuring recycled art projects. They aspired to become a full fledged creative reuse center.  Although Stuff, Inc. garnered much popular support, they disbanded in 2010 unable to meet their funding goals during the tough economic climate. Still, the strength of their idea lingered in the minds of many Richmonders.

In January 2012, Dr. Ann Ritter of VCUHS, and donor to ART 180, began collecting the abundance of unused non-sterile operating room supplies she saw go to waste everyday. Seeking an efficient way to get these supplies into the hands of local artists and teachers, Dr. Ritter contacted Dr. Sara Wilson McKay, chair of VCU Art Education. Dr. Wilson McKay connected Dr. Ritter’s desire to STUFF’s unrealized initiative to develop a creative reuse center in Richmond. Together they funded Art Education graduate student, Rachael Cohen, to help organize and support an ambitious new project. With renewed passion and energy, the campaign to establish Richmond’s first Creative Reuse Center was reborn.

Where we are going:

Our vision is to be Richmond’s primary and best community resource for reusable supplies, art, and environmental education materials. We aim to become a home for Richmond’s creative movers and shakers, and a nexus for ideas and community supported projects that address environmental sustainability, education, collaboration, and the arts.  We are currently in the initial phase of our development and are working to secure a facility that will become our home base.  Part storage unit, part community center, this space will hold workshops, classes, community events, and a “store” where community members will come to browse and take home a variety of reusable materials donated by local business, manufacturing companies, and waste collection facilities. Our growth will move quickly in the coming months and we know that community recognition, support, and input are integral to the success of a creative reuse center. We are working to survey the creative reuse needs of Richmond as well as increase our community presence and volunteer base. Already flush with reusable supplies from MCVP, we have begun donating to the Children’s Museum, the Visual Arts Center, St. Catherine’s, ART 180, local artists, and area art teachers. Students at the Children’s Museum have been turning saline bottles into decorative flowers and CDs into sculptures. We have brought these project ideas and more to the larger Richmond community at events like sustainRVA and Fox’s Fall Festival.  We look forward to sharing these ideas and supplies with you!

Want to learn more or get involved?

Contact Rachael Cohen at stuffreduxrva@gmail.com

VCU Graphic Design Students in Laura Chessin's class used STUFF as inspiration for a series of projects they created to market our organization.  Here are some of the results:
Greetings! It's back to school time and STUFF's Program Director, Sarah Branigan, is gearing up to head back into the art classroom at two elementary schools after four years working in administration at the University Level.  What does this mean for STUFF?

Well, we are going to take a little breather and see what happens over the course of this transition time.  We are also crossing our fingers for a little bit better economy so that there is more support (i.e. funding) for new not for profit organizations!

Another co-founder, Diana Wagner, is living and working in Philadelphia at the Fabric Workshop.  She is continuing to pursue her love of creative reuse! You can email her at diana@richmondstuff.org.

Check back with us again soon and to those that have been involved with STUFF so far, we thank you so much and look forward to keeping Richmond excited about creative reuse!
Come hang out with us at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens Children's Garden this summer for Good Green Fun.

We will be making flowers and bugs from recycled materials from 10am- 2pm on June 26, 2010 and August 28, 2010.
Tuesday - Saturday 10:30 - 5:00 Sunday - Monday by appointment 
www.jfergesongallery.com 434.391.1066
311 N. Main St. Farmville, VA 23901
Thursday, February 25, 7- 8pm
Johnston Foster: One Man's Trash, Another Man's Treasure

Johnston Foster lives and works in Virginia, where he frequently can be found strolling highway medians, alleyways and garbage dumpsters for discarded objects and potential materials for his work. His signature style is to create large scale sculptures from the
detritus cast away for his reclaim that encapsulate themes of social unrest, impending chaos, and the dark side of human empirical tendencies.  He has shown widely in the United States and Europe, and his lecture will focus on his sculpture, installations and his process involved in their creation.

Here are some photos of the event:
Thursday, February 11, 7-9pm
Crafter Panel with Ono Mangano and Dawn Anderson with members of the Richmond Craft Mafia

Past and present members of the Richmond Craft Mafia will hold a panel discussion to examine creative reuse in
the independent craft community. The panel will highlight the green evolution of the indie craft movement as
well as give their personal experiences with using recycled materials in their own work.
2010 Creative Reuse Series

This Spring, VCU's Department of Art Education and STUFF present another series of artist talks and workshops, all focused on creative reuse.

Workshops are open to both VCU students and the community and are held at the Department of Art Education in the Franklin Terrace Building (812 W Franklin Street, Room 300).

For more information, email sarah@richmondstuff.org




This past weekend Richmond Stuff presented at the VAEA conference! We had an awesome time telling everyone about who we are and having them create artwork out of our recycled materials. here are some pictures from the event!

September Artist:


CardboardSafari is a collaboration between Chris Jessee and Luis Rodrigalvarez. Find them on Etsy here.   Their delightful works include cardboard deer, bison, and rhino trophies, wreaths, gift boxes, holiday trees and full-body animals. Based in Charlottesville, Virginia, CardboardSafari's products are earth friendly, can be recycled, and are just plain fun.

September Resources:

All on the Internet.
Want to learn more about how other people are greening up their lives? Check out Best Green Blogs
, a rather expansive directory of green and sustainable themed weblogs, organized by diverse categories. Writers from all over the world are publishing articles and stories dealing with a wide variety of topics dealing with environmental issues and green living; and Best Green Blogs is an attempt to capture some of that independent publishing spirit.

One blog featured on Best Green Blogs was Cheap Like Me, "
where ecology (living green) meets economy (frugal living). This blog explores how to redirect dollars and energy into living the good life you want. Let’s talk about how we do it, and how to do it better."

...And the big fish needs to recycle tooCreative Recycling Resources, based in the southeastern United States, strives to be a resource to dampen corporate America's eco-print. From Creative Recycling Resources's website:

The Information Age has created a virtual tidal wave of electronic devices – including computers and monitors that become obsolete or wear out at an ever-increasing rate. The demand for newer, superior technology has increased the pace at which current devices reach the end of their useful lives. As a result, the question of what to do with obsolete electronics has become a global issue. Disposal is not the answer. Computers and other electronics need to be properly handled by a responsible recycling company rather than being sent to a waste disposal company.


    About STUFF

    STUFF is a community organization in Richmond, Virginia.

    The mission of Stuff is to provide Richmond with a community space for creative reuse, education, environmental awareness, and fun stuff.

    vision of Stuff is to become the first community destination for art and reuse supplies and educational materials in Richmond.

    Stuff operates under the following core values:  

    Filling the education gap with Stuff; learning goes beyond the classroom.
    happens; spontaneity breeds creativity.
    It's more than just stuff; there is value in our trash.
    Taking responsibility for our stuff; we have an obligation to reuse.
    brings us together; community is rooted in cooperation.


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