Materials for the Arts brings annual shopping spree for New York City teachers curbside

Photo courtesy of MFTA

An annual tradition for teachers to stock up on free supplies for the school year is going curbside this year.

On Aug. 24 and 31, members of Materials for the Arts (MFTA) participate in the program’s first-ever Back to School Curbside Pickup, offering free supplies to visual arts teachers in partnership with the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Arts and Special Projects. Pick-ups will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the MFTA site, located at 33-00 Northern Boulevard in Long Island City.

“The arts bring us all joy and fulfillment and they’re essential to the wellbeing of students, which is why we’re committed to providing art educators with increased access to supplies during New York City’s recovery from the pandemic,” said NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Gonzalo Casals. “We encourage our public school arts teachers to join us for MFTA’s Back to School Curbside Pickup, which provides crucial support for arts programming needed to reconnect students, teachers, schools, and communities.”

For several years MFTA held its annual Back to School Shopping Spree in their warehouse for teachers to stock up on supplies free of charge. The program continued to serve teachers throughout the pandemic with curbside pick-ups, MFTA members to access much-needed free supplies in a safe, socially distanced environment.

This Back to School Curbside Pickup will provide visual arts teachers with free supplies, and encourage them to utilize MFTA’s Curbside Pickup program all year long. Art teachers can choose from a variety of donated materials to support their work with students in the classroom, including high-quality Winsor & Newton markers, and paintbrushes, canvases, charcoal, and other professional-grade supplies that were donated by Colart.

The program also allows teachers the opportunity to learn about MFTA’s Education Center, which offers professional development classes for teachers, lesson plans, creative reuse field trips, and in-school residencies. MFTA’s fall professional development classes are set to begin in early October, and teachers may earn P-Credits and CTLE hours for their participation. See more information about MFTA’s educational offerings here.

“I thank the DOE Office of Arts and Special Projects and Colart for partnering with us on MFTA’s Back to School initiative. We’re thrilled to introduce more teachers to Materials for the Arts and our resources,” said Materials for the Arts Managing Director Tara Sansone. “Now, more visual arts teachers across New York City will have necessary supplies for creating artwork, as students and teachers continue to reunite while our city recovers.”

Art teachers interested in receiving supplies through MFTA’s Back to School Curbside Pickup are required to make an appointment online at MFTA’s website, and teachers of all subject areas can schedule Curbside Pickup appointments to receive MFTA materials all year long.  Educators must be registered with MFTA through an NYC public school — if a teacher has not been added to their school’s MFTA account, they should contact their principal.