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The Resource Depot is a treasure trove for crafters, educators, artists and anyone who is trying to create! This non-profit organization takes the importance of recycling to a higher level, offering supplies, classes, workshops and volunteer opportunities. Membership to Resource Depot is open to anyone in the community. Of course, teachers continue to shop here, as well as artists, families, home school parents and other community groups. The Rickie Report shares an interview with Caren Hackmen and Jennifer O’Brien of the Resource Depot located in West Palm Beach, FL. We hope you will put this on your list of places to see – we know you will return often! Crafters and artists interested in the 3rd round of the Guerilla A.R.T. (All Reusable Trash) Challenge at the Kelsey Theatre (adjacent to The Brewhouse Gallery) in Lake Park on Saturday, June 4th from 5-8pm read the details here.
2510 Florida Avenue West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Talks With Jennifer O’Brien,
Oh, The Creations!
CH: What is Resource Depot and how was it started?
Resource Depot is a nonprofit creative reuse center that has been serving the Palm Beach County community for more than 16 years. In 1999, several influential partners and collaborators in the community joined together to form Resource Depot. Some of those organizations are still involved today; Children’s Services Council, Solid Waste Authority, United Way of Palm Beach County, the School District of PBC, Florida Power and Light and SunFest.
We started as an educational and environmental initiative to reduce the amount of waste that was going into the landfill by diverting materials being disposed of that were still reusable. These donated materials from businesses and individuals were collected by Resource Depot and distributed to the educational community, specifically to help stretch the budgets of nonprofit organizations and teachers.
Resource Depot has stayed with that mission. However, since moving to a new, larger location in 2013, in West Palm Beach, the organization has not only expanded its physical footprint, but also expanded our programs and services. Now that we are more centrally located in the county we do more than just provide materials. We provide DIY resources and ideas for projects, host field trips and workshops for students and families as well as show artwork of local “junk artists” in our gallery.
Many people don’t realize that membership to Resource Depot is open to anyone in the community. Of course, teachers continue to shop here, as well as artists, families, home school moms and other community groups.
CH: I attended an unusual event called “Signal House.” Can you describe it and tell me how that project was conceived?
The Signal House was a grant program made possible through the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County to serve as a way for us to activate a portion of unutilized outdoor space on our property as an interactive art installation. The grant provided funds for Resource Depot to secure Alex Branch, a visiting artist from Brooklyn, NY, who had created a similar installation in NY.
We were really attracted to the project because of its aesthetics and its collaborative nature. We had connected with Sarah Knouse, an art teacher at the Oxbridge Academy, who introduced us to Alex and her site-specific installations – and Signal House truly is a site-specific art installation. It is located in our outdoor “back yard”, which is adjacent to the railroad tracks. Rather than fight the noise, Alex chose to work with it. She created opportunities for visitors to have rhythm and music making experiences within the space. Signal House is just the first step in our plans to enhance the outdoor space to offer more opportunities for the community to gather for art workshops, music and even to view films on the building’s white wall.
This project is serving as a catalyst for us to create more and more space for events and unique programming. We have opportunities for the public “to see, to do and to make.”–whether someone wants to get materials here, learn something new or see what others are creating…there is something for everyone!
FPLCares FPL Volunteer Day at Resource Depot
CH: What are some of the upcoming events?
Tyler Whitesides, a “junk” musician and author of the Janitor Series, visited Signal House Event. Tyler is a percussionist in his group, Jammin’ Janitors, who create music by “playing” janitorial equipment such as spray bottles, trash cans, and buckets. We continue to plan other community events in the Signal House space until the installation commences on June 4.
In addition to Signal House, we are gearing up for another exciting summer of Junk Camp at Resource Depot for kids entering grades K-5. At this year’s 2016 Junk Camp, children will spend the day exploring the possibilities within all the discarded materials in the world around them, while learning new ways of transforming everyday objects into extraordinary works of art, developing their imaginations, problem solving skills, and love for the environment in a fun, hands-on manner unique to Resource Depot!
Field Trip To Resource Depot
We are currently accepting registrations for all three weeks open in the summer :
Guerilla A.R.T. (All Reusable Trash) Challenge
Also, we are currently recruiting crafters and artists for our 3rd round of the Guerilla A.R.T. (All Reusable Trash) Challenge at the Kelsey Theatre (adjacent to The Brewhouse Gallery) in Lake Park on Saturday, June 4th from 5-8pm. The Guerilla A.R.T. Challenge is an on-the-spot crafting challenge consisting of 4 teams who take on 3 quick challenges to compete for the title of “Extreme Guerilla A.R.Tist”.
In each round, contestants will channel their inner “MacGyvers”, out-crafting each other with Resource Depot’s repurposed materials and their own wits, creativity, skills, and secret weapons! Three celebrity judges will rate projects on artistic merit, technique, and utility, but bribing is *encouraged* — expect that to upend the scored results and lead to much hilarity.
Creativity Is Happening!
CH: How do you go about accepting contributions?
We love contributions and are always looking for teaching materials, arts & craft supplies, and other cool materials with lots of possibilities! We cannot accept anything that that is broken, unsafe or unclean. Donations can be dropped off anytime we are open (See Website for Hours www.resourcedepot.net). We also have a pick-up service for larger business donations.
Field Trip at the Create Space
CH: How would an individual or an organization go shopping at Resource Depot?
Anybody can come off the street and get a one day bin pass to fill up a recyclable tote bin for $5.00. If you become a member, you are given a larger tote bin to “shop” and you may have unlimited visits throughout the year, as well as placing items on a wish list. Some of our customers have placed items such as theater props, a sewing machine, projector, or large quantities of items. Our inventory of materials changes daily (even hourly) as donations come in, so visit often as you will discover new treasures each time your are here! Currently we have a great deal of fabric, file folders and binders. We also have matte board and frames, loads of plastic containers, poster board and other items that artists can use on a rather regular basis.
CH: What is the most important thing for people to know about Resource Depot?
We are a one-of-kind nonprofit in this community. We enjoy being a pay-it-forward kind of organization, where we are extending the life of objects that will not go into a landfill, extending peoples budgets, and opening their minds, while at the same time contributing to sustainability and environmental health of our local community. I am also available to speak to groups and organizations!
Please come and check us out – there is something for everyone.
Hours of operation:
Tuesday-Thursday: 11 am to 5 pm
Saturday 1 pm to 5 pm.
Check website for summer hours
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 11am-5pm, Saturday, 9am-1pm
Donation Hours: Monday -Friday 9 am-4 pm
2510 Florida Avenue
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Across from Publix
One block west of Old Dixie
Travelling from I-95, exit at Belvedere, and head east 7/10 of a mile to Florida Avenue. Turn left on Florida, which is the street after Georgia. Asian Accents is visible on the corner.
For more information about Caren Hackman:
Caren Hackman is a graphic designer and fine artist living in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. and author of a book about Graphic Design and Good Business practice: http://www.carenhackman.com/book/.
Be sure to check out Caren’s wonderful artwork – Caren is a talented artist in her own right! She is a founding member of the Artists of Palm Beach County.
For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:
Rickie Leiter, Publisher
The Rickie Report
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420
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