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Robert Abrams
Environment & Ecology
United States
New York
Long Island City, NY

Materials For The Arts (MFTA) Provides a Valuable Service to Dance Companies

by Robert Abrams
April 5, 2011
Long Island City, NY
A dance company needs dancers, choreography, music, shoes… and materials.

Materials For The Arts, founded in 1978 by the Department of Cultural Affairs, collects reusable items from donors and distributes them free of charge to 4000 non-profit arts organizations, public schools and other service organizations. Last year MFTA kept 710 tons of material out of the waste stream. That's $6.8 million worth of perfectly useable stuff that would have otherwise been thrown away. The donor gets a tax deduction and the recipients get things they need and can stretch their budgets farther. MFTA is all the more valuable because they will take and find uses for items that thrift shops won't take.

MFTA operates from a 35,000 square foot warehouse in Long Island City, NY. Many donations can be dropped off there. For large donations, MFTA will arrange to come to you to pick them up. "Shopping" by public school and non-profit organization staff takes place two days per week at MFTA's Long Island City warehouse.

I have used MFTA on several occasions and have been pleased with the service. The thank you letters from arts organizations indicate that the recipients are pleased too (and that they found a use for much of the stuff I donated, which makes the environmentalist in me happy).

If you want to support a dance company that is also part of an environmental solution, consider this impressive list of dance companies who have reused MFTA materials:

Dance 2000: Felice Lesser Dance Theater Foundation
Errol Grimes Dance Group
Top Hat Dancers, Inc.
American Dance Guild
American Tap Dance Foundation
Ballet Hispanico of New York
Bill T Jones / Foundation for Dance Promotion Inc.
Changing Times Tap Dancing Company
Cunningham Dance Foundation
Dance Notation Bureau
Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation
Dance Theatre of Harlem
Dancewave, Inc.
Elisa Monte Dance Company
Foundation for the Advance of Dance
H T Dance Company/Chen & Dancers
Jose Limon Dance Foundation
Labyrinth Dance Theatre
Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance
Morocco & Casbah Dance Experience
Movement Research
National Dance Institute
New Choreographers On Point
New Dance Alliance
Paul Taylor Dance Company
Peridance Ensemble. Ltd.
STREB Lab for Action Mechanics (S.L.A.M.)
Spoke the Hub Dancing
Stephen Petronio Dance Company
Trisha Brown Dance Company
Lar Lubovitch Dance Company
Pi Dance Theatre
Keystone Dance Foundation
Afro Brazil Arts
Wyoming Dance Theater Project
Djoniba Dance & Drum Center
One World Arts
Charles Moore Dance Theatre
Pascal Rioult Dance Theatre
Dance as Ever
Dance Collective
DOVA, Inc aka Doug Varone and Dancers
American Ballet Theatre
Polish American Folk Dance Company
Ballet For Young Audiences
Keep Rising To The Top
David Dorfman Dance
Aims of Modzawe
Battery Dance Company
Groove With Me
International Ballet Theatre of New York
Opus Dance Theater & Community Service
Batoto Yetu
Dancetracks NYC, Inc.
Troika Ranch
Cathy Weis Performance Projects
New York Dance and Arts Innovations
John Jasperse Company / The Thin man
Arthur Aviles Typical Theatre (Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance)
Guiraud - McDonald Cultural Exchange
Mark Morris Dance Group
Artichoke Dance Company
Alpha-Omega 1-7 Theatrical Dance Company, Inc.
Brighton Ballet Theatre School of Russian Ballet
Phyllis Rose Dance Company
Contemporary Ballet Theatre
Tap Fusion
New American Youth Ballet/Carousel Cities Youth Ballet
Mary Anthony Dance Theatre Foundation
Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn, Inc
Dance Forum
Education in Dance and the Related Arts
Maimouna Keita School of African Dance, Inc.
Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center
Isabel Gotzkowsky and Friends, Inc.
Dance Theater of Nepal Inc./World Music Institute
Ballet Deviare, Inc.
SYREN Modern Dance, Inc.
Anita Cheng Dance
Balinese American Dance Theatre
Ritka Magyar Hungarian Folk Ensemble
Complexions Contemporary Ballet
Ted Thomas Dance Foundation for the Public
Flamenco Latino, Inc.
Eidolon Ballet in Concert Inc.
Delirious Dances
Dance Entropy
Calpulli Mexican Dance Company
La Donna Dance, Inc.
Richmond Dance Ensemble, Inc.
Notes in Motion, Inc.
World Dance Theatre
Sens Production
Dakshina Palli Inc.
Cora, Incorporated
New York City Ballet
Jazzy Randolph Dancers, Inc.
K.S. J.A.M.M. Dance Troupe
Triskelion Arts
House of the Roses Volunteer Dance Company, Inc. (HOTR)
Diversity of Dance, Inc.
Salvatore LaRussa Dance Co, Inc.
Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance, Inc.
Racoco Productions Inc.
Malleable Dance Theater
Tina Croll Dance Foundation: Tina Croll + Company
Dances by Isadora
INSPIRIT, a dance company
Coriolis Dance Inc
Johannes Wieland's Dance Company - The Field
Project Dance Foundation
Thinkdance, Inc.
Rod Rodgers Dance Company, Inc.
ZGD, Inc. (d.b.a. ZviDance)
Flo-Bert, LTD
Keigwin + Company
Dancers Over 40
Uptown Dance Academy
The Neta Dance Company a/k/a The House of Dance, Inc.
Covenant Ballet Theatre of Brooklyn, Inc.
Les Ballets Grandiva LTD
Tami Stronach Dance
Monica Bill Barnes and Co.
Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre
Marymount Manhattan College - Dance Department
Dokoudovsky New York Conservatory of Dance
John J. Zullo Dance - The Field
VIA Dance Collaborative (VIA Collaborative Arts Corporation)
The Chase Brock Experience
Hip-Hop Theater Festival

To schedule a donation, call 718-729-2125.
To volunteer, contact Jim Ditto at 718-729-2047 or volunteer@mfta.nyc.gov.
To apply to be an MFTA recipient, visit www.mfta.org/become/a/member.
For more information, please visit www.mfta.org.
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