News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Contact: Bliss Green-Morehead,, (704) 900-9786


Over 4,000 cultural organizations, public schools, and City agencies now have access to MFTA supplies.

MFTA Reopening Image

Photos of Materials for the Arts’ reopening are available here.

New York, NY – Materials for the Arts (MFTA), a program of the Department of Cultural Affairs and NYC's premier reuse facility for supporting arts and cultural programming, has officially reopened its doors for indoor shopping for this first time since closing to the public at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following an official ribbon cutting ceremony led by Cultural Affairs Commissioner Gonzalo Casals, members of MFTA’s arts community may “shop” once again and pick up free materials from the MFTA warehouse. Following this unprecedented 20 month closure, the reopening restores full access to this essential source of free supplies that fuels creative and educational programming across the five boroughs.

“Materials for the Arts is a true demonstration of the generosity of New Yorkers – both that of the individuals and companies who donate items to the warehouse, but also that of the people at the 4,000 cultural organizations and schools who then use their talent to turn those resources into art,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. “Everyone deserves the opportunity to share their story. To our city’s dreamers, artists, and educators, the City looks forward to celebrating the mosaic of narratives you create, all of which make New York City the greatest city in the world.”

“New York City thrives on culture and its ability to reconnect, inspire, and nourish communities,” said NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Gonzalo Casals. "Materials for the Arts plays a crucial role in supporting a fair, equitable, and creative comeback for our city, and reopening the warehouse provides cultural organizations with an awe-inspiring array of supplies, free of charge, for dynamic arts programming across the five boroughs.”

“Words cannot describe how thrilled we are to welcome our 4,000-plus member organizations to shop again in the MFTA warehouse,” said Materials for the Arts Executive Director Tara Sansone. “Materials for the Arts is a fundamental resource for cultural nonprofits, social service organizations, and schools, and we are overjoyed to continue supporting their work.”

With a 35,000 square-foot warehouse full of bolts of fabric, stacks of paper, rows of electronics, aisles of sewing materials, bins of mannequins, and shelves overflowing with props and knick-knacks of all kinds, MFTA has been serving the community for over forty years.

During the pandemic, MFTA was forced to close its doors but continued providing much-needed supplies and services to its members:

  • The MFTA's Curbside Pickup program allowed arts and cultural organizations, social service groups, schools, and City agencies to continue to receive donated materials in a safe, socially distanced environment.
  • MFTA also launched MFTA’s Online Education Center, giving educators access to its unique and popular education courses in a virtual environment so they could continue to engage their students in creative reuse projects throughout the pandemic.
  • The first-ever MFTA Citywide Tours brought a freight truck full of free supplies to stops across the five boroughs, expanding access to those who may have a harder time coming to MFTA’s facility in Queens.
  • During the fall, MFTA also invited City Artist Corps members participating in the program announced by Mayor de Blasio to jumpstart NYC’s arts and cultural recovery to receive materials for their programming.

“I am so excited the MFTA is reopening its warehouse doors and continuing to expand arts access to our children, educators and the greater New York City community. The arts are a critical part of our schools’ recovery from the impacts of the pandemic, and we are grateful for the MFTA’s steadfast partnership in creating opportunities for our students to explore their passions and chase their dreams,” said New York City Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter.

”Materials for the Arts is such an important program that supports New York City schools and cultural organizations with the supplies they need to thrive, and its reopening is integral to ensuring an equitable COVID recovery for our entire city. I am thrilled the Materials for the Arts warehouse will be opening once again – just in time for the holidays – and look forward to the creativity their continued presence will inspire,” said New York City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.

Now, MFTA has fully reopened its iconic warehouse, requiring shoppers to show proof of vaccination in compliance with the Key to NYC guidelines. NYC nonprofits, arts organizations, and schools interested in visiting Materials for the Arts to receive supplies must schedule an appointment on MFTA’s website.

Media interested in visiting the Materials for the Arts for its reopening may review the following schedule for dates and times. Those interested in attending specific stops must email for the numerical address and details.

MFTA Citywide Tour Schedule



Tuesday, November 16, 2021

10:00 AM - 2:30 PM

Thursday, November 18, 2021

1:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

10:00 AM - 2:30 PM

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

10:00 AM - 2:30 PM

Thursday, December 2, 2021

1:30 PM - 5:30 PM

About Materials for the Arts (MFTA)

A program of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, with support from the Department of Education and Friends of Materials for the Arts, MFTA is NYC’s largest reuse center supporting nonprofits with arts programming, public schools, and city agencies. On average MFTA collects over 1.5 million pounds of supplies each year which it provides, free of charge, to its member organizations. In addition to providing materials, MFTA has an Artist-in Residence program and holds public events which include gallery openings and community workshops. Learn more at

About the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) is dedicated to supporting and strengthening New York City’s vibrant cultural life. DCLA works to promote and advocate for quality arts programming and to articulate the contribution made by the cultural community to the City’s vitality. The Department represents and serves nonprofit cultural organizations involved in the visual, literary, and performing arts; public-oriented science and humanities institutions including zoos, botanical gardens, and historic and preservation societies; and creative artists at all skill levels who live and work within the City’s five boroughs. DCLA also provides donated materials for arts programs offered by the public schools and cultural and social service groups, and commissions permanent works of public art at City-funded construction projects throughout the five boroughs. Visit for more information.