One local nonprofit organization has spent years getting environmental accountability and community education down to a fine art. And now it’s getting crafty with a new brick-and-mortar shop in North San Antonio aimed to help locals to go green.
Spare Parts was founded in 2010 by executive director and longtime arts educator Mary Elizabeth Cantú to provide a creative spark for area students and schools lacking arts funding and resources. Through a variety of educational programs, public art exhibitions, events, and the organization’s traveling Mini Art Museum, Spare Parts has enlightened thousands of students and San Antonians, all while fostering reuse practices and sustainability, a key tenet of the nonprofit.
Spare Parts’ latest endeavor is another artistic triumph. Its new center for creative reuse, located at 13451 Wetmore Rd., is nothing less than a crafter’s delight. The shop features an impressive array of “pre-loved” and price-reduced artsy merchandise — from paint supplies and paper crafts to sewing items, beading and jewelry, school and office supplies, vintage gadgets, and crafting kits — all of which has been rescued from area landfills.
Cantú notes that proceeds from the new Spare Parts’ shop will enable the organization to further increase creative and educational experiences for San Antonio students and families. But even more so, she hopes the shop will help locals embrace the concept that one person’s trash can be another’s artistic treasure.
“There really isn’t any more room in the world for this stuff. Buying pre-loved at places like Spare Parts or other stores is a way to reduce the amount of things [people] feel that they need,” Cantú said in a recent interview with the San Antonio Sentinel. “We’re challenging people to rethink things around them, buy pre-loved, and find a way to be creative in their lives.”
In the time of COVID-19, however, getting the creative juices flowing isn’t as simple as popping into the Spare Parts shop. Though the center for creative reuse is open, the store is currently offering only weekend curbside pickup of items ordered through its website. But crafters shouldn’t despair, as Spare Parts is offering private in-person shopping experiences in the new year, with the first planned for January 16 and 17.