"Trash is just a failure of imagination"

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CPS Vendor #19517

EIN #47-4679301

© 2017 Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange

News (Our Blog)

March 31, 2020

If you have some, donate them..

Health care workers need real Filtration, Respiratory (N95, P95, R95), and surgical masks, so if you have some, please donate them.   Find out how at https://www.mask-match.com/


If you don't, make some! 

For the rest of us who aren't healthcare workers, homemade cloth face masks can help alleviate transmission of germs in general and remind us not to touch our face.   When everyone wears masks, those of us who may be infected with the virus but don't show symptoms (asymptomatic) can contain our droplets and lessen the risk of infecting others. If everyone did that, we could make a big difference in transmission.  And when healthcare workers need to protect their medical masks, a cloth mask can help extend its use.

Anyone with basic sewing skills, some 100% cotton cloth (sheets, t-shirts, etc.), and a sewing machine (or time for hand-sewing) can make a face mask.  Make masks for your own use, or donate to others.  #me...

​​This week I was to start a 6 week Arts Integration session with two CPS Kindergarten classes, being in the classroom to support their unit on Materials and Motion.  Alas, you all know why, I won’t be heading into the classroom - and I’m really going miss it!!!

So, I thought I would share a series of posts demonstrating a little of what we have done in previous years - and include some fun “how-to” methods for at home learning.

The teachers cover most of the Materials part of the unit, leading students in investigations of wood and paper.  I had the joy of exploring the Motion part of the unit - emphasizing concepts of push, pull, gravity and energy.

I begin by talking about repetition in art and show many examples using circles and mark making. I share my doodle sketchbook which is full of repeating lines and shapes - try this at home by making daily doodles - any paper/pen/pencil will do - just repeat the marks to fill the page. Later you can turn it into a bound book - that will...

March 3, 2020

The Pop!! Art Kit Art Show opened with a bang : ) on February 20 at the Chicago Teachers Union Center.   The exhibition features work by 18 Chicago students working with the theme:  Bold statements using images drawn from everyday reality that expand our definition of life and of art.  

The exhibit is open to the public in the lobby of the Chicago Teachers Union Center, 1901 W. Carroll, through April 11.

Participating artists include:

Terell Baker,

Jessenia Davila,

Ranisha Little,

Juan de Dios Rodriguez, and

Esperanza Martinez-Zellars

Students of Nancy Salas-Herrara from Peace and Education Coalition, Second Chance Campus

Ashlee Zepeda,

Chris Lagunes,

Alex Rueda, and

Jenn Guerrero

students of Kelly McGowan from Latino Youth High School

Nadya Flores Garcia,

Kimberly Rosas, and

Zelda Ramirez

students of Mary Kate Witry from George Washington Elementary School

Brianna Thomas,

Tiffany Mei,

Emeline Ramirez,

Azalea Rivera-Reynolds and

Victoria Christine Parker

students of Didi Grimm f...

One year ago today, CCRx was deep into planning our 4th Swap Circle for Teachers scheduled to take place January 25-26, 2019.  This signature pop-up event was taking place on Chicago’s southwest side, in a warehouse space loaned to CCRx by our wonderful partner Envision Unlimited.  Today - that warehouse space is CCRx’s NEW PERMANENT HOME!!  So much growth in one year - we are bursting with pride and excitement.  Here’s a bit of a recap:

  • January 2019 Swap Circle – attendance was fantastic - donations from over 100 donors, including book sets from Scholastic, were arranged and over 390 teachers in 2 days were able to load up carts of all sorts of supplies and materials.  And creative reuse demos were offered by Envision Unlimited clients and The WasteShed.

  • Creative Reuse Workshops – a range of skill sharing held during the year at various locations throughout the city including Bookbinding, Beehive Making, Beekeeping, Hand Sewing and more!

CCRx also participated in the Chic...

January 6, 2020

CCRx welcomed 186 Chicago teachers and numerous other visitors to our new warehouse space on Saturday November 2 for an Open House.  

Teachers were happy to stock up on class sets of new Scholastic books, science kits, lots of curriculum materials, basics like pens, pencils, paper, office and other supplies, plus special finds like large picture frames, projectors, sewing machines, costumes, "multiples" and much more.  We distributed about 1/3 of our inventory, which means that the remaining 2/3rds are easier to find!

Please spread the word to colleagues -- we are open for all Chicago teachers and non-profits.

Hours of Operation are

Wednesdays 12 - 6pm

Fridays and Saturdays 11 - 3pm.

CCRx Warehouse at Envision Unlimited

2124 W. 82nd Place

Chicago IL  60620

Free Parking.

Volunteers get dibs!

January 6, 2020

You've read our emails seeking volunteers to help us set up our new warehouse space at the Envision Unlimited Frick Center.   Now see them in action!    We'd been "setting up Frick" for many weeks in preparation for our recent Open House.   Setting up a warehouse is a different animal than doing a Swap Circle pop-up event, we learned...  To start with, we needed heavy-duty display and storage furniture that can last...

Here are Carmen, Erik and her team from the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation.  They built all the library shelves we got from Maine South High School.   We also received shelves from Palmer Printing, ACE Restaurant Supply, Deutsch, Levy, Engel Chartered law offices, Oakton Community College, and Envision Unlimited.  And help from the Chicago Leather Archives, Volunteering Untapped, Chicago Green Theater Alliance, and several other groups. Thanks to you all for your generosity!

Being "creative," of...

June 18, 2019

Schools across Chicagoland are gathering their surplus supplies and equipment for Chicago teachers as part of CCRx's first end-of-school year donation drive, School's Out Green Out! 

Our SOGO! Pioneers were Saint Andrew School and Washington Elementary in Chicago, Hubbard Woods School in Winnetka, and Whittier Elementary in Oak Park.  They brought carloads of books, posters, teacher resources, art and office supplies!    We are excited to fill in our new warehouse space at the Envision Unlimited Frick Center with these treasures that Chicago teachers will be able to use in their classrooms.   And to keep all this out of the landfill, where it often ends up.

It is not too late to join in.   SOGO! starts in June and runs all summer long.   Get your school involved -- Learn more at www.creativechirx.org/green-out

June 18, 2019

Who doesn't love a blank book -- it holds so much potential.   For diagrams or a diary, for poems and sketches, recipes and todo lists, mementos and manifestos! 

Imagine a blank book that is handmade, from all sorts of paper and bound in interesting ways with twigs, cord or snaps?  Even better.

Regin Igloria knows that making books is a hands-on way to help connect a community or family.   That's why he started North Branch Projects many years ago to encourage "community binding."  CCRx was pleased to invite him to share his skill at creative reuse binding at workshops in LIttle Village Branch Library and the Blackstone Library in Hyde Park.  

Books are small, intimate and tactile. Regin encourages people to use the things that are already in their house when making these books because it helps to reduce trash and also makes them more unique and personal. 

Regin is an multidisciplinary studio artist who can ma...

April 1, 2019

Days are longer, sun is out, seeds are sprouting... Spring cleaning time!

Don't just toss stuff out, though.   Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

City of Chicago Blue Cart recycling will take your 

> Cardboard    > Paper    > Metal Cans + Foil    > Glass Bottles + Jars   

> Plastic Containers    > Milk/Juice Cartons.   

But - no plastic bags, no food waste, no e-waste.

Learn more at www.recyclebycity.com/chicago

Recycle your plastic bags + wraps at at Target, Jewel-Osco, Lowe's and Mariano's

Any kind of plastic 

> grocery bag   > produce bag   > bread bags   > bubble-wrap

> plastic bottles + caps 

> plastic wrap    > ziploc bags 

> dry-cleaning bags  

> newspaper bags  > ice bags   > salt bags   > cereal bags   

> plastic overwrap from cases.

No Styrofoam (polystyrene) or Saran Wrap (cling wrap).

"Remember that harder plasti...

March 4, 2019

Bees are nature's best "creative re-users" -- they take pollen and nectar and make honey, wax, propolis and more.  We humans can learn a lot from them, which is is why CCRx invited Art Helbig -- a long-time Chicago Public School art teacher and 5 year beekeeper, to share the ins and outs of beekeeping for teachers who are interested in starting their own hives at their schools.

The world’s bee and pollinator populations are rapidly decreasing and several species of bees have been added to the endangered species list. Keeping and maintaining bee hives at your school or in your backyard is one way that we can help improve gardens, food supply and our communities. Bees also provide us with products -- honey and wax that can be utilized in a multitude of ways.

Several Chicago Public School teachers, a librarian and a CPS administrator attended this first session -- all fascinated by bees.   Art explained how bees and beekeeping can inform many aspects of education from scien...

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March 31, 2020

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