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Theatrical Treasure Up for Grabs as Art Space Unloads Used Props

By Serena Solomon | March 29, 2013 7:27am

EAST VILLAGE — A theater's used props could become an artist's masterpiece.

Fourth Arts Block is collecting donations for its Load Out! event on April 6, where theaters discard unusual costumes, props and even e-waste so artists and actors can repurpose the cast-offs for their own work.

Members of the public are also invited to drop off their junk or peruse the collection for treasure at the swap meet in a vacant lot at 19 E. Third St. between Bowery and Second Avenue.

"We started the event to provide theaters with a way of getting rid of their stuff in an environmentally friendly way and allow artists and the community to come get it for free," said Hannah Krafcik, Fourth Arts Block's marketing and developing associate.

Fourth Arts Blocks, a membership organization founded in 2001, supports cultural and community groups, many of which are theaters. It started Load OUT! in 2010 and the event occurs twice a year, in spring and fall.

"We have a number of members who produce plays and performances, and we noticed that all of these theaters were loading out all their materials after their season — getting rid of old sets, costumes and putting them in Dumpsters," said Krafcik.

The junk can easily be repurposed for another theater's play, other creative pursuits or even for someone's home decor, she said.

Load OUT! is free for artists. Non-artists are charged a $5 entry fee. There is no charge to take away all the junk you can carry.

Theaters have dropped off unusual finds at previous Load Out! events, so those attending the upcoming Load OUT! should be prepared to find anything, Krafcik said.

"Last year we had everything from a T-shirt gun to Wonder Woman cake tins to tables, chairs, costumes, tons of fabric," she said.

Community residents or organizations that aren't members of Fourth Arts Blocks can also use the event to discard junk including furniture, clothing, computers and other e-waste. Anything left over from the event will be donated to various charities, according to Krafcik.

"At the end of the day a very, very minimal amounts go into landfill instead of all of it," she said.

Load OUT! is from 12 p.m. until 3 p.m. Fourth Arts Block will be using a truck to pick up big items such as furniture. To request furniture be picked up for the Load OUT! event email HannahG@fabnyc.org