OK, so you may never be invited to battle it out on “Family Feud.” But now’s your chance to take on other teams in an all-out craft-fueled melee. Here comes the first annual Rebel Craft Rumble, sponsored by Scrap RVA, a nonprofit that rescues and resells art supplies headed for landfills. It’s time to flex your hot glue gun skills.
“We wanted to put on an arts event that didn’t require dressing up,” says Scrap RVA director Molly Todd. “Here you can pop in, have a beer and get messy.”
Interested participants are encouraged to register with their teams at scraprva.org/programs/rcr/. Each team can have up to six members, and is allowed to bring one “secret weapon” (go on, polish that Swingline stapler). On Jan. 27, teams will contend for a cash prize, to be disbursed by a panel of judges. Bonus flair: if you register with co-workers as a business team, you’ll be assigned a local celebrity artist, too.
“We’re excited about the theme,” says Sara Wilson McKay, an advisory board member and chair of the art education department at Virginia Commonwealth University. “It’s going to be ‘extreme,’ like extreme sports.”
At the end of the event, which is billed as “the rowdiest smack-talking craft competition RVA has ever seen,” audience members can bid on completed artwork. The event intends to give Richmonders a hands-on feel for the eco-philosophy of Scrap RVA, which will benefit from proceeds. The nonprofit began in 2008 as Stuff, based on the idea that environmental sustainability can be creative, educational and community-focused. It has provided supplies and installations to local schools, festivals and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. To its honor, the group recently became part of the SCRAP USA network, which features reuse centers in cultural hotspots like Portland, Oregon and Baltimore, Maryland. Scrap RVA had been operating out of Plant Zero in Manchester, but in December it moved into new digs at 120 West Brookland Park Boulevard.
“We want to be a first stop for educators, artists, makers, anyone looking for craft supplies,” says Todd. “We’re gritty. People can sit on the floor and sort through bins of 50 year-old buttons.”
The store’s inventory comes in the form of donations from individuals, or from local companies like World Art Group. In situations like this, a little donation goes a long way to solving sustainability problems. Discarded crayons alone account for 45,000 to 75,000 pounds of annual landfill waste, according to the Crayon Initiative. Donations are a good way to get to know your neighbors, too. Intimate moments get shared through passing on a well-loved craft collection.
“Sometimes someone’s relative is moving out, and maybe they had a really active crafts room,” says Wilson McKay. “The family is so relieved someone will use these items for their intended purpose. The material can go somewhere and be valued.”
Still, Scrap RVA wants to shake up tradition. Their first annual craft battle will challenge the stereotype of the knitting circle, says Todd.
“We love a ‘stitch and bitch,’ but this is a rowdy, kinetic challenge involving all kinds of crafting,” she says with a laugh.
Rebel Craft Rumble happens from 1-4 p.m. on Jan. 27 at Hardywood, 2408 Ownby Lane. Group tickets start at $45, all proceeds go to SCRAP RVA, a nonprofit devoted to creative reuse and environmental sustainability. Register at: scraprva.org/programs/rcr/.