Organization: TRASH MASH-UP
Executive Director: Bridget McCracken, managing director; and Jessica McCracken, artistic director
Number of staff: 2
Number of board members: Fiscally sponsored by CounterPulse
Mission: Trash Mash-Up is a collaborative community art project. TMU enriches our community by developing creative connections through workshops and performances. Using disposable materials, participants construct original pageant costumes inspired by mask traditions from around the world. This project reduces waste and inspires people to see each other and our environment in a new way.
Core programs: Workshops, exhibitions, and Mash-Up Bashes (parades)
Major funders: Individual donors
Favorite quote or testimonial about your organization: “Trash Mash-Up has it all – community partnerships, a green mission and arts programming in an underserved neighborhood. District 5 is thrilled to be a part of this urban tradition. We are excited to move forward with the McCracken sisters in this environmentally and socially conscious community project.” —Ross Mirkarimi, Supervisor for District 5, San Francisco Board of Supervisors
“Trash Mash-Up has taught me that in order for me to create a piece of art, I don’t need fancy painting, a paint brush or other materials that harm the environment. TMU is not only about art, it is about helping your environment.” —Fanny, age 13, KIPP Bay Academy Student
What are your indicators of success? We feel successful when participating youth and their adult supervisors find their own ways to divert trash and use less.
What obstacles do you have to work to overcome? Helping participants overcome the idea that trash is gross and that things with price tags are the only items with value.
Encouraging participation with youths, who, because of where they live, are distracted by other concerns such as safety, income and drug issues.
Any important upcoming events or news? Associated Press picked up the TMU story in the Morning Sun (a central Michigan newspaper) and was featured in the Chicago Tribune and USA Today.
What keeps you going? The amazing creativity of the children of San Francisco and the support of friends, family and fellow teachers and artists.
What do you do to relax? Exercise, read, go to gallery openings.
Who’s your personal hero, and why? We have several: Our parents, who taught us the importance of social responsibility; our grandmother, who taught us how fun it is to make things, especially with other people; our other sister, who works in nonprofit criminal justice and promotes public safety and alternative sentencing.
Favorite (other) local nonprofit? Community Partners, run by Richard Johnson in the Western Addition. It’s a grassroots organization that brings together Western Addition service providers.
Favorite local eatery or food: Rainbow Grocery, Papalote, and Magnolia.
Perfect day in San Francisco would be: A walk through Golden Gate Park on a September day from the deYoung Museum/Academy of Science area out to Ocean Beach.
Favorite recently read book? “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein and “Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash” by Susan Strasser
Favorite music/band? Ozomatli
Person you’d most like to meet? Julie Taymor, President Obama, Vice President Al Gore. Would like to have met Jim Henson.
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