Materials Center



Manny Cantor Center is excited to announce the founding of the flagship Materials Center at our Educational Alliance Art SchoolThe Center is the first of its kind in New York City. Created by Teaching Beyond the Square, and developed in partnership with Manny Cantor Center, the Materials Center houses a large collection of natural objects and “found” materials to be re-purposed for art making. The Materials Center houses a large collection of found materials and natural objects. Gathered and donated by local residents and businesses, these materials are objects from our everyday lives that are often discarded, but could be repurposed or transformed into something new, encouraging creativity, problem-solving, and action. We believe that these materials can enhance and enrich children’s learning, creative expression, and symbolic development. We offer the materials at low- or no-cost to families, artists, schools and centers, and offer programming to promote further learning and experiences with materials.

The center offers low- or no-cost materials to families, schools, and centers, along with workshops that focus on how to use these materials to enhance and enrich children’s learning, creative expression, and symbolic development. Stay tuned for workshops, and early childhood classes!



Mondays | 1/8 – 6/18 | 2:00 -4:00 PM

Come volunteer, donate or shop at our Materials Center! Stop by during our open hours to browse, donate materials from your home or office, and shop for your next project! A bag of unique materials is $1/lb for the general public; free for participants of Manny Cantor Center or Educational Alliance programs

*Shopping on 6/4 & 6/18 by appointment only*

CLOSED: 1/15, 2/19, 4/2, 5/28, and 6/11

Please note that Monday mornings are now reserved for school visits.

Volunteer with us! 

Help us sort all our new funny, fascinating, and beautiful donations! Every day at The Materials Center brings us unexpected treasures. Sign up to volunteer here. Contact Robin Koo, Materials Center Coordinator and Program Director of Teaching Beyond the Square at to learn more.

Buy a Bag of Materials:

Purchase a bag of materials for your next project! $10 for 10 pounds of materials.Click here to purchase. 

About Teaching Beyond the Square:

Teaching Beyond the Square is a non-profit organization that seeks to
improve the quality of early childhood education for all children. Our
work is guided by an exploration-based approach and our goal is to help
make the voices of young children be heard and made visible.

In the News:

Materials Center is featured in donateNYC’s Spotlight Series here

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