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Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

Art Supply Nonprofit The Wasteshed Moving To Bigger Digs Along The 606’s Bloomingdale Trail

The organization has to move out of its Humboldt Park home of five years.

The Wasteshed Chicago, 2842 W. Chicago Ave.
Open House Chicago
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HUMBOLDT PARK — Nonprofit The Wasteshed is moving to a much larger spot along The 606’s Bloomingdale Trail.

The Wasteshed, an organization that sells donated art supplies and other reusable materials, is being forced to leave its headquarters at 2842 W. Chicago Ave. so the building’s landlord, Viktor Leusenko, can redevelop the Humboldt Park building.

Leusenko served The Wasteshed with a notice to vacate a few months ago to renovate the building and add apartments to the upper floors. The landlord said he gave the nonprofit 120 days’ notice to vacate the premises after negotiations with the organization’s executive director, Eleanor Ray.

Nonprofit leaders are using the move to expand the growing organization, volunteer coordinator Teresa Meza said.

The Wasteshed signed a lease on an old wire manufacturing building at 1756 N. Kimball Ave., with plans to take it over in the coming months. The new headquarters has room for dedicated offices, an expanded retail shop and a creative workshop.

Meza said the nonprofit has grown exponentially since its founding eight years ago, doubling its employees and adding more programs, and the move will enable the organization to expand further.

Nonprofit leaders plan to launch an artist-in-residence program and a sustainable art gallery, she said.

“The new location will essentially double the non-profit’s headquarters, which will mean more supplies that can be diverted from the landfill and made available to artists, crafters and the area’s many educators,” according to a news release.

Credit: Google Maps
The Wasteshed’s new location at 1756 N. Kimball Ave.

Founded in 2014, The Wasteshed bills itself as an “affordable resource for repurposed arts, crafts and school materials.” The organization was featured in this year’s Open House Chicago, a citywide tour that highlights culturally and architecturally significant buildings and organizations.

In addition to selling affordable crafts, The Wasteshed partners with local schools on kids programs. The move will allow the nonprofit to partner with nearby Stowe Elementary School and other schools in the area, according to the release.

The Wasteshed is looking for volunteer help and donations to move into the Kimball Avenue space.

As of Thursday, the nonprofit had raised a little more than $12,000 toward its $23,000 online fundraising goal. The money will go toward rent, movers and new store fixtures. To donate, go here.

The move marks the end of The Wasteshed’s eight-year run in Humboldt Park.

Before Chicago Avenue, the organization operated at 914 N. California Ave. in a small spot it shared with The Read/Write Library.

The Wasteshed moved to Chicago Avenue “due to overwhelming supply of (and demand for) gently used creative and educational materials,” according to its news release.

The move to Logan Square comes about a year after The Wasteshed opened an outpost in suburban Evanston to meet the overwhelming demand for art supplies and crafts.

“A lot of what we’ve done over the last eight years is keep pace with how much people love us,” Meza said.

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