The Art of Recycling Festival, Sunday, November 13, 2022, 11:30 am -2:00 pm
Courtyard and Community Hall of Grace Institute campus (located at NE 16th & Weidler Streets)

  • PLEASE JOIN US for an America Recycles Day celebration event featuring engaging stories by Will Hornyak, music played on instruments made by Robert Randall from recycled objects, and new drop-in up-cycled art projects – all led by multi-talented Grace Art Camp artists!
  • We are also partnering with Ridwell for a collection of clamshells (No. 1 PET or PETE) for recycling.
  • This is a free community event… come join in the fun!

Scenes from The Art of Recycling Festival and Collection 2021

How to make recycling fun!

A very big thank you to all who turned out in support of America Recycles Day, for the Art of Recycling Festival and Collection Event at Grace on Sunday, November 14, 2021!  Over 60 children plus their families enjoyed the upcycled art making festival. And, even more individuals brought their Styrofoam™, clamshells and crayons for the collection event.

Thanks to our community partners, we were able to offer collections for two of the hardest-to-recycle plastics:  Agilyx collected No. 6 polystyrene and Ridwell collected No. 1 clamshells. None of these materials are collected by area waste handlers.  Several large boxes of used crayons were also collected, which will be color sorted, melted and remade into crayons for children’s hospitals in the Pacific Northwest.

In case you missed the opportunity at Sunday’s event, Ridwell will continue to honor the 10% discount for signing up for their bi-weekly pickup service, which helps you keep reusable materials out of landfills.  If you want to take advantage of this offer, here is the link:

The Art of Recycling 2021 featured several Grace Art Camp artists doing what they do best!  Professional storyteller Will Hornyak shared three stories plus some wonderful puns, and encouraged enthusiastic audience participation. Fibre Artist Paula Benjaminson taught participants (and their parents!) how to make trendy fringed infinity scarves from unwanted t-shirts. Visual Artist Christian Barrios helped participants make charming holiday and winter ornaments from the bottoms of juice cans. Melissa Romeo helped participants make bathroom tissue rolls into sweet little gift boxes covered with decorative paper and fabric. Kristin Koop taught participants that even large jar lids can be transformed with collage into decorative mini organization trays or ornaments. And, last but not least, Robert Randall provided musical fun, solos and accompaniment with his upcycled, stringed instruments. Fabulous ideas all round!

So, mark your calendars for Sunday, November 13, 2022, so you can join us for next year’s Art of Recycling Festival and Collection event!

Can you guess what materials were used to make these upcycled art pieces?

Thank you to our Recycling Festival Partners!

Grace Institute’s 2019 Art of Recycling Festival collected 650 cubic feet of polystyrene!

Over 200 visitors came for the Grace Institute ’s The Art of Recycling Festival 2019!  Offered in celebration of America Recycles Day, the event featured a collection of clean polystyrene No. 6 PS (often extruded foam plastics and packaging, meat trays, crystal clear glasses and cutlery) in partnership with our new community partner Agilyx!  Throughout the event NE Portlanders brought in polystyrene, filling about 12 bags that measured 6x4x4-feet – or about 650 cubic feet!

Many families from Grace and NE neighborhoods stayed for the puppet show, music played on instruments made from recycled objects, and up-cycled art projects — all led by Grace Institute artists!

Projects included aluminum can dragonflies with Marcia McKean, reclaimed wrapping paper with Kristin Koop, newspaper roses with Christian Barrios and reused Art Camp buttons for “Green Buttons” with Melissa Romeo. Robert Randall played Trash Tunes and offered children a chance to try out one of his upcycled instruments, and Kelly Campbell of KCPuppetree performed.


For the 2018 Art of Recycling Festival we shared a recycled project and it is too good to not repost. Annie created a steamer trunk for her cat’s toys. Thank you to Paddington Bear.

Grace Institute and Grace Art Camp’s first celebration of a community National Recycling Day celebration was held in 2017 to honor our beautiful Bull Run watershed and its ecosystems. It was funded by a generous grant from the East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District, and featured a puppet show about the watershed, music played on instruments made from recycled objects, and up-cycled art projects, all led by multi-talented Grace Institute artists!


Grace Institute is committed to being an open and inclusive community. We accept and support diversity in age, race, physical and mental abilities, sexual orientation and gender identity, religion, and creed in all of its activities and operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services.