About reDiscover

Mission & Vision

MISSION

reDiscover’s Mission is to provide makers with the tools, resources, and confidence to engage in creative reuse and self-expression. We educate youth of all levels of expertise in transforming discarded materials into art, functional objects, and tools for learning. We support one another as hands-on creators, problem-solvers, community stakeholders, and stewards of the Earth.

VISION

reDiscover envisions a culture of makers who contribute to building a creative and environmentally sustainable society. We provide affordable and accessible programming for all youth in Los Angeles. Our imaginative and resourceful staff create spaces–physical and mental–where everyone is welcome to explore their creativity without judgment.

As reDiscover nurtures creative reuse among makers, we move closer to a culture where reclaimed materials can be recognized for their educational and creative value. We achieve this vision by enhancing youth’s instincts and interests to use the available resources in their lives responsibly. By sharing our resources in a makerspace, we reinforce practices of sharing that strengthen our neighborhoods, city, society, and planet. 

CORE VALUES

At reDiscover, we:

  • Support Personal Expression - Nurture the joy of creation.
    • We share excitement for making art, and create spaces to inspire the wildest ideas.
  • Celebrate Creative Makers - Makers are everywhere; learn from everybody.
    • reDiscover is a place where facilitators, tinkerers, and community members come together and learn from one another.
  • Teach Environmental Stewardship - People who rediscover materials creatively learn to use material resources responsibly in all parts of their lives.
    • We partner with organizations that teach environmental stewardship in all its forms.
  • Engage Hands-On Learning - Sharing the joy of tactile making with youth from all walks of life, all over Los Angeles.
    • Exploring materials and using tools with our hands deeply connects us to new concepts and new ways of looking at the world around us.
  • Value Play - Because creativity is fun, experimental, and playful.
    • Play is a vital part of learning.
  • Establish a Culture of Safety - Trust is the foundation for using powerful tools safely.
    • Respect the tools. Respect the space. Respect your body. Respect the people around you.
  • Build Confidence by Teaching Competence - Maker skills turn imagination into real things.
    • reDiscover instills individual agency in educators, artists, makers, and environmental activists to make their visions come to life. Every maker starts somewhere and can go anywhere. 

History

reDiscover was founded in 2002 and incorporated in 2004 to improve children’s art education by using recycled materials. In 2008, reDiscover opened the reDiscover Center, a 3,000 sf public youth makerspace, in Venice. We opened a second location in Mid City in 2023. Makerspaces are shared facilities stocked with tools and materials where participants can learn, make, and share their projects and expertise. Our makerspace and the maker education services we provide for schools and community groups are centered in sustainably sourced recycled and upcycled mtaerials. We facilitate hands-on STEAM classes, camps, field trips, exhibits, festival activities, and distance learning resources. These programs serve K-8 students through school programs, youth ages 5-15 through workshops and programs at our makerspace, and youth and adults in community programs such as Cardboard City and free art activities at farmers markets.

While arts education had been a part of the organization from the start, in 2010, reDiscover began running week-long summer camps that emphasized using more intensive tools in creative reuse. With clamps, drills, handsaws, and various power saws, oung tinkerers could utilize reclaimed wood and reDiscover's creative reuse materials to make larger creations. This summer camp program grew rapidly in the mid 2010s, and has spread to different locations from the South Bay to Pasadena.

Through this period, camps and afterschool classes blossomed, providing direct service to Westside youth while generating income to bring reDiscover’s programs into more disadvantaged communities and provide scholarship support. reDiscover grew and changed through the unpredictable pandemic years, making a major shift toward free public programming and intensive maker education for youth in underresourced communities, including through partnerships with organizations serving homeless, justice-involved, and very low income youth. At the same time, one of reDiscover’s top priorities during 2020 was to undertake a self-assessment of internal and external barriers to inclusivity and accessibility. From this year-long process came the creation of guidelines and implementation of the organization’s first ever Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Plan.

Throughout 2021 and 2022, staff and board members continued the process of formally aligning these priorities with our daily operations, community outreach, hiring policies, fundraising strategies, and long term strategic plans. With COVID relief funding, new institutional grantors, and a growing individual donor base, we enhanced our distance learning programs, engagement with Title I schools in LAUSD, SMMUSD, and PUSD, and free public programming like our seasonal reDiscover Cardboard City Exhibit and Makerspace.

To accommodate our growing network of schools and expand access to sustainable maker education, we opened the Mid City reDiscover Center in 2023. This facility duplicates the model of the Venice reDiscover Center, with a public youth makerspace and creative reuse materials warehouse, public hours, camps and classes, group workshops, and facilities for supplying regional schools and community organizations.

reDiscover's staff of specialist Programs Managers, Facilitators, and Teaching Artists serve over 14,000 youth ages 2-18 and nearly 11,000 adults. reDiscover is the only non-profit organization in Los Angeles that offers this type of sustainable creative programming. We work with more than 75 Los Angeles-area schools, libraries, museums, community centers, social service agencies, and parks departments to coordinate the delivery of our educational programs to targeted populations and the general public throughout the year. A work-learn vocational training program serves interns and work study students from OTIS, UCLA, LMU, and the Getty Marrow Program as well as young adults coordinated by Safe Place for Youth and Coalition for Engaged Education/C-Youth. reDiscover seeks to grow our impact on low income youth in Los Angeles County by expanding our geographic reach through in-school programs, pop-ups, and opening additional reDiscover Centers.

reDiscover Center 2016 Highlights
reDiscover Center 2017 Highlights
reDiscover Center 2018 Highlights
reDiscover Center 2019 Highlights
reDiscover Center 2020 Highlights
reDiscover Center 2021 Highlights
reDiscover Center 2022 Highlights
reDiscover Center 2023 Highlights
reDiscover Center profile on Guidestar

Supporters

reDiscover Center is supported, in part, by the California Arts Council, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Department of Arts and Culture, and Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.