What we do. Why we do it.
Scrap Mettle Arts provides space for innovators to show their
creations in order to gain visibility, build a following, and garner
respect through their WORK rather than their resume or personal
essay. We aim to present creators with resources they can earn,
without their lack of experience becoming an obstacle, in order to
get to the next level of their career.
THE RESUME CATCH 22
We have all been there. We know we are passionate, competent, and qualified for a job, grant, residency, or other opportunity. Our resume, however, betrays us. So we venture out to add more "lines" to the good old CV. Oh, wait! You can't get those "lines" without a good resume...but you can't build a strong resume without those experiences. Too often resources that creators apply for involve lengthy applications rather than solely focusing on the WORK. Age, education, training, fancy venues or producers backing you -- these are not defining factors of brilliance. The work is.
Scrap Mettle is passionate about providing marginalized (and frustrated artists) with space to show their work in order to gain visibility and build a following. There are four things artists and creators need to consider before accepting a job or an opportunity:
1. Does this gig pay?
2. Will I learn something?
3. Am I passionate about the project?
4. Will this move my career forward?
The rule is that AT LEAST one of these four receive a positive response. Scrap Mettle believes it has the opportunity to check off three of the four boxes (when Bill Gates leaves us his fortune, we'll start giving winners salaries of course...)
Not only are we here to support you, Scrap Mettle is in the same boat as you! We believe we could successfully be a much larger institution, producing or backing alumni work, hosting development residencies, running our own venue...if we too had the resources. That means we are growing with you and that we are helping each other move forward, which is why our events are 'community curated' -- projects advance through audience and community votes.
Check out THE MAIN EVENT page to learn more about the structure of our program.
The Yard Man & OUR NAME
Scrap Mettle is named in honor of a true innovator, Morris Jack Waxman.
After losing his mother, Morris dropped out of high school in order to help his father feed the family. He worked cutting sheets of steel for a company manufacturing armoured desert cars for the war effort. Though he was the youngest on the job, he was the hungriest and the most creative -- an inveterate tinkerer. Morris quickly found a way to layer three sheets of steel on his machine, producing three times as much as the other workers until the shop steward came down to yell at him one day, saying "You gotta stop it kid, you're making everyone else look bad."
His second job was peddling with his father, Isaac, going door to door asking for goods no longer in use. On their horse and wagon they built an empire: I. Waxman & Sons. Morris did not have a high school diploma and Isaac could not even read or write English. What they both had was far more useful: ingenuity. Morris could see the value in what others could not. Where most saw scraps of steel as garbage, he saw treasure. Even when the days spent peddling had turned into days spent in boardrooms, Morris still went home each night to the small workshop he kept in his basement to experiment and find new ways to recycle otherwise unusable materials and improve machinery in the yard. It was this reputation that earned him the nickname, The Yard Man. His passion for innovation never ceased, despite the many obstacles he encountered throughout his lifetime.
And that is where we get our name: 1. Scrap Metal -- something most consider to be of little to no value because they are not looking close enough, and 2. Mettle -- a person's ability to cope well with difficulties or to face a demanding situation in a spirited and resilient way.
Morris Waxman had 'Scrap Mettle' flowing through his veins. He was a true innovator. He was a true leader. He was an incredible man. And he is our inspiration.