Spare Parts Summer of ’17 brought to you by Friends of Spare Parts Board President Laura Carter

Laura Carter, President, Friends of Spare Parts Board of Directors

If you live in Texas, it might be hard to tell the summer season is almost over. Those of you who are teachers, students or parents of school-aged kids know ‘back to school’ is upon you. The Spare Parts team hopes you all had a good summer. For Spare Parts’ Board of Directors and staff it’s been gloriously busy.


In June of 2016, we initiated a fundraising campaign for a permanent location to house our offices, to create a Spare Parts store where San Antonians can donate or purchase preloved art materials, and to host creative reuse programs year-round. To reach this goal we realized Spare Parts needed to establish itself as a 501c3 nonprofit. Currently Spare Parts, a sole proprietorship, is a member of Fractured Atlas, a national nonprofit arts organization that allows us to accept your charitable donation for tax-deductible purposes.


Friends of Spare Parts founding Board of Directors (left to right, back row): Jeanne Cantu, Regina Villalobos-Perez, Jessica Jones Gonzales, Laura Carter, Rikkianne Van Kirk and Heather Eichling. Front row, left to right: Carla Berryman, Brenda L Burmeister and Chris Castillo.

On June 9, 2017, we held our first Friends of Spare Parts Board of Directors meeting—a formal Board being one of the criteria for establishing an 501c3 nonprofit. We adopted Bylaws and began the process of creating committees and discussing goals. As the elected President of the Board, I am excited to be working with capable and enthusiastic Board members Carla Berryman (Treasurer), Brenda L Burmeister, Jeanne Cantu (Vice President, Friends of Spare Parts), Chris Castillo (Vice President, Mini Art Museum), Heather Eichling, Jessica Jones Gonzales, Rikkianne Van Kirk and Regina Villalobos-Perez (Secretary). Mary Elizabeth Cantú was hired to hold the Spare Parts Executive Director position.


Friends of Spare Parts Board Members (Laura Carter, Jessica Jones Gonzales and Rikkianne Van Kirk), Mia, Laura, Anna and Dezarre Boone and Spare Parts Executive Director Mary Elizabeth Cantú at August’s Spare Parts Shop. All Spare Parts Shop proceeds goes to securing a building of our own for a year-round Spare Parts store & community center.

Our annual summer Fine Arts Fair/Materials Giveaway, historically held at Wonderland of the Americas, was postponed until Spare Parts secures a space. In its stead, our Spare Parts Shop committee lead by Jessica Jones Gonzales and Rikkianne Van Kirk held two pop ups, stocked with preloved creative materials and various artsy things for sale-cheap. The Spare Parts Shop has plans to pop up at various locations monthly going forward.


Cantú, co-founder of the Mini Art Museum took a new exhibit all the way to Columbia, South America in July. “Controlled Burn” was curated by San Antonio artist/Mini Art Museum committee member Daniel Rios Rodriguez. Visit to learn more about this wee adventure!


Left to right: Lucero Munoz, Mary Elizabeth Cantú and Cecilia Cedillo in Villa de Leyva, Colombia (July 2017). Munoz and Cedillo were Cantu’s traveling companions. Munoz is originally from Armenia, Quindio, Colombia.

Our programming continues to thrive under Executive Director Mary Elizabeth Cantú. As Board committees evolve, we will announce ways you can help take Spare Parts to the next level. At any time you can make a tax-deductible donation to our permanent space campaign. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, too.


If there are any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to email: 

-Laura Carter
President, Board of Directors
Friends of Spare Parts

During her 14-day stay, Cantu installed “Controlled Burn in 12 locations across Colombia. Here is a group of students at their rural school in Rio Verde visiting the Museum (July 2017).
MINI ART MUSEUM presents “Controlled Burn” curated by Daniel Rios Rodriguez. This picture was taken at a coffee farm in front of the Andes Mountains of Colombia (July 2017).

What’s Black, White & Read All Over? Creative Ways to Reuse Newspaper!

Newspaper Building Logs
Newspaper Building Logs. To create very sturdy & tight newspaper tubes, we stacked on top of each other 2 full sheets of the Current and rolled them tightly. Use any kind of tape to secure the “logs.” Then connect them using a stapler or more tape. Build away!
Newspaper Hats! Remove the staples from the Current and tape 2 together long ways. Mold the newspaper around your friend's head and tape it securely so that it fits to size. Then get creative! Look at these 2 different hat examples.
Newspaper Hat directions: remove the staples from the Current and tape 2 together long ways. Mold the newspaper around your friend’s head and tape it securely so that it fits to size. Then, get creative! Look at these 2 different hat examples.
How to Make Origami Newspaper Seedling Pots
How to Make Origami Newspaper Seedling Pots
pinterest - paper reuse
Click here for over 200 more ways to reuse paper!

Guest Post: Meet The V.I.P. Committee

Laura Carter_spare parts guest blogger
Laura Carter, Communications Director Providence Catholic School

If you were to ask me why the spare parts inaugural fundraiser–V.I.P. (Very Important Party)–is the ‘must attend’ party of the year, I would have to say it has a great deal to do with the event committee. Each committee member is working with great enthusiasm to create an event which will be fun, educational and inspiring! This diverse group has a common passion that drives them to contribute time, energy and funds, to support Ms. Cantu and spare parts. So, without further ado, may I introduce some of our V.I.P. committee:

Carla Berryman: Fourth grade teacher at St. Paul Catholic School, wife and mother of two boys Gunner 19 and Logan 22.
“I got involved with spare parts out of a necessity to find cheap/free supplies for my classroom as well as school. My room has become the “wal-mart” of the school. Teachers seek me out first for supplies before going anywhere else. I believe that the spare parts motto of our Art Club: “All we have is All we need,” is something we should take very seriously. I have also been involved with spare parts long enough to see materials cycle back around. I find that really super cool!”

Giovanna Carrola: Artist/photographer, Art Educator at Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children, mom to two AwEsoMe! teenage daughters and married to Frank.
“I became involved with Mary Cantu and spare parts when I responded to a request for volunteers to help them move from one location to another (after the first teacher giveaway). I have been around since! I offered to help spare parts because it is an organization which I believe in. The mission to reduce/reuse/recycle is important to me, not only as an art teacher, but also as a parent and person on this earth! I am so proud of Mary Cantu and her efforts in this movement…she is on to something B I G!!”

V.I.P. committee members: Diane Dixon, Shirlene Harris, David Frank, Jennifer Herrera & Kelly Schaub
V.I.P. committee members: Diana Dixon, Shirlene Harris, David Frank, Jennifer Herrera & Kelly Schaub

Laura Carter: Day job-Communication Director Providence Catholic School. Otherwise engaged as nonprofit advocate and blogger. Married to Richard Irons, Pastry Professional, mother and grandmother.
“I became involved with spare parts because I see it as a combination of essential elements I believe very important to our community–education, art and environment. Mary is doing an amazing job with growing the program’s outreach. I enjoy the mix of people and ideas, and learning how to be a reuse crafter–a real stretch for me!”

Diana Dixon: Advertising Design student at the International Academy of Design & Technology (IADT).
“I was a student of Mary’s and found out about spare parts during my classes with her. This term, I chose a hands-on project with spare parts for my project management class. I fell in love with the organization, and am now volunteering for spare parts for more than just a grade in school. I love that spare parts has an annual giveaway where teachers get materials for free to use in their classrooms–materials that they would otherwise have to pay for out of pocket since so many school budgets for the arts have been cut.”

Samantha G. Guerra: Admin Assistant in Bexar Co. Probate Court 2, face painter, blessed to be “Mom” to two beautiful teenage girls and “Wife/Friend” for 25 years to a really great guy.
“My involvement with spare parts is very new and quite fortuitous. I believe a life without art, imagination, giving and caring is lacking. Mary’s vision and mission reflect these important life components and enriches all who are fortunate to participate with and benefit from spare parts.”

V.I.P. committee members: Pak Leung Lai, Lorena Alvarez, Dezarre Boone, Giovanna Carrola, Sarah Dunckel & Deborah Mireles
V.I.P. committee members: Pak Leung Lai, Lorena Alvarez, Dezarre Boone, Giovanna Carrola, Sarah Dunckel & Deborah Foster-Mireles

Deborah Foster-Mireles: Day job-Accounting Tech II at Baptist Child & Family Services.
“I became involved with spare parts in September of this year through my daughter (who is a student at IADT) which is assisting with spare parts projects. I find spare parts to be a great and exciting organization working toward improving our community and it’s environment by its reuse practices, teachings and sharing. Everyone works very well together sharing their thoughts and ideas. Way to go Team, Keep up the great work!”

David B. Frank: Social entrepreneur, media and marketing creative, arts education advocate, dedicated father and friend. Founder of ArtGives.Org and Say It With Photos, LLC.
“I was fortunate enough to have met Mary Cantu when spare parts was first born. Mary has the passion, vision, dedication and determination necessary to develop spare parts into a strong community resource. ArtGives.Org and our team of media and marketing partners will continue to provide support for spare parts because their programs are important to the well-being of the entire community.”

Jennifer Herrera: KLRN Community & Media Engagement Manager.
“I enjoy volunteering with nonprofit organizations such as Gemini Ink. Through the power of social media, I followed Mary Elizabeth and discovered spare parts. Mary’s passion and drive led me to become involved in the group, while also learning about being more resourceful with everyday materials.”

Lori Schnedler: Works in the finance department for the Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency in downtown San Antonio.
“I also help to coordinate our hotels’ Green Teams and environmental programs. I was looking for a green project to do with the children of our associates at our annual holiday party, and after searching the internet, I found Mary and spare parts. I immediately felt connected to her purpose and mission and I quickly became a supporter. I am committed to helping in whatever way I can to further her efforts and grow her organization into the success I know it can be!”

V.I.P. committee members: Marty Taglauer,  Lori Schnedler, Jeanne Cantu, Laura Carter & Samantha Guerra
V.I.P. committee members: Marty Taglauer, Lori Schnedler, Jeanne Cantu, Laura Carter & Samantha Guerra

Jeanne Cantu: A retired educator who is a firm believer in reusing which leads to saving money and reducing landfill waste.
“Classroom teachers spend so much of their own money to provide resources for their students’ projects. Spare parts offers teachers a way to acquire materials for free. Jeanne is the daughter of who she believes is the original ‘reuser queen.’ My 96 year old mother has practically zero waste. Reusing is possible and necessary for us all.”