International Repair Café Concept to Land in Long Beach, Foster Community and Reduce Waste


Image courtesy of Repair Café International.  

repaircafe1The Long Beach Time Exchange wants to know what you would do with a broken toaster if tossing the bread-hardening device in the dumpster out back was taken out of the equation. With that in mind, what would you do with your moth-eaten sweater or a wobbly bicycle wheel?

In partnership with The Studio MakerSpace at the Long Beach Public Library and Squeeze Art Collective, Long Beach’s first Repair Café will take place on Saturday, May 14, from 1:00PM to 4:00PM, at the Main Library in downtown, where various volunteer experts will assist attendees in repairing their broken items free of charge.

The Repair Café concept was introduced in 2009 and formulated by Martine Postma, who was an Amsterdam-based journalist at the time, according to the release. A year later she started the Repair Café Foundation, which now provides support to over 1,000 Repair Cafés worldwide, including Long Beach’s up-and-coming Repair Café.

The Long Beach Time Exchange, a “time banking” community where members use time credits as a way to exchange skills and services, decided to host the Repair Café in an effort to reduce waste at a local level and help residents foster more positive connections with each other.

“Time banking is all about co-powering community—whether it's to meet basic needs, to build new skills, or to be more environmentally sustainable by making the most out of what we have,” stated Tony Damico, a co-founder of the network boasting more than 800 skill-sharers. “The repair cafe does all three!"

All Saturday activities will focus on repairing your broken, ripped, torn or neglected items, so think twice before you toss. Jurate Brown, a repairer excited to lend her assistance, wanted to participate because she hates “to see how fast people throw away things that could be repaired easily, not realizing: What you throw ‘away’ goes somewhere, trashing our planet earth.”

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Not only is this event geared toward fixing broken items, but it’s also an innovative way to build community. Participant Geri Huntington stated that repairing a bike, a CD player or a pair of pants with a once-unknown neighbor paints that person in a different light the next you see each other. Repairing together can bring a community closer together.

“The Studio MakerSpace is a great public resource that perfectly matches the concept of a Repair Café,” stated David Hedden, chief idea officer at Squeeze Art Collective and studio guide at The Studio MakerSpace. “Squeeze Art Collective is passionate about nurturing our local art community with a variety of opportunities and community connections. We like to encourage sustainable approaches to art by up-cycling found materials and making art out of broken or discarded objects.”

For more details about the upcoming Repair Café, click here

The Long Beach Public Library’s Main Branch is located at 101 Pacific Avenue.

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