The tree skirts are produced in the studios of the not-for-proﬁt organization founded by Mitchell Pennell. "As creative programs disappear and budgets for the arts are cut in schools and other organizations, I am compelled to help reverse these actions". And he does so by using the junk most people throw away.
These unique creations are sold to fund the Creative Academy at Chicago Lost and Found, an art education program, which makes art classes and workshops available throughout the Chicago area.
Urban alleys and anywhere refuse hides are the supply source for junk used by the creative team at Chicago Lost and Found. What most people consider worthless is treasure in the hands of these artists. "We use the unwanted to create unusual art and wonderful home furnishings. Where others see trash, I see beauty. This is recycling at the highest level".
Through their creative studio they use the discarded as their medium and create value through original and unique creations. The studio creates jobs for artists who are either struggling or unemployed, as well as internships for art students. Chicago Lost and Found has partnered with the YMCAs of Chicago, as well as public schools and community centers. More programs are on the horizon for 2011. The proceeds help subsidize budgets that have been reduced or eliminated, as well as employing artist to assist in the curriculum and teaching.