Best Arts Organization - 2012
It was Jenny Murphy's disbelief at the things people throw away that inspired her to create Perennial, a nonprofit that encourages (and teaches) folks to make beautiful, functional items out of salvaged trash. But what makes Perennial tick is the passion and enthusiasm Murphy — a 2012 Riverfront Times MasterMind Award honoree — and her team bring to the (work)table: a joy in sharing their skills and a sincere faith that to do so is to change lifestyles and attitudes in the process. Perennial hosts workshops in which attendees learn to transform rescued furniture and other abandoned items into new, functional pieces using simple, rudimentary supplies (none of the tools in Perennial's workshop is electrically powered, and all of the adhesives and paints are environmentally friendly). They trim the waste, but they also teach others to adopt a philosophy that avoids excess in the first place. The entire operation vibrates with a contagious positivity that you'll happily tote home along with your new-to-you picture frame or wobble-free chair.