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It's tough to point to just one thing that SCRaP does.

The nonprofit, officially called Share Create Reuse and Promote, can be summarized as a creative art center, said executive director Tammy Zemliska. This month, the organization graduated to a larger space on the edge of downtown Billings.

Zemliska wants to do more—education classes, art spaces and group meetings—now that they've settled in at North 18th Street and Montana Avenue. She invites people to come in and see what they can make.

"This last year has been a whirlwind," Zemliska said. "The community has been hugely supportive."

SCRaP is equal parts community center, art space, recycle store, workshop and business incubator. It started a little over a year ago with the goal of a space for artists to create. 

The Upscale Boutique, which features artist items and an array of recycled source material, appeared shortly thereafter. They've held classes like Pinterest Project Night.

"I believe the timing was right," Zemliska said about SCRaP's beginnings. "Billings needed something like this. It's a little unconventional."

With a short lease on SCRaP's initial location connected to the Montana Rescue Mission, she wasn't sure how the project would pan out, but it grew. And when the Rescue Mission experienced costly flooding earlier this year, Zemliska looked to move.

In early November, SCRaP began moving into a 30,000-square-foot industrial building on North 18th Street. They moved mountains of materials and held a soft opening on Small Business Saturday while still assembling the new space. 

The SCRaP store is on the main level. The lower and upper floors contain art spaces, some for artists to rent, and workshop spaces, such as a woodworking area.

David McCauley, who runs marketing at SCRaP, said he initially got into the organization to open up a photography studio. He said he quickly latched onto the idea of "maker spaces."

"People just needed a shared space where they could come in and learn," he said.

A maker space is a shared area for artists, workshops, group meetings or anything else. The community model allows people to donate tools, materials and knowledge to others.

McCauley said that sometimes a new set of tools will show up—leather work, for instance—and then SCRaP adds another line item to its offerings.

The SCRaP store on the main level is an anchor product of the nonprofit, but Zemliska said she wants to expand on the community programs. She wants to get equipment for welding, explore art space rentals, provide art classes for public school students and a list of other endeavors.

She said that SCRaP can be an incubator of sorts for freelance, art or other work.

"The real success is when we start sending some businesses out in the community," Zemliska said.

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General Assignment Reporter

Reporter for The Billings Gazette.