Category Archives: Empty Bowls

3rd Annual Empty Bowls Chicago

I’m excited to announce that the 3rd Annual Empty Bowls Chicago is coming up on December 12th at Lillstreet.

Empty Bowls is an event that brings pottery, community and good food together to help fight hunger.  For the last three years, my friend Joanna Kramer has been organizing the event for Chicago.  (I’m including a letter from her below that explains all the details.)  

If you’re a potter (or vessel maker with another medium), I encourage you to send us a bowl or two.  Just make sure it gets to Chicago by the 12th!  I think the deadline is listed as the 5th, but it’s ok as long as it’s there by the day of the event.
If you’re going to be in the Chicago area on the 12th, I  hope you can join us for a family style meal.   Doors open at 5pm on Friday, December 12th.  There is a room that will have all the bowls spread out on tables (like the picture to your left).  You get to pick out your bowl and then fill it with soup.  Then you’ll eat your yummy meal made by the First Slice Cafe at family style tables and enjoy a good conversation with the other attendees.  At least that is what my experience has been in the past.   
If you’re not in Chicago, you might want to think about creating your own Empty Bowls event for your community.  You might remember a post that I wrote last spring about my friend, Jordan Taylor and the event he organized in Scranton, PA.  (Don’t be intimidated, you don’t have to make 1000 bowls… you can start small.)  
Here is the letter from Joanna with all the information that you need to know.  Also, you can RSVP to the even via Facebook

 

Dear Artist and Supporter,

Bring us your bowls and help feed the hungry! Join us on December 12, 2008 for a bowl of soup and help to feed the hungry. The Empty Bowls Project is a nationwide effort by artists to help fight hunger. Lillstreet Art Center is proud to host the 3rd annual Empty Bowls Project to benefit Chicago-area hunger-fighting organizations. We’re asking student and professional potters to donate bowls for this cause. 

Empty Bowls works like this: guests choose a bowl and are served a generous serving of soup and bread made by First Slice Cafe, in exchange for a $20 suggested donation. Guests keep the bowl as a reminder that there are always empty bowls in the world. Bowls with an estimated price of over $30 will be placed up for auction. Empty Bowls will take place on Friday, December 12, 2008, 5-8 pm in the Lillstreet Gallery. 100% of the money raised will be given to First Slice, so they may continue to create healthy meals for these local organizations whose mission includes helping those who are hungry and/or homeless:  Heartland AllianceThe Night MinistryAmerican Indian Center Youth Program, and Howard Area Alternative High School and Chicago-area soup kitchens.  With the revenue generated from last year’s EMPTY BOWLS event, First Slice was able to donate 1000 meals to youth in need.  All donated bowls may be mailed or delivered to Lillstreet Art Center by December 5th. We hope you will participate in this important hunger-fighting event. 

Thank you in advance for your generous donation to help feed Chicago’s hungry.

Joanna Kramer

Drop off / Ship bowls: 
Lillstreet Art Center
Attn: Joanna Kramer, Empty Bowls Coordinator 
4401 N. Ravenswood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
(773)263-5581

 

Empty Bowls – Scranton, PA

This is something that I had to share with all of you….

A couple of days ago I got an email newsletter from my friend, Jordan Taylor. He shared news of a new show of sculptural work which I am excited about. He also announced of a local Empty Bowls project that is being held in Scranton, PA on May 4. This particular Empty Bowls fundraiser is one that Jordan is donating 1000 bowls to. I’m blown away yet not surprised by his incredible generosity.

If you happen to live in north east Pennsylvania, here is a bit of information about the event (from Jordan’s newsletter):

 

Meals on Wheels will host an “Empty Bowls” dinner May 4, 2008 1-3pm at Marywood University, Nazareth Hall, Multi Purpose Room (formerly known as the Crystal Room).

A $10 donation will purchase a bowl of soup, and you get to keep the bowl. The bowls, consistent with Taylor’s work to date, are wood fired, made largely from materials gathered and processed locally, and are microwave-dishwasher-oven safe, lead free, and non toxic. Each bowl is individually decorated by a different Scranton area art student.

Contact MOW Scranton director Linda Steir 570-346-2421 mow110@hotmail.com for inquiries.

Empty Bowls is an international movement that began in the early 1990’s and has since raised millions of dollars in donations to help hungry people. It was founded by several school teachers in Michigan whose students asked for help in raising money to help the local hungry. As a group they decided on a fundraiser dinner of simple soup and bread, served on dishes made by the students in their art class. www.emptybowls.net

Taylor had participated in several “Empty Bowls” events by donating and by dining before becoming interested in staging an event in Scranton. In 2006 Taylor was a visiting artist at a “Craft and Social Conscience” session, run by one of the founders of the Empty Bowls Movement, at the Penland School of Crafts, NC. Taylor’s experience at that session inspired him to reach out to the MOW chapter in Scranton.

I’m truly inspired. But I have to remind myself that it’s important to act on the inspiration and put it into action. This week I plan on calling my friend, Joanna Kramer, who organizes Chicago’s Empty Bowl project to see how I can be more involved this year. Our event isn’t until December, but it seems like the perfect time to start making bowls!

I’m curious to hear about other Empty Bowls fundraisers out there. Have you organized or participated in one? What was your experience? I love that Jordan made the bowls but students decorated the pieces. Have you done an interesting twist on Empty Bowls? Are you in Chicago and interested in joining us?
Just leave me a comment below!

Empty Bowls – Chicago Style

This December, Lillstreet Art Center is hosting their 2nd annual Empty Bowls event. Last year we had a great turnout, but the plan is to really scale it up this year. Tons of bowls, a big community of people and soup galore will all come together to raise money and awareness to help fight hunger.

The request that I’m sending out is for potters, glass blowers, wood turners, and metal smiths of all levels to make a bowl (or 2 or 20) and donate it to Chicago’s Empty Bowls event at Lillstreet Art Center. We’d also like for you to come a share a meal, if you’re in the area on December 7, 2007 from 6pm – 9pm. For $20, guests are invited to choose a bowl and are served a generous serving of soup and bread made by First Slice Café. Guests keep the bowl as a reminder that there are always “empty bowls” in the world.


Lillstreet has a very unique restaurant in it’s building (sharing space with the gallery), the First Slice Café. Proceeds from the cafe go to feed Chicago’s hungry. They help fight hunger in a very direct way: the food they make for various organizations is the same amazing food that is served in their café. In addition to First Slice making the food for the event, they will also be the recipient of the event’s proceeds so they can continue to create healthy meals for these local organizations: Heartland Alliance, The Night Ministry, American Indian Center Youth Program, and Howard Area Alternative High School. 

If you would like to participate in this event by donating a bowl, please deliver or mail your bowl(s) by November 18, 2007 to:

 

Lillstreet Art Center

4401 North Ravenswood
Chicago, IL 60640
Attn: Empty Bowls

If you’d like to join us for a bowl of soup, come to Lillstreet on December 7, 2007 from 6pm – 9pm

If you have any questions about this event, you can contact the event organizer, Joanna Kramer.
Please help us spread the word by forwarding this to a friend. Thanks!

The bowls that are in the photo above are by Gary Jackson, Fire When Ready Pottery.