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VPA students and faculty organize ‘Empty Bowls’ benefit April 23 at Community Folk Art Center
VPA students and faculty organize ‘Empty Bowls’ benefit April 23 at Community Folk Art CenterApril 11, 2005Jaime Winne Alvarez firstname.lastname@example.org
Students and faculty in the ceramics department in Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts have people across the local area throwing clay. Their goal is to craft 1,000 bowls for the local Empty Bowls Project. Local organizers hope to raise $10,000 for Syracuse’s Interreligious Food Consortium (IFC) at an April 23 benefit at the Community Folk Art Center, 2223 East Genesee St. From 1-6 p.m., members of the public will receive a bowl of homemade soup, slice of bread and take home a handmade clay bowl, all for just $10. The proceeds will be donated to the IFC.
Jeff Schwarz, a second year graduate student in ceramics who became involved with the national Empty Bowls Project as an undergraduate at Slippery Rock University, decided to bring the effort to SU. “It’s important to be involved in something larger than myself,” he says.
The Empty Bowls Project, a national organization, manifests itself in separate, local events to raise funds for food banks, soup kitchens and organizations that fight hunger. Since 1990, local Empty Bowls events across the country have raised millions of dollars. The projects consist of the sale of handcrafted bowls, created by volunteers, at a dinner event with proceeds benefiting a local charity. Dinners are simple meals of soup and bread, symbolic of the meals those in less fortunate situations resort to because they unable to provide for themselves and their families. Participants take the bowls home as a reminder of the less fortunate.
Since September, Schwarz and fellow graduate students David Clayton and Eunjung Shin and faculty advisor for the project, ceramics professor and local artist David MacDonald, have invited local artists and members of the SU and local communities to craft the 1,000 bowls needed for the benefit dinner. Clayscapes, a local ceramic supplier, donated three thousand pounds of clay for the project and local residents have been busy creating and donating handmade objects for a raffle to be held at the benefit.
In February, a group of 16 artists visited the ComArt facility on the SU campus to throw clay bowls. SU art students assisted the artists, who produced nearly 600 bowls. Schwarz recalls one artist from Clinton, N.Y., who crafted 200 bowls alone.
“The Empty Bowls Project is a rewarding and meaningful experience for the University and the community,” says MacDonald. “The chance for those of us who are more fortunate to give something back to the community is exhilarating.”
For more information on the Syracuse area Empty Bowls Project, contact Jeff Schwarz at (315) 254-0847 or email@example.com or David Clayton at (315) 256-2343 or firstname.lastname@example.org . For information on the national Empty Bowls Project, visit http://www.emptybowls.net .