Hub City Empty Bowls is now gearing up for its 2015 bowl-making sessions and Soup Day, which are a fundraiser to help feed hungry people in Spartanburg. The first two bowl-making sessions will be Thursday, June 18, during ArtWalk at West Main Artists Co-Op, 6-8:30 p.m., and Saturday, June 20, 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m., at Spartanburg Art Museum’s (SAM) Art School at Chapman Cultural Center. The money raised through the public’s making of handmade pottery bowls will be donated to TOTAL Ministries, a charity dedicated to feeding local citizens who don’t have enough to eat. Hub City Empty Bowls is a project of Carolina Clay Artists.
Empty Bowls is an international fundraising project that has taken root in many communities as a grassroots effort to feed local and needy citizens. Over the course of a few months, citizens are invited to make handmade pottery bowls at no cost. Bowl-making sessions are always fun and family oriented events. Those bowls are then professionally glazed and fired. At the end of the project, the public is invited to Soup Day, where citizens may pick out the bowls of their choice for a $15 donation each and then enjoy unlimited soup that is donated by local restaurants. Other activities on Soup Day include live music, silent auctions, drum circles, and fellowship. Hub City Empty Bowls’ Soup Day will be Saturday, Sept. 26, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., at Chapman Cultural Center.
The other bowl-making sessions will be July 18, 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m., at Chapman Cultural Center; Aug. 20, 6-8:30 p.m., during ArtWalk at West Main Artists Co-Op; and Aug. 22, 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m., at Chapman Cultural Center. All supplies and instruction are provided by Carolina Clay Artists. The public need only bring enthusiasm, creativity, hands willing to get dirty, and a canned food donation for TOTAL Ministries.
This is the seventh year that Carolina Clay Artists has sponsored Hub City Empty Bowls. Last year, the recipient of the funds was TOTAL Ministries, and the record-breaking net donation was $22,500. “Empty Bowls has become one of Spartanburg’s most favorite and most inclusive fundraising events,” Chairman Nancy Williamson said. “I think the keys to the success are the grassroots approach – making sure the money we raise gets to the people who need it, the public’s opportunity to make pottery bowls, and the accessibility of Soup Day. Where else can you donate $15 and get a nice pottery bowl to keep, all the gourmet soup you can eat, listen to live music, and socialize with like-minded people? It’s just a good deal; a win-win for everyone.”
“TOTAL Ministries is forever grateful to Hub City Empty Bowls for choosing us as the recipient of its labors,” the agency’s Executive Director Traci Kennedy said. “They have recognized a huge need, and we are so glad they believe in our work to help feed the community’s hungry. In Spartanburg County, 15 percent, or about 42,980 people, are in danger of not having enough to eat on a daily basis. The problem is especially bad for children and the elderly. Of all the people who ask TOTAL Ministries for help, 83 percent have a critical need for food. With the money we received last year from Empty Bowls, we were able to feed 4,687 people. All we can say is ‘Thank you!’”
This year, the bowl-making sessions are being grouped into three months, June, July, and August, with four of the sessions being within two days of each other and two being held during ArtWalk. All sessions will be held at either West Main Artists Co-Op or SAM’s Art School at Chapman Cultural Center. “I think part of our success is because of the close ties we have with the arts community. Spartanburg Art Museum and West Main Artists Co-op have generously opened their ceramic studios for our use and they both donate glazes and kiln firing. We could not offer the public bowl-making sessions without them.” Williamson said. “Plus, Chapman Cultural Center is the perfect venue for Soup Day. The large lobby and the outdoor plaza all make for a nice place for people to congregate.”
This year’s sponsors of Hub City Empty Bowls are Chris Williams, Carolina Clay Artists, Chapman Cultural Center, West Main Artists Co-Op, Spartanburg Art Museum, Action Printing, and Wheresville Productions. “We always need sponsors,” Williamson said. “If anyone wants to help or if any business wants to contribute, please contact me.”
For more information about Hub City Empty Bowls, please contact Williamson at (864) 621-2768. More information can be found online at HubCityEmptyBowls.com. The project can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Proceeds from this event will be directed to the Hub City Empty Bowls Project Fund, a component fund of The Spartanburg County Foundation established to increase awareness about the issues of hunger and food security, and to raise funds to help local organizations fight hunger. This year’s beneficiary organization is TOTAL Ministries.