Empty Bowls event a ‘souper’ success - Hi-Desert Star: News

Empty Bowls event a ‘souper’ success

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Posted: Wednesday, November 29, 2017 4:19 pm | Updated: 2:32 pm, Fri Dec 1, 2017.

YUCCA VALLEY — Art and food combined to make a powerful impact at the Empty Bowls event Nov. 19 at the Center for Healthy Generations.

With six months of preparation, 200 donated custom bowls, 400 servings of soup served and 60 volunteers, the grassroots fundraiser event generated $4,300 for local food banks.

The Clay Folk Potters’ Guild organized the event with help from the community.

Empty Bowls is a nationwide fundraiser; events offer handmade bowls and soup to people for a fee to raise money for food banks. The Morongo Basin’s rendition returned this year after a hiatus since 2012.

Pioneertown ceramicist Amara Alban said planning started six months in advance, with the final month the most intensive as the details came together.

A line formed before the doors even opened. They received handmade, custom bowls from local artists that participants were able to keep afterwards. The soup was brought in by volunteers. Sixty artists, soup makers and volunteers came together to make the event possible.

“There is this beautiful synergy that happens where everyone feels like they are part of the solution,” Alban said. “Over 60 people put their time and energy and love to it. And that’s what makes the event.”

Volunteers have already stepped forward for next year, she said.

Planning for the event relies on how many bowls are donated to determine venue and capacity. 

“Everything rests on how many bowls we are getting,” Alban said. 

Potters donated anywhere from one bowl to 43 bowls. The process of bowl making takes about two weeks between the drying, firing, trimming, glazing, preparation and cooling.

Participation came from a variety of groups and community members. Alban recalled that Jordan Sample led a home-school cooking class in making soups and breads. Children were able to participate in a bowl-making class led by Gretchen Grunt, while Ed Keesling taught a free pottery class to seniors at the Center for Healthy Generations.

Phillip Rosenberg with Rags and Bones performed during the event and donated all CD sales and tips to the cause.

“That’s just an example of the outpouring of support,” Alban said.

The Center for Healthy Generations donated the space and had everything set up.

“The gift was participating. The gift was being a part and helping make it happen. And everybody felt that. Everybody gets a chance to take a little bit of time and give back to the community,” Alban said.

Larger than the previous two Empty Bowls event in 2011 and 2012, the fundraiser brought in enough to donate $2,000 to two Morongo Basin food banks and to give $300.81 to Mara’s Christmas Wish.

© 2017 Hi-Desert Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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