The Annual Empty Bowl Project in Pomfret, Vermont
An interview with Judi Greene, one of the founders of Empty Bowls, about her involvement in this international project.
What is the empty bowl project?
The Empty Bowl Project is an international grassroots effort to raise both money and awareness in the fight to end hunger.
How and why did you start doing this?
In 2008, Jennifer Donaldson and I talked about the need to do more in our community for our local food shelf. We both love making pottery and cooking. We had heard about the project and it seemed like a great idea and thus, our local Empty Bowl project was born.
How does the project work?
The basic premise is simple: potters and other craftspeople, educators and community members are called upon to create handcrafted bowls. Guests are invited for a simple meal of donated bread and soup which is served as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world. Bowls are available for purchase with the money raised going 100% to organizations working to end hunger and food insecurity.
How do you get people involved?There are mulitple ways to get involved: You can decorate a pottery bowl (no experience necessary! Really!). We hold workshops throughout the community for all ages to paint the bowls. As food is donated by the community, you are invited to make a pot of soup or bake bread for the dinner. Join your neighbors, make new friends and come to the meal at the Pomfret Town Hall on Sunday, April 9th, 4-7pm.
What do you think this does for the community?
The Empty Bowl Project is a wonderful opportunity to bring people together. Potters gather together to make the bowls. When they are ready to be decorated people gather again to decorate them. This usually involves many more people and encourages new connections to be made, as people chat and paint. We have encouraged all age groups to glaze and we go out into our wider community to share the chance to do it.
What does your final event look like?
The final event is held at the Pomfret Town Hall on Sunday, April 9th, 4-7pm. The finished bowls are laid out on the tables so people can choose which bowl they will purchase with their bread and soup. Everyone gathers at communal tables and sits down to enjoy this simple meal surrounded by friends and neighbors, eating delicious food and listening to live entertainment. At the end of the meal you take your bowl home as a reminder that there are always empty bowls in the world.
Which organizations benefit from Empty Bowls?
100% of proceeds from this event go to the Hunger Relief organization of your choice. We then forward checks to that organization. Cash donations are designated by the organizers. This year The Woodstock Community Food Shelf and the Change the World Kids Food Justice Program are the recipients.
How can I get involved?
ArtisTree will be offering two free workshops for glazing on the 3rd and 10th of March. ArtisTree also offers an Open Studio on Mondays from 6 – 8pm that you can participate in. There will also be a workshop at the Thompson Senior Center in Woodstock on March 16th.
You can bake bread or make soup, and definitely come to the Empty Bowl Event, Sunday, April 9th, 4-7pm. You can choose a beautiful, handmade pottery bowl (between $8 - $30) and there is live entertainment as well.
For more information and to participate please call Judi Greene at 802-457-9035
Blog contributed by Fiona Davis, ArtisTree's Cermanics Director.