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Empty Bowls 2012: Art, Food, and Philanthropy

Empty Bowls 2012: Art, Food, and Philanthropy

Posted: May 16, 2012

Feast your eyes on hundreds of creatively made bowls before feasting on lunch at the annual Empty Bowls event, Sunday, May 20, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

Now in its ninth year, Empty Bowls continues its mission to promote art and combat hunger in Western New York.

At the event, guests choose a bowl made from different materials—including clay, paper, old records, and wood—and are then given a simple meal catered by Oliver’s Restaurant. Designed by local students and artists, the bowls symbolize hunger around the world.

Admission to the event is free, and the bowls range in price from $5 to $15.

Proceeds from Empty Bowls benefit the Food Bank of Western New York and Friends of Night People. These two non-profit organizations rely almost entirely on donations to provide resources to more than 140,000 underprivileged people in our area each year.

Empty Bowls is a national program that was adopted by Buffalo State in 2003. John Siskar, director of the Center for Excellence in Urban Education, has been instrumental in organizing and promoting the fundraiser each year.

Under Siskar’s guidance, students from the Art Education Department work throughout the year to coordinate the event. In the fall, lesson plans focusing on utilizing creativity to raise awareness about hunger, poverty, and the importance of community service were distributed to more than 40 schools throughout Western New York. After teachers in participating schools implement the lesson plans, they deliver their students’ creations back to Buffalo State for sale and display.

“The teachers and students that participate are excited about making cool art and making a difference in their community,” said Sara Qureshi, student co-chair of Empty Bowls. “On the day of the event, it’s always so exciting to see all of the bowls on display, and to watch everyone’s faces as they react to the creativity the students and artists have put into making them.”

Last year, Empty Bowls raised more than $6,000 and drew hundreds of attendees. For more information, visit the Empty Bowls Facebook page.

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