On Monday, Jan. 16, students, parents, teachers, family and friends will gather on the campus of Malvern Prep to raise money to benefit the area’s homeless population. The 4th annual event is called Empty Bowls, and it combines Malvern’s love of clay with the school’s dedication to community service. On Martin Luther King Day, a designated national day of service, Malvern is seeking to build on the more than $27,500 raised in the first three years of Empty Bowls.
begins at 7:00 p.m. and is open to the general public. Tickets are $25 per adult and $15 per child ten and under, and are available HERE
Empty Bowls is a months-long labor of love at Malvern, and is part of the national Empty Bowls movement, a national organization that has been supporting thousands of these events worldwide since 1990. Members of the Malvern community have created well over 800 ceramic bowls, both in the classroom and during nine open studio days held from October through January. Those bowls will be used at the event to serve a simple meal of donated soup and bread. Guests choose a bowl to use that day and to keep as a reminder that there are always empty bowls, and therefore hungry people, in the world. Additional bowls are also on sale at the event, along with silent auction pieces donated by students and area artists. All proceeds are donated to Bethesda Project, an organization that works to reaffirm the dignity of our homeless brothers and sisters in Philadelphia. You can learn more about this important provider of housing and services to homeless and poor citizens of Philadelphia at www.bethesdaproject.org
Empty Bowls is being chaired this year by Malvern Prep seniors Austin Velte, Julian Venonsky, and Ryan Wheeler. “I've been involved with Empty Bowls for four years, and I believe it is a great event for the community,” said Velte. “It realizes the strength of Malvern's art program and applies it for a good cause.”
“Empty Bowls is all about using your talents to help others,” said Wheeler. “We all have talents but it's what we do with those talents that make us who we are. Empty Bowls instills this in all who are involved and, hopefully, in all who attend the event.”
“I feel that Empty Bowls is a very important part of the winter season at Malvern,” said Venosky. “It blends our outstanding arts program with our equally outstanding service program.”
Malvern has built a personal relationship with the people who benefit from Empty Bowls. Sophomores cooked and shared a dinner with the men from Bethesda Project on two fall service weekends in September and November, and, this year, sophomores also taught residents how to glaze for Empty Bowls. According to Kate Plows, ceramics teacher and event coordinator for Empty Bowls, “The last service weekend was probably the best one I've experienced at Malvern. At St. Augustine's in Old City, the sophomores invited guests from Bethesda Project's shelters to glaze bowls while the smell of chicken stew and cornbread wafted from the kitchen. The energy was great - lively conversations, laughter, and lots of sharing.”
See below for a video of Malvern preparing for Empty Bowls 2012.