“Empty Bowls,” an international project organized to fight hunger, is personalized by artists on a community level. The promotion and growth of the project is managed by The Imagine/RENDER Group, but each community’s events are self-developed and independent, with events currently being held in many areas in the United States and Canada.
“Empty Bowls” now supports food-related charities around the world and has raised millions of dollars to aid in the fight against hunger, with 100 percent of each event’s proceeds devoted to local hunger-fighting organizations.
After the organ concert, those in attendance may choose a bowl to be filled for a suggested minimum donation. For many such events, the bowls are filled with soup, but in August, the local potters decided ice cream would be much more appealing, and H-E-B graciously offered to fill the bowls. Dr. Sarah Gremmel, head potter, suggests a minimum gift of $20 for the concert and a bowl filled with ice cream. Larger amounts will gladly be accepted, while those who want to help but can’t afford that amount may opt for a plastic bowl for a smaller donation.
The local group, which meets once a week at Dr. Gremmel’s “Clay House,” has been working for approximately a year on the project and have completed around 50 bowls.
The Beeville Vineyard is in dire financial straits, as is usual near the end of the summer, when vacation time distracts the community from helping others. Funds from the concert and “Empty Bowls” project will help keep the Vineyard’s doors open so that needy people may receive the assistance they need.
The Berclair mission also distributes food to the needy, and the “Empty Bowls” support will increase the number of people who can be helped in that small community.
Art teacher John Hartom initiated the “Empty Bowls” project in 1990-91 when he joined a drive to raise charitable funds in his Michigan community. His idea was to give artists and art students an opportunity to make a personal difference. The success of that initial project led to the organization of the umbrella 501(c)3 Imagine/RENDER Group, which has greatly expanded the successful idea.
All donations to the concert and “Empty Bowls” are tax-deductible.