Empty Bowls Festival - A fundraiser to support the Community Cupboard
The Leavenworth Empty Bowls Festival has been going strong since 1996!
The Empty Bowls Festival is an annual fundraiser that supports the Community Cupboard food bank and art education in local schools. Hundreds of Upper Valley residents participate in this unique event every year, which is coordinated entirely by local volunteers. Participants buy undecorated bowls made by local artists and paint them with a design of their choice. The bowls are then fired and returned to their owners at a community dinner in March. As well as being able to decorate your own bowl you can bid on bowls painted by local artists in the Artist Bowl Auction prior to the community dinner.
The Empty Bowls Project started in 1991 in Michigan and has since spread to arts groups in nearly every state. Originally, Empty Bowls focused on hunger in the United States, but the project has grown beyond expectations and is now underway in several countries. In Leavenworth, local potters Jeff Hilton and Nancy Petersen began the Upper Valley's version of Empty Bowls in 1996. It was their idea to combine an art experience for novice artists with a fundraiser/soup supper. The first Empty Bowls was held in Carl and Sheila Bergren's garage and has since grown into an event that includes over 700 Upper Valley residents each year.