Potters, get to your wheels. Empty Bowls is Back! The Watauga Arts Council is teaming up with the Watauga High School Art Department and the Hunger and Health Coalition to host Empty Bowls*. Empty Bowls is an annual fundraising event organized by the High School art department. Proceeds of Empty Bowls go to the Hunger and Health Coalition – a large-scale local food pantry serving High Country residents who struggle with food insecurity.
For the first time since its inception in 2001, Watauga High School Empty Bowls had to be canceled in 2020. “Because of the prolonged nature of the pandemic, an event at the high school was not plausible and we were searching for possibilities to continue with the spirit of the event”, says Brett McDonough, High School Ceramics Teacher. “Our event is built 100% on donations from generous local potters, restaurant owners, and artists. We were sensitive to even ask for donations due to the challenges many have faced this year. So, when Amber, the Director of the Watauga County Arts Council, reached out offering to help we were thrilled”, shares Dacia Trethewey, Watauga High School art teacher.
Bob Meyers of Doe Ridge Pottery contacted Amber to let her know that Empty Bowls had been canceled again. “I knew Amber wanted to use the Arts Council to support the community and this seemed like a good fit. Empty Bowls is a fantastic event that people look forward to; it was really missed last year.”
As the pandemic continued and many families in our community struggled to make ends meet, the Hunger and Health Coalition stayed open to ensure that our residents would have steady access to healthy foods. “Being a consistent and reliable resource for our neighbors in need has never been more important. We know that providing nutritious foods helps our community stay healthy and keeps their immune systems strong. We are honored to partner with this passionate group of local artists to bring back such a beloved event!”, shares Elizabeth Young, Hunger and Health Coalition Executive Director.
“This has been such a tough year for so many people. I can’t think of a better way to lift spirits and encourage our residents”, said Amber Bateman, director of the Watauga Arts Council. “We feel so blessed to have the Blue Ridge ArtSpace and King Street Art Collective and want these spaces to be used for collaborative, creative purposes. We hope to see more of this in the future.”
The Arts Council can offer structure and support to help facilitate this fundraising event. “Offering this to our friends at the High School and to the Hunger and Health Coalition while also inspiring creativity for our potters is the perfect way to showcase the spirit that makes the High Country so special,” Amber added.
Empty Bowls* will be a simplified version of our traditional Empty Bowls. While we can’t offer the full soup-eating, social experience, we can offer beautiful bowls and t-shirts designed by Asa Markus, a senior at Watauga High School. Businesses who might want to sponsor this event are encouraged to reach out to the Arts Council.
Artists looking to donate their wares can drop off their items at the Blue Ridge ArtSpace building at 377 Shadowline Drive, Boone, NC 28607, from now through April 23rd, 2021. Hours of operation are M-F 9 am-5 pm. Call if needed: 828-264-1789.
The event will be on Saturday, April 24th, 5 to 8 pm, and Sunday, April 25th, 11 am to 2 pm at the King Street Art Collective located at 585 West King Street, Boone, NC 28607, just above Doe Ridge Pottery. This year, ticketholders will be able to drop in to choose a locally-made bowl, listen to a live band, and check out the App State Senior Design Showcase.
**Please note that due to the pandemic, Soup will not be served this year. To best keep our patrons safe, we are offering two different days and various pick-up times. Tickets can be purchased in advance at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/watauga-county-empty-bowls-2021-tickets-148442915757 and links can be found on the Hunger and Health Coalition’s or the Watauga Arts Council website and Facebook page.
To volunteer to help with this event, please go to our website and fill out a volunteer form and write Empty Bowls in the comment section of the registration form. For more information, contact the Watauga County Arts Council at 828-264-1789.