Youth ambassadors assemble pottery for biennial Empty Bowls project;
proceeds go to Community Shares Project
MANCHESTER » The Long Trail School youth ambassadors spent a recent Saturday morning at the Manchester Library for the “Book and Bowl,” shaping and sculpting clay bowls in preparation for the school’s biennial Empty Bowls event. The Long Trail students welcomed families and children from the community to participate, and was part of several bowl-making events they do throughout winter in preparation for Empty Bowls 2015 The biennial event will be held on Saturday, March 28, from 5-8 pm at Long Trail School, 1045 Kirby Hollow Road in Dorset. The public will be welcomed in to buy some homemade clay bowls and get a few servings of fresh hot soup for charity, and will have a chance to see the hard work that students display. Between live music from staff and students and student art exhibits, the Empty Bowls event is a good chance for the school to showcase its students’ work.
The Long Trial Director of Marketing and Youth Ambassador Leader, Courtney Callo, said that the school is well on its way to being able to sell 600 to 700 bowls, the proceeds of which will all go toward the Community Shares Project, a collaboration to end hunger by the churches of Dorset, Rupert and North Pawlet. At $12 a bowl and unlimited soup refills, CSP can expect to bring in at least $7,200 from the fundraiser.
There is little to no overhead, because sponsors like Long Trail and Maple Leaf Realty supply the roughly 500 pounds of clay and glaze, and the bowls are fired in the school’s kiln. Volunteers make the bowls and cook a variety of soup.
“A lot of people will just donate a lot more than the price of the bowl,” Callo said. “People tend to be very generous. We have a lot of sponsors that help us, too.” Those who attend Empty Bowls 2015 will also get to snack on homemade bread and desserts with the purchase of a bowl, which are all baked and donated by local bakeries and parents of Long Trail Students. Leading up to the fundraiser itself, the Long Trail youth ambassadors get to work with the public at various events like the “Book and Bowl.”
Long Trail junior Hunter Campbell said he enjoys the time he gets to help others, more so than just cranking out clay bowls all by himself. “We have instructions available, but we also try to help kids out whenever they are here,” he said. Smaller children may not always make the kind of art a stranger would want to display or use in their home, but the process is all about quantity more than quality, and to have fun while producing the bowls. Some people even just like to donate the money, and couldn’t care less what the bowl looks like. “The hardest thing is telling the little kids that they can’t take their bowl home, because they are for a fundraiser,” Callo said. “I can recall one kid who was so happy to find the bowl he made among the ones being sold at the library that his mom bought it.”
Despite a low public turnout on Saturday, Long Trail students said they had fun making pottery all morning, moving the shaped clay down an assembly line. Long Trail has been putting together an Empty Bowls event at least every other year for the past eight years, though the event originally sprang from the idea of a Michigan art teacher in 1990. Empty Bowls projects have since grown in popularity around the country. Visit the Long Trail School online at http:// longtrailschool.org/ for more information on upcoming events.
Article by Tom Momberg/originally published in The Bennington Banner/February 23, 2015