Crescenta Valley High School has a strong ceramics program. Most of the time, the pottery that the students create goes home with them to be given as gifts to friends or family. But once a year, the advanced students in the school’s ceramics class give away their handcrafted bowls to a good cause.
CVHS ceramics teacher Michael Flower has partnered with Empty Bowls, an event hosted by the CV United Methodist Church, for six years and he’s doing it again on Oct. 5. Empty Bowls is a charity event that sells donated bowls to the public made by area artists to raise funds to feed the hungry.
Despite the misleading name, the bowls purchased won’t be empty. On Saturday night, the public is invited to the church and for $15 can pick out a handmade bowl and have it filled with soup that’s also donated by local restaurants. Past participating restaurants have included Leo’s All Star, New Moon, Joselito’s, Hill Street, Hank’s Famous, Dish and Zeke’s Steakhouse. There are even meatless soups for vegetarians. In addition to the soup, there will also be salad and bread. Music will be provided as well as a jazz trio, a youth band, and the music director from North Hollywood High will be on site to set the mood.
Around 600 bowls are donated every year for the event. CVHS students donate about 100 of those 600. The other 500 bowls are from artists who either attended pottery workshops hosted by Empty Bowls or churchgoers from the CVUMC or from Xiem Clay Center in Pasadena. Students from North Hollywood High School, taught by local resident Jeanne Lavieri, also donate their handmade bowls.
Laveiri asked Flower to participate in Empty Bowls. After she talked to him about the charity, he said he jumped at the chance to have his students help the community.
“[Empty Bowls] gives the ceramics program an opportunity to reach out further into the community,” said Flower.
Laveiri enjoys seeing the interaction within the community
“It’s about making connections, raising awareness for hunger, and strengthening our local community,” she said. “And we get to play with clay along the way!”
Last year, the Empty Bowls event raised about $6,000 with around 300 people attending.
Crescenta Valley United Methodist Church is located at 2700 Montrose Ave. The Empty Bowls fundraiser is from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. All are invited to attend.