Hub City Empty Bowls’s 7th annual Soup Day will be Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, from 11am-4pm, at Chapman Cultural Center, in Spartanburg, SC, with a goal to feed both the socially responsible public and the community’s most needy citizens.
On Soup Day, more than 1,500 handmade pottery bowls will be available for purchase-donations of $15 each. Participants will then enjoy unlimited gourmet soup provided by more than 20 local restaurants. In addition, the event will feature continuous live music, a silent auction, and drum circles through out the day. The money raised will be given to TOTAL Ministries, a faith-based non-profit agency that provides assistance to Spartanburg’s most needy citizens. Last year, Hub City Empty Bowls, which is spearheaded by Carolina Clay Artists, gave a record-breaking $22,500 to TOTAL Ministries.
“This is one of Spartanburg’s most respected and enjoyable fundraisers,” Nancy Williamson, Empty Bowls’s chairwoman said. “It touches people in so many personal ways. It appeals to the creative community because of the pottery bowl-making. It appeals to shoppers who want unique handmade pottery for a great price. It appeals to foodies, who want all-you-can-eat gourmet soup. And it appeals to the socially responsible citizens who see this as a grassroots way to help make the world a better place. Plus it is a lot of fun on every level. What better way to spend a Saturday than coming together for a good cause, hearing great music, eating the best soups to be found in the city, banging on a drum, and taking home a few pottery bowls? The fellowship is amazing.”
For the past three months, Carolina Clay Artists led public bowl-making sessions in Spartanburg Art Museum’s Art School and at West Main Artists Co-op. These have been free events, where anyone could make pottery bowls for Soup Day. The clay and professional instruction were free. Those bowls were then glazed and fired.
Come Saturday, Sept. 26, more than 1,500 colorful bowls of all shapes and sizes will be laid out in the lobby of Chapman Cultural Center’s theater. “When we open the doors, there is a bit of mad rush by some people to get first dibs,” Williamson said. “It all depends on what you are looking for. If you want primitive child-like bowls, we have them. If you want professional bowls, we have them. And we have everything in between, and some people get stacks of them for Christmas presents. It is an impressive sight to see all of the bowls laid out on as many tables as we can cram into the lobby.”
After you get your bowls, you are invited to eat all of the soup you want, provided by restaurants stationed around the room. “You are discouraged from eating out of the pottery bowls,” Williamson said. “They are clean but just not clean enough to eat out of until you take them home and wash them. We’ll have plenty of paper bowls to eat out of.” Also provided will be bread, tea, and water.
Throughout the day, various local musicians will provide continuous live music. There will also be a silent auction of donated items, many of which are pottery. Everyone is invited to participate in the drum circle.
“It is just a fun day,” Williamson said.
“It is a very important day for the community’s needy,” Traci Kennedy, Executive Director of TOTAL Ministries, said. “When someone gives us $20,000, we know we can feed a lot people who need it. In Spartanburg County about 43,000 people each day are in danger of going hungry, many of whom are children and elderly. With the money that Hub City Empty Bowls raised last year, we fed nearly 10,000 people. That’s a pretty good dent in the problem. We cannot thank Hub City Empty Bowls enough.”
This year’s sponsors are Chris Williams, Carolina Clay Artists, Chapman Cultural Center, West Main Artists Co-op, Spartanburg Art Museum, Action Printing, and Wheresville Productions.
The musicians will be Daniel Z, Fayssoux McLean and David Ezell, 2 Daves, mark Miller, Frank Walker, and drum circles led by Melisa Emkjer.
The restaurants and food providers will be Willy Taco, Fatz, Sun King, Cribbs Kitchen, Cribbs Catering, Gerhards, Farmer’s Table, Sparks Fire Inspired Grill, II Samuels, Palmetto Palate, Lime Leaf, Moveable Feasts, Renato’s, Basil’s, McClellan’s Urban Eatery, Andre Nguyen, Garner’s, NuWay, Wild Aces, Mon Amie, Southern BBQ, Episcopal Church of the Advent Young Adults, The Beacon, Cakehead Bakery, Little River Roasting Co., Long Horn’s, Chick-fil-A, and Wade’s.
This program is supported in part by The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg, its donors, the County and City of Spartanburg and the South Carolina Arts Commission that receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina.
For more information, please contact Nancy Williamson at 864/621-2768 or visit (HubCityEmptyBowls.com).