For the third year in a row, students in the ceramics program at NOVA’s Alexandria Campus partnered with ALIVE! (ALexandrians InVolved Ecumenically) to donate handcrafted, one-of-a-kind bowls for the organization’s Empty Bowls Alexandria charity event.
Empty Bowls Alexandria was on November 18 at the Durant Arts Center in Old Town Alexandria. Attendees and donors enjoyed a simple meal prepared by local restaurants and bakeries and receive handmade bowls made by NOVA student artists as gifts. For its inaugural Empty Bowls Alexandria event in 2015, ALIVE! raised $37,000 to help those in need in the City of Alexandria and the event has continued to be a success. This year, ALIVE! raised more than $65,000 to help those in need.
Ceramics Professor Jessica Gardner said she asked her students to be a part of this by creating ceramic bowls for the event because it is important for students and artists to be aware of the needs of others and to contribute to their communities.
“One in five Alexandrians struggle to put food on the table. The Empty Bowls event raises money to help these families and individuals,” said Richard Speckart, ALIVE! Empty Bowls organizing committee member. “The beautiful bowls donated by NOVA are a huge part of the event. Those who have donated money to attend each get a bowl to take home. These bowls are a huge draw, and people love them. There are so many to choose from that often they have a hard time deciding.”
ALIVE! reports that more than 13,500 Alexandria residents live in poverty. Empty Bowls is a grassroots program encouraging collaboration and partnership between local artists and organizations to raise hunger awareness and feed those in need in their communities. ALIVE! provides food for more than 2,350 people each month as well as shelter and emergency financial assistance among other services.