TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List

Friday, February 25, 2011

Empty Bowls Project in Paducah

Empty Bowls Project, Paducah, Kentucky

The Empty Bowls Project is a really cool way to raise money for the hungry in a local community.  Michael Terra, local ceramic artist, has been the force behind this happening here in our town.  Tomorrow is the big event:  local area restaurants provide donated food for the handmade bowls that have been made for project supporters.  In other words, you get to eat a great meal in a cool bowl for $15.  Money raised goes to feed the hungry and you get to keep the bowl.

Such an event does not happen overnight.  Michael has been donating his time, energy, studio space, and kiln firings for months.  One of the great side effects of such a project is that people who never get to play with clay were able to come in and make their own bowls, many for the first the time.  A great way to meet new people, try a new medium, form community, and just have fun.

Event Details:  The Actual Event is on Feb 26th, 2011, from Noon- 5pm at the Robert Cherry Civic Center in Paducah, KY. Tickets are $15 each and entitle you to a handmade ceramic bowl and the wonderful food donated by the area restaurants.

Interested in replicating this event in your own community?  I'm sure Michael would be happy to share some tips.  You can also check out the Empty Bowls Project facebook page:

I'm sure that Michael would be happy to also accept donations from those who cannot attend.  Email Michael.

Mitch Kimball with his bowl donation.
Paducah is known for its quilts, but there is a vibrant community of artists here who work in many other mediums.  happens to be one of my favorites as I also worked with it for three years.  Someday it may happen again!  Michael travels all over to art festivals to sell his work.  Mitch Kimball, a dear friend, has a gorgeous website, and earns his keep as an art teacher in the Paducah school system (bending those minds at an early age...). 

Whatever the medium or skill level, art can be used as a powerful force to promote social change.  Kudos to all who have participated in the Empty Bowls Project!  These have been tough times and I know that your efforts will be greatly appreciated!



  1. Hi, Rachel! I LOVE your blog background .... favorite colors and all those wonderful stitches. Yum! xo

  2. This is an uber cool way to promote awareness about hunger in our world and the arts. I used to work for the Art Institutes & gave presentations to high school students about creative careers. I saw an art teacher in OH who did a similar thing with her art students. They made ceramic bowls & sold them to earn money for their local soup kitchen.

    Thank you for following your heart to use art to help heal the world. You work is amazing!

  3. I would love to have taken advantage of the Paducah Artist Relocation Program but my situation, as much as I tried to turn it over in my head to make it possible, just didn't lend itself to being there. Louisville has the potential (blighted neighborhoods) to do something similiar, but I think it lacks the vision to consider them. I think Detroit is doing something to offer artists housing in exchange for making the repairs in neighborhoods that are boarded up. Anyways, all that to say...how wonderful of the artists to be leaders in vital issues for the community.


“Sing like no one's listening, love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth.”

“Whatever you say, say it with conviction.”

(Both by the master, Mark Twain)

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