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Diakonia and OC Art League team up to fight hunger

(Jan. 16, 2015) Join the Art League of Ocean City and Diakonia in their fight to help end hunger by creating a clay bowl to use during the annual soup dinner slated for March 21.

There are eight free pottery sessions still scheduled for the second Empty Bowl Project, which takes place through the end of February.

The Empty Bowl Project aims to promote the arts in Ocean City while raising money for a good cause.

The first Empty Bowl Project in Ocean City took place last year to remind the community of all the empty bowls in the world. Three hundred bowls were handcrafted with $6,000 being raised. This year, the goal is to have 280 bowls and $8,000 garnered in time for the soup dinner.

“I think it’s a great way to incorporate art and a good cause,” said Mallory Hanback, volunteer and events coordinator for the Art League of Ocean City. “The money being raised helps both organizations [the Art League and Diakonia.]”

About 20 people can sign up for each hour time slot, although organizers are flexible. More than 20 people can cause a tight squeeze in the room, although the Art League does not want to turn people away, Hanback said.

As of press time, four bowl-making sessions have already taken place and there has been a nice turnout so far.

“We had over 20 people on Jan. 3 and 27 people came on the seventh,” Hanback said. “Saturdays are more popular since people are off work and can make it an afternoon event.”

After making a bowl, participants can claim it for the soup dinner. Bowls are left to be glazed and fired after they are created. Organizers will write names on claimed bowls and participants can pick them up the night of the dinner.

The finished bowls will be filled with soup on March 21. For a $20 donation, enjoy a dinner of soup, bread and desserts donated by local restaurants. In addition, diners are welcome to take home a handcrafted bowl. Soup lovers who decided to skip the bowl making process will have unclaimed bowls to choose from to hold their soup.

There will be a 50/50 raffle and silent auction featuring about a dozen gift baskets ranging from sports memorabilia to beauty products. There will also be live music and a cash bar during the dinner.

This year’s event will feature a soup to-go station for people who cannot stay the entire event or just want a bowl of soup. For people getting soup to-go, there will only be a $5 charge.

Children 12 and under can eat soup for $5. The price will be $20 if they want to take a handmade bowl home.

A selection of soups from different restaurants in the area will be available for diners.

Last year, Liquid Assets provided chili, there was a spicy crab soup available and Fresco’s served an Italian soup. For donations this year, organizers are looking for hearty, filling soups, Hanback said.

“It’s a great wintertime activity to do in Ocean City and invites people who have never been to the Art League headquarters to check it out,” Hanback said.

Call the Art League’s Ocean City Center for the Arts on 94th Street at 410-524-9433 to register in advance for one of the remaining free bowl-crafting sessions:  Monday, Jan. 26 from 1-2 p.m. and 2-3 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 8 from 1-2 p.m. and 2-3 p.m.; Saturday, Feb 21 from 11 a.m. to noon and 12-1 p.m. and Monday, Feb. 23 from 6-7 p.m. and 7-8 p.m.

The soup dinner will take place at the Art League headquarters on 94th Street from 5-8 p.m. on Saturday, March 21.

The Art League of Ocean City is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the visual arts to the community through education, exhibits, scholarship programs and public service projects. For more information or to sign up to make a bowl, call 410-524-9433 or visit www.artleagueofoceancity.org.

To learn more about Diakonia, which provides emergency and transitional housing, emergency food services and counseling and assistance for guests, call 410-213-0923 or email info@diakoniaoc.org.

Abby Morells, left, and Ashley Brown take a minute to

pose with their bowls on Wednesday, Jan. 7 at a bowl-crafting

session for the Art League of Ocean City and Diakonia. There

are eight free pottery sessions still scheduled for their annual

Empty Bowl Project, which takes place until the end of February

at the Art League of Ocean City on 94th Street.




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