For the third consecutive year, students in the ceramics program at Northern Virginia Community College’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. This year, the event sold out and the non-profit organization raised more than $65,000 to help those in need in the City of Alexandria.
Empty Bowls Alexandria was on Nov. 18 at the Durant Arts Center in Old Town Alexandria. Attendees and donors enjoyed a simple meal prepared by local restaurants and bakeries and received handmade bowls created by NOVA student artists as gifts. The bowls are given to contributors to show appreciation for their donations to ALIVE! and its work toward providing assistance to those in need.
Ceramics Professor Jessica Gardner said it’s important for her students to learn and grow in the art world while also using their creativity to give back to their communities. Each year, NOVA students’ unique bowls are a major part of Empty Bowls Alexandria.
“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.
For additional information about ALIVE!, visit the organization’s website.
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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.