Artists fight hunger

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I had good company while driving to Tucson on Tuesday for day one of this year’s Arizona Library Association conference with an “Imagine: The Future” theme. The E Street Radio channel on Sirius XM was airing a program highlighting “Hungerthon 2011” — which asks us all to “Imagine There’s No Hunger,” then work together to make it so.

The Hungerthon is part of WhyHunger’s campaign to end hunger and poverty through grassroots advocacy and action. WhyHunger was started by talk show host Bill Ayres and singer-songwriter Harry Chapin, and its programs include “Artists Against Hunger and Poverty.” Participating artists include Chicago, Santana, Springsteen and many more.

Younger, lesser-known artists have been doing their part right here in Arizona, painting bowls for something called the “Empty Bowls Project,” an international effort to end hunger. Their work will be part of Thursday’s Empty Bowls event at Scottsdale Community College — located at 9000 E. Chaparral Rd. just east of Hwy. 101.

SCC notes that Empty Bowls began in 1990 when a high school art teacher in Michigan and his students brainstormed fundraising ideas to support a local food drive. They decided to sell hand-painted bowls filled with soup — hoping the bowls, once emptied, would serves as reminders of those not fortunate enough to have full bowls or bellies.

Folks who attend the free gathering, taking place Dec. 1 from 11am-6pm, can buy a hand-painted bowl, filled with pasta prepared by SCC culinary arts students, for just $10.00. Or skip the carbs, and go big on just the bowls — which are great for taking along to all those holiday gift exchanges where you want to have something affordable but priceless.

I’m told you’ll have about 4oo bowls to choose from, created by children from Vista del Camino’s after-school program, Paiute Neighborhood Center’s after-school program, Horizon Community Center, Greenway Middle School and Fees Middle School. Also local Girl Scouts, plus teachers and students from the Scottsdale Unified School District.  

Proceeds from Thursday’s event — a collaboration between SCC and Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Vista del Camino Community Center, the Paiute Neighborhood Center, Concerned Citizens for Community Health and the Scottsdale Unified School District — will “help restock the shelves at Vista del Camino’s Food Bank, a community organization that responds to numerous requests each year for emergency services of food, clothing and shelter.”

Art. Pasta. Easy holiday shopping. Making a difference. Life is good. 

— Lynn

Note: The SCC Jazz Band will play jazz standards as the event kicks off at 11am in the school cafeteria, located near the center of campus — and folks who attend early can also enjoy a silent auction for “higher end bowls” that’ll be awarded at 1pm. Only cash or checks will be accepted, but there is an ATM machine on campus.

Coming up: Gingerbread tales

Update: This post was updated to include photos taken during this year’s event — which runs until 6pm on Dec. 1. I bought the peace sign bowl pictured above, plus a heart theme bowl created by a Via del Camino teen named Amie who loves to cook. And I’m hoping I was the top bidder on a kokopelli bowl featured in the silent auction.

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