Sowega Council on Aging and the Albany Area Arts Council Partner for Successful Empty Bowls Event
Friday, March 10th, 2023
The Event Center at Northwest Library was filled on Wednesday for the return of the highly anticipated Empty Bowls event, with 175 people in attendance. This annual event, a partnership between the Sowega Council on Aging and the Albany Area Arts Council, had been postponed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
The Empty Bowls event is a fundraising initiative for the Council on Aging's Home Delivered Meals program and the Albany Area Arts Council's gallery exhibitions for local artists. According to Izzie Sadler, Executive Director of the Sowega Council on Aging, the partnership has been a tremendous success over the years.
Tickets were sold at $30, and attendees were able to sample soups prepared by different caterers, restaurants, and local chefs. Moreover, they could choose a handcrafted pottery piece created by local artists to take home.
The event not only raises funds for the two non-profit organizations, but it also raises awareness about senior hunger in the community. Sadler explains, “Seniors are one of the most vulnerable groups of individuals experiencing hunger in the community. As such, raising awareness about senior hunger is a crucial initiative for the organization.” The Council on Aging aims to combat senior hunger through their Home Delivered Meals program, which provides healthy and nutritious meals to seniors.
Sadler highlights that issues of senior hunger are complex, and the community needs to work together to find sustainable solutions. By 2030, an estimated one in five people will be over the age of 65, and it's important to find ways to support this growing population.
This year's event was a resounding success with several caterers, restaurants, and chefs showcasing their culinary skills. Attendees had the opportunity to try different soups from Newks, Westover High Culinary School, Albany Tech, Southern Elegance Catering, Viet Pho, Chehaw Park & Zoo Catering, BJ’s Buffet, Dunbars Sweets, Pearly’s Famous Cooking, Chef Hazel’s, Tater Saladz and Vegan Chef.
Handcrafted pottery pieces were also a hit, with the majority selected in less than 30 minutes into the event. The beautiful and unique pottery was provided by artisans Kirby Gregory, Stacey Porter Brown with The Clay Spot, Scott Marini and Albany State University’s Visual and Performing Arts Ceramics Department, Cheryl & Stephen Hinson with Orchard Potters, Allyson Jones with Allyson Jones Designs.
The event is not only about raising funds for a meaningful cause but also about bringing different parts of the community together. The Albany Area Arts Council Director, Nicole Williams, noted, “This is a heart-warming event that brings people together to work toward a meaningful cause in a way that is tangible and visible. We thank everyone who participated – ticket purchasers, local artists and businesses that donated their time and resources.”
Overall, the Empty Bowls event has become an important annual initiative in Albany, bringing people together to support a worthy cause while enjoying delicious food and admiring the works of local artists.