TOMS RIVER, NJ - An Empty Bowls Project, a joint fundraiser to benefit the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen, Toms River, and the Art Alliance of Monmouth County, Red Bank, in collaboration with Monmouth County Arts Council (MCAC) Teen Arts Festival will take place from 2 to 7 p.m. Sept. 30.
The event will take place at the Soul Kitchen, 1769 Hooper Ave., Toms River. Participants are requested to make a $20 donation that entitles them to own one of the hundreds of beautiful handmade ceramic bowls on display that were crafted by teen artists and adult artists. Also, the donation will help to feed an in-need person at the Soul Kitchen and benefit the Art Alliance.
This is the first year for the Empty Bowls Project event at the Toms River Soul Kitchen that open over a year ago in Ocean County. Several Empty Bowls events have been held at the Red Bank Soul Kitchen in Monmouth County. During the months of preparation, artists, students, and others have come together to create and decorate the one of a kind bowls. The Teen Arts Festival, an annual event sponsored by the MCAC, offered participating students several workshops in which to make bowls.
The Empty Bowls Projects are coordinated by Mil Wexler Kobrinski, Colts Neck resident, in collaboration with the Monmouth County Arts Council. Ms. Wexler Kobrinski serves as a board member of the Art Alliance and is a ceramicist, artist and teacher. Her MFA thesis project focused on Empty Bowls, which is a project of Imagine/RENDER, a 501(c) 3 organization, consisting of an international grassroots effort to raise both money and awareness in the fight to end hunger. The mission is to create positive and lasting change through the arts, education, and projects that build local communities.
“The important thing is that everybody has been meeting and working on these bowls, coming together as a community with a purpose and a mission to end hunger on a local level,” said Ms. Wexler Kobrinski."Although suffering from lack of food is not necessarily visible, it is very real, especially to those who experience it."
Members of the Art Alliance of Monmouth County have participated and supported the event at every stage. “I am proud that members of the Art Alliance are working in the community to feed those in need. As artists we have an obligation toward social action,” said Wexler Kobrinski.
The JBJ Soul Kitchens, founded by Dorothy and Jon Bon Jovi, are community restaurants featuring fresh, healthy ingredients. The Soul Kitchens serve meals to in-need customers through volunteer work and to paying customers who "pay it forward" through their donations. The Art Alliance of Monmouth County is a non-profit, member-owned and operated gallery and studio in Red Bank, whose mission is to promote the advancement of the visual arts and provide exhibition, studio and classroom space.