Empty Bowls, a nonprofit group that organizes ceramic artists to promote a variety of charitable causes, is the driving force behind the event.
The center, which officially opens with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5:15 p.m., Friday, April 16, still needs a few final touches, according to Cyndi Sessoms, VVHS CEO. About $14,000 is needed to finish the job.
Proceeds from Empty Bowls will be applied to cover the cost of the final work, Sessoms said.
“They’ve just been so wonderful,” Sessoms said. “[Empty Bowls] came to us and said, ‘We need to support the shelters.’ They’ve just done everything to make this happen.”
A handcrafted ceramic bowl, available in a variety of colors, goes to every person who buys a $10 ticket to the event, Sessoms said.
In addition to the ceramic bowl, event-goers will enjoy chili cooked by the Grasshopper Grill in Cornville. The meal will be served in a separate, disposable bowl to keep the artwork chili-free, Sessoms said.
Wine will be available and bread will be served as part of the meal, she said.
A silent auction of art donated by 12 local artists will also raise money for the shelter. Entertainment will be provided by local musicians, Sessoms said.
Empty Bowls is a grassroots organization originally formed to end hunger, aid the homeless and raise awareness about food insecurity, according to Leslie Dawson Briers, a local artist and spokeswoman for the Verde Valley chapter.
“This is an important event in Cottonwood,” Dawson said. “It’s the first time artists in our community have gotten together to support a common cause like this.”
In recent years, a variety of different causes have won support from the group, including animal shelters, Dawson said.
“More and more people are doing it for animal shelters because, if you think about, shelter animals are homeless too,” she said.
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