About the Festival
2017 Artist Exhibitors
Empty Bowls Project
Art in the Depot
Emerging Artists Program
Half Marathon & 5K
Annual Poster Design
Information for Artists
Empty bowls. Full hearts.
Twenty years! Over $92,000
donated since 1996!
Each year, all K-12 students in Linn County are invited to create contributions for one of the MAF’s most beloved programs, the Empty Bowls Project, presented by Veridian Credit Union.
Students from twenty-four schools work to create ceramic bowls, to be donated and then sold at the Marion Arts Festival, raising funds to benefit local food banks. Area artists also contribute ceramic bowls, along with wood bowls masterfully crafted by the American Association of Wood Turners, Corridor Chapter.
Most bowls carry a $5 price tag, and the first 500 shoppers receive a special 20th anniversary cloth tote! (Courtesy Veridian Credit Union!) Over the program's twenty-year history, more than $92,000 has been donated by the festival to area hunger relief agencies, each year helping to serve over eight thousand persons needing assistance.
Approximately 500 area students will become involved by making bowls, with some also volunteering on festival day. This hands-on approach has a lasting effect on those students who participate, while also helping to raise hunger awareness among festival attendees.
Further, students know the satisfaction of producing artistic items that will be very much in demand. Hundreds of festival attendees line up early to avoid the heartache of going away bowl-less, proving the Empty Bowls Project as being one of our most popular offerings.
The Empty Bowls sale is planned and managed by a team of Marion High School Art Club students, with the assistance of teachers Barb Shultz and Jen Thilges. If you are an educator whose classroom would like to donate bowls to the 2017 festival, please contact us for information.
Funds raised through the festival-day sale of student-made bowls benefit local food banks. Proceeds from the 2016 project helped to support the Churches of Marion Food Pantry, the Linn Community Food Bank, the Foundation 2 After-Hours Emergency Food Pantry, and Mission of Hope.
Our thanks to Veridian Credit Union, whose generous support allows us to reimburse the supply budgets of the teachers whose students used classroom materials – such as clay and glaze – to create the donated bowls.