South’s Empty Bowls Inspires Students, Feeds Hungry

Japanese exchange students work together to paint bowls.

Exchange students from Nagoaka, Japan, one of Fort Worth’s sister cities, joined local high school students recently  to decorate ceramic bowls to raise money for the Tarrant Area Food Bank. This is the third year that South Campus hosted the project as part of an initiative to assist the underserved in its community. The bowls were made by South Campus ceramics classes, and will be featured in a silent auction.

South Campus President Peter Jordan, dressed in an apron and ready to paint, also did his share of painting. Jordan kindly welcomed the Japanese students and expressed his gratitude for making TCC one of their many stops during their trip to the United States.

“I am honored South Campus was chosen for Sister Cities’ community project,” Jordan said. “As a Barbados native, I also embrace culture. Thank you for your contributions, and for the Fort Worth residents, I hope you will consider TCC to get a head start.”

Ceramics Instructor and Empty Bowls Coordinator Earline Green watched with a smile has she saw her classes’ bowls turn to life. “We make magic happen every year,” said Green. “This experience gives students an opportunity to make a direct impact on the community. Seeing this after making all those bowls is so worth it.”

The South Campus Ceramics Program donates two hundred plus bowls each year – one hundred to the Tarrant Area Food Bank and one hundred to the North Texas Food Bank.

Morgan Killian, a senior at Trinity Valley High School and one of the Fort Worth Sister Cities American exchange students who recently returned from a visit to Japan, was thankful for the opportunity to make a difference.

“Sister Cities has been a great experience for me. It’s taught me so much about the world, and has really given me a broader perspective than just our little community in Fort Worth,” said Killian, who has also visited Mexico, Italy, and Swaziland during her three-year participation in the exchange program. “I’m really excited to be at TCC today to do this hands-on project.”

The Empty Bowls Project began in 1991 by Michigan art teacher John Hartom as a class assignment for his students. Each year, the event continues to gain momentum, and has grown into a global annual event to help fight hunger. Money raised in the local communities stays in the communities, providing non-profit organizations such as the food bank the opportunity to expand their resources. The food bank hosts an annual luncheon that allows 1,200 guests to bid on 2,000 handcrafted bowls by North Texas students and volunteers, such as the ones at TCC. Guests also sample soups and desserts by Fort Worth chefs.

South Campus President Peter Jordan decorates his bowl.
Students watch Ceramics Instructor Earline Green’s bowl demonstration.


















Submitted by Anna Frankie Farrar-Helm,
a summer intern in Public Relations and Marketing,
where she enjoys  learning about TCC happenings
and sharing them with others.