Empty Bowls McKinney is back to battle hunger with beautiful artistic bowls on April 25

Empty Bowls McKinney takes place from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on April 25 at the McKinney Performing Arts Center.

Empty Bowls McKinney
The logo for this year’s fundraiser event – Pictures courtesy of Empty Bowls McKinney

Empty Bowls McKinney looks to fill up the historic downtown area when it returns for another year of raising funds to fight hunger on April 25. The event will bring “about 1,300” handcrafted artistic bowls to the McKinney Performing Arts Center, according to Empty Bowls McKinney Co-Chair Molly Jones. With a $35 general admission ticket, attendees can pick their favorite bowl to bring out to N. Kentucky St. where 10 “food purveyors” will serve up different soups alongside live entertainment.

The fundraiser, organized annually through St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, will benefit three local charities that fight hunger this year: Community Lifeline Center, Community Garden Kitchen and McKinney Little Free Pantry. “Last year, we donated back $85,000,” Jones said, adding that the Empty Bowls McKinney team hopes “to equal or exceed that this year.”

Jones said that the donations will specifically go towards the purchase of food for each charity’s initiatives. “Our goal is to fight food insecurity, and it really brings everybody together,” Jones said of the event, describing how it involves collaboration between McKinney’s restaurateurs and its arts community as well as many others.

The event’s menu includes everything from chicken and dumpling soup from Rick’s Chophouse and chilled strawberry soup from Local Yocal BBQ & Grill to Guiness Beef Stew from The Pub McKinney and four diverse options from the fundraiser’s presenting sponsor Blount Foods.

Jones explained that the work on the bowls those different dining options will go in began all the way back around August or September. Local art studios like Glaze Ceramic Studio, Jump Into Art Studios, Make Expressions and SPARC contributed many of the bowls for this year’s event.

She noted that among the myriad bowls created for the event are 21 personally made by “professional nationally and internationally renowned artists that are all based out of McKinney” for auction and raffle. The auction also includes a celebrity bowl made by Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy and Jump Into Art Studio’s master potter Tim Bednar. Empty Bowls McKinney will even auction off a live painting of the event created during the fundraiser by local artist and studio owner Kim Guthrie.

Empty Bowls McKinney
A look at one of the past Empty Bowls McKinney fundraiser events

Jones said working on Empty Bowls McKinney has taught her the power of simply asking others for help, highlighting how eager the local community is to assist in the fundraiser when given the opportunity. “I think that’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned in all this,” Jones said. She sees the community participation extend through the event itself, with attendees that “come and stay for hours” downtown at the fundraiser. “People really are craving that sort of fellowship that you get on (McKinney) Square,” Jones said.

Empty Bowls McKinney runs from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on April 25 at the McKinney Performing Arts Center. For more information about the fundraiser, including all of the participating groups and ticketing details, visit https://emptybowlsmckinney.com/.

This interview has been edited for clarity.


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