Making its debut in 1996, the Marion Arts Festival’s “Empty Bowls” project features the sale of 1,000 student-made ceramic bowls, with 100% of the proceeds used to support area food pantries. More than $105,000 has been donated since the program’s introduction, and we expect the 2019 sale to bring that total to over $110,000!
Most student bowls are priced at $5, and range from kindergarteners’ pinch-pots to accomplished work donated by older students, professional ceramicists, and wood bowls donated to the festival by the Corridor Woodturners of Cedar Rapids. Fans of the project are in line even before the festival kicks-off, as Empty Bowls is among the MAF’s most beloved offerings.
Although the one-day, 50-artist Marion Arts Festival is the shortest, smallest fine art fair in the country, it is consistently placed among the top tier of festivals nationwide. We anticipate 10,000 – 12,000 attendees while showcasing Marion’s historic uptown district. Our 2019 exhibitors hail from coast to coast, representing 18 states and including 22 brand-new artists. The slate was selected from 316 applications, representing 28 states, Canada, and Belgium.
Hands-on activities feature Cedar Rapids’ Iowa Ceramics Center and Glass Studio, with families working side by side with professional artists toward the creation of bowls for the 2020 Empty Bowls sale. The festival also features a slate of emerging artists who will sell their work alongside our slate of professional exhibitors.
The MAF fundraising runs will be on hiatus in 2019; look for their return in 2020!
In total, the festival offers a high caliber, fully accessible cultural experience – a day of fine art and flip flops, families and connoisseurs, fun and education.
27th Annual Marion Arts Festival
Saturday, May 18th
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
City Square Park, Marion IA