Our Soup on Sunday village
by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Marketing Manager
Have you ever been to our annual Soup on Sunday event? If you have to stop and think about it, then you probably haven’t. Because in my (very humble, of course) opinion, it’s one of the most memorable events in Charlotte. How could one forget a Sunday in January, one of the coldest months of the year, where you get to taste delicious soups from some of our region’s finest restaurants? It’s simply fantastic. But (not to be cliché here), it takes a village to make it happen.
When you walk into the event, one of the first things you see is a room full of bowls. Small ones, tall ones, shallow ones, deep ones, ornate ones, simple ones. All beautiful and lovingly handmade.
What? You think they just appear out of thin air? Nope. This is where the village comes in.
Ten years ago, when Soup on Sunday was entering its fifth year, Kay Ethridge, a Charlotte Country Day School (CCDS) mom, had a brilliant idea. She was a volunteer (and potter) offering her services at the Urban Ministry Center, helping the neighbors there learn how to make pottery. As part of a community service project, they would make bowls and donate them to Soup on Sunday. But they had limited space, especially for storage. Kay knew that Charlotte Country Day School had just built a beautiful new fine arts center and also knew that the school was devoted to community outreach. So she approached CCDS with the idea of hosting a day to make bowls in their studio. They immediately agreed.
It was (and still is) such a good idea for many reasons. It allows the Urban Ministry neighbors to be creative and give back to their community. It allows the CCDS faculty and students, and Urban Ministry neighbors the chance to interact in a common setting and work together for a common goal. And it populates that long table at Soup on Sunday I was talking about, giving soup aficionados countless options for beautiful take-home pieces.
Jinny Hargrave, potter and owner of Carolina Clay Connection, brings the clay to Country Day on the pottery day each year and, along with Kay Ethridge and CCDS art teacher Meredith Green, helps manage the bowl-making process. In fact, Soup on Sunday was actually Jinny’s idea in the first place. She had attended a similar event elsewhere and thought it was a wonderful idea that should be replicated in Charlotte. She contacted HPCCR and we ran with it. That was 15 years ago (!) and it just gets better each year.
Jinny is also a pottery instructor and each year she requires her students to make at least one bowl for Soup on Sunday. If they get motivated enough to make ten bowls, they get free admission to the event. Jinny herself makes around 100 bowls and asks other potters to pitch in for about 400 more.
Long story short, there are a ton of bowls needed for this event. And, for ten years now, a beautiful partnership between Charlotte Country Day School, the Urban Ministry Center, Carolina Clay Connection, and HPCCR has ensured that the pottery room at Soup on Sunday is a feast of vibrant colors, interesting textures, and unique sizes. They are labors of love, modeled in clay, compassion, and creativity.
We adore our village.
Our 15th annual Soup on Sunday will take place on Sunday, January 25 from 11am until 2pm at the Phillip L. Van Every Culinary Arts Center of Central Piedmont Community College. For more information, contact Nancy Cole, HPCCR Director of Special Events.
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