For Wednesday of Clay Week we’ve teamed up with two organizations, Manchester Crafts Guild Youth & Arts Program (more on this later) and Clementine Porcelain, who will be sharing their Plate Project as an organizational model for charitable action.
About Clementine Porcelain: Founded in 2006, Tracy Shell and Jesse Ross, as a production porcelain studio. They named it after their daughter, Clementine, and developed the Plate Projects as an example of community, compassion, and giving. The Plate Project benefits 100% their local food bank’s Backpack Program. Most areas around the US have Backpack Programs (ask your local or regional food bank to find yours). These programs identify chronically hungry kids, and give them backpacks filled with healthy food and snacks for the weekends when they aren’t able to rely on subsidized school lunch programs.
For the project, porcelain plates are cast and bisqued by Tracy and Jesse, who then host workshops for local children to decorate the plates. The plates are glazed and fired, and then displayed in a local gallery for purchase. The idea was to create a more direct giving experience; the plate becomes a “gift” for charitable donation. From Clementine- “It’s kind of like getting a tote bag when you give money to NPR, except way better than a tote bag.” All 100% of the proceeds from the plate sales go to the Backpack Program administered by the Food Bank for the Heartlands.
From Food Bank of the Heartland:
Chronically hungry students are identified by staff members at local elementary schools. Food Bank for the Heartland supplies packs filled with healthy food for those children to take home on Friday afternoons. Each pack contains two cereal pouches, two entrees, two shelf stable milks, one juice and one fruit cup. They are delivered to participating schools by Food Bank volunteers and staff members.
The BackPack program launched in 2006 with just three schools participating, and today they are distributing 8,400 packs to children in need each week in 245 schools across Nebraska and western Iowa. During the 2015-2016 school year, 52 percent of the children who received packs lived in rural communities and 48 percent lived in the Omaha metro area.
Final words from Clementine: “We’ve learned a lot developing the Plate Project and hope that our experience can be a resource for other artists trying to initiate similar action in their own communities.”