St. John’s Prep hosts its annual Empty Bowls Dinner Party

Soup’s on at the Empty Bowls Dinner Party on Thursday at St. John’s Prep in Danvers
St. John’s Prep’s annual Empty Bowls Dinner Party is next Thursday at 6 p.m. in Memorial Dining Hall on campus.

FILLING A NEED: For years, potters across the country have organized Empty Bowls events as a way to use art for social action.

Ceramics teacher Dale Bryant  introduced the idea to St. John’s Prep  in Danvers in 1999. 

The school’s annual Empty Bowls Dinner Party is next Thursday at 6 p.m. in Memorial Dining Hall on campus.


Handmade bowls created by students at St. John’s may be purchased at the event to fill with soups donated by local restaurants and food shops.

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SwingTown!, the St. John’s a cappella group, provides musical entertainment.

The evening is open to the community and all proceeds benefit Haven from Hunger in Peabody, where St. John’s students prepare and serve meals throughout the year.

Guests are asked to make a minimum $10 donation per bowl. See  for information in the event of bad weather.

SAY IT IN VERSE: Northern Essex Community College  is seeking entries for its 5th annual Peace Poetry Contest. 


Students in kindergarten through grade 12, from public and private schools, as well as adults affiliated with the schools, and Northern Essex Community College students, are invited to participate.

Participants are asked to create poems on the subject of peace. Some 80 poems and accompanying artwork will be selected for publication in a small book to be published later in the spring.

In addition, selected entrants will be invited to take part in a poetry reading from 6 to 8 p.m. May 3 in the Hartleb Technology Center on the college’s Haverhill campus.

Last year’s contest attracted more than 1,000 entries from about 50 schools.

The contest is coordinated by English professor Paul G. Saint-Amand, a Vietnam-era veteran.


“As an educator, I want to fuel children’s imaginations toward peace,” he said.

“A lot more has been written about war than about peace.”

Northern Essex students are collaborating on the project by designing posters and award certificates, judging entries, and hosting the public reading.

The deadline for submission is March 15. Entries can be submitted to or NECC Peace Poetry Contest, 100 Elliott St., Spurk 317H, Haverhill, MA 01830-2399.

For additional information, contact Saint-Amand at 978-556-3307 or

AID FOR NICARAGUA: Singer, songwriter, recording artist, keynote speaker, workshop leader, and instructor David Roth  performs in concert at Old South United Methodist Church  in Reading on Friday.

Proceeds benefit the Nicaragua Covenant, a ministry providing access to clean water, health care, and education to Nicaragua’s poorest populations.

Roth presents original songs and stories on a range of subjects, both poignant and funny.

He has taken his music and experience to a variety of venues in the United States and other countries full-time for more than two decades.

His songs have found their way to Carnegie Hall, the United Nations, several “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books, the Kennedy Center, NASA’s Space Shuttle “Atlantis,” Peter, Paul & Mary concerts, the Kingston Trio’s new CD, 12 of his own CDs, and two songbooks.

He also has earned top honors at premier songwriter competitions, including Kerrville and Falcon Ridge folk festivals.

The concert is at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets available at the door. Suggested donation  $20. Visit

WHO’S WHAT WHERE: Bruce P. Macdonald  has been promoted to manager of the Institution for Savings’ Salisbury Square office. He succeeds April Shonkwiler , who is relocating with her family out of state. Macdonald joined the Institution for Savings in June 2011 as assistant manager of the Salisbury office. Before, he was branch manager at several locations for the former First National Bank of Ipswich.  A graduate of Bates College, Macdonald lives in Ipswich . . . Stoneham Theatre is starting the new year with a new managing director, Debra Rafson. She was first hired at the theater as assistant stage manager for the inaugural production of “A Christmas Carol” in 2000. After three seasons at Stoneham Theatre, Rafson
focused on arts administration, earning a master’s degree from Boston University in 2003. She then became management associate for New Repertory Theatre. Rafson went on to become director of operations for the department of graduate and professional programs at Emmanuel College. From 2005 to 2012, she also continued stage managing part-time for Blue Man Group in Boston, and served on the Stoneham Theatre Board of Trustees. 

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