It’s amazing how something as seemingly simply as a bowl of soup can make the soul feel so good. When partnered with a great cause, it becomes a delightful embrace of the senses.
On Sunday, February 24, the Junior Board of Synergy Services will present the 6th Annual Art Soup event at The Blitt Family Creative Arts Center on the Synergy Youth Campus at 2001 NE Parvin Road in Kansas City, Missouri. Patrons will enjoy a delightful array of soups made by a variety of local restaurants, along with cocktails, an opportunity to mingle, and a chance to feed their souls. This is the signature fundraising event established to benefit the art and music programs at Synergy Services Youth Resiliency Center (YRC).
“The Junior Board is a group of young professionals who support Synergy Services through fundraising and volunteering,” says Anne Vigliaturo, Special Events Manager for Synergy. “They put on this event with several restaurants, primarily out of the Northland area. We hope to have 10 restaurants participate this year. Guests will have the opportunity to pick a favorite soup and we will award a Golden Ladle to the winning restaurant.”
Vigliaturo anticipates a large gathering this year, as last year’s celebration hosted 120 guests and raised $10,000 for the YRC. More than just serving up delicious bowls of soup, however, this event serves heaping helpings of fun, confidence and self-esteem to those who need and deserve it most.
“Our purpose is to provide a safe space for all youth, as well as build community and teach skills,” emphasizes Katie Brewer, Synergy Services’ Art Therapist, Youth and Family Therapist, and President of the Kansas Art Therapy Association. “We have a large art studio in which youth can freely use the materials such as paint, drawing supplies, collage materials, and journals. We also offer groups to teach youth how to use more complicated material while also promoting healthy emotional management, improved self-esteem and developing a healthy identity.”
Each guest at the event will receive a souvenir soup bowl created by the youth at the center. Each bowl represents a collaborative effort, as many hands go into the crafting of the bowls. One youth may build the bowl while others may glaze and fire. This is one way to promote a sense of community while working together to creating something beautiful.
Even though patrons will enjoy a fun-filled occasion, it is the youth who will truly benefit from this event.
“We use the funds from Art Soup to buy materials, so the youth have a variety of media to work with,” explains Brewer. “We often take suggestions from the youth about what art they want to create and try to accommodate by supplying the materials and bringing in different community members to teach these skills.”
The days leading up to the event are heightened with enthusiasm and excitement.
“Art Soup is a fun time in the Youth Resiliency Center,” says Brewer. “Youth that would typically be intimidated by trying something new (such as using clay) feel more comfortable because everyone is learning together.”
Art is a comfortable avenue through which the youth can confidently and proudly express themselves. It offers others a visual dialogue, telling a story that defies words and as a result becomes a vehicle for self-empowerment for the youth.
“Art allows me to share my feelings when I don’t want to say them out loud or I am too scared to,” indicates one YRC Art participant. Another participant echoes similar sentiments, “The art studio is a place for me to feel like I created something worthwhile.”
For information about the event or to purchase tickets, contact Anne Vigliaturo at 816.505.4785 or by e-mail at AnneV@SynergyServices.org. Corporate sponsors are welcome.