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Art & Culture

The John Cooper School hosts Annual Fine Arts Festival featuring Empty Bowls

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The John Cooper School proudly hosted its highly anticipated annual Fine Arts Festival on April 17th. This year’s festival highlights a beloved annual tradition, Empty Bowls, showcasing The School’s commitment to artistic expression and community service. 

View photos from the event on the Hello Woodlands Facebook page:


“Empty Bowls is a grassroots movement by artisans in cities and towns around the world to raise money and awareness for food-related charities to care for and feed the hungry in their communities. Empty Bowls supports food-related charitable organizations around the world and has raised millions of dollars to help end hunger.” 

Kara Whiting, Visual Arts Department Chair at The John Cooper School, stated: “Our goal is to create an event and partnership that gives back to our extended community, Interfaith of The Woodlands, in the name of art. This event teaches our students to use their art to give back, instilling empathy, compassion, and kindness. It gives our students the real-world opportunity to witness their art in action and to see how their art makes a difference in the world.” 

The National Art Honor Society at The John Cooper School is a student-led organization whose mission is to build strong connections to their school and local community while fostering creativity and empowering each other through the arts. 

The John Cooper School’s chapter of The National Art Honor Society has raised more than $125,000 throughout the 18 years of hosting an Empty Bowls event to support those families facing food insecurity within our Woodlands Community. 

Community members from The Woodlands and throughout the Greater Houston Area joined together to raise money for families in need. Members of the community gathered inside The Sims Student Center on The School’s campus with artwork and clay pottery bowls created by Lower School students filling the tables. Proceeds from the event go to Interfaith Food Pantry to help feed the hungry. To get involved or to learn more about this event visit


The Fine Arts Festival at The John Cooper School is a cornerstone event, celebrating creativity and innovation across various artistic disciplines. From visual arts exhibitions to theatrical performances and musical showcases, the festival showcases the talents and passions of The John Cooper School’s students and its faculty. 

As attendees step onto the campus grounds, they are greeted by a kaleidoscope of artistic endeavors. From captivating musical performances echoing through the air to intricate aerial silks routines that dazzled the audience, the festival is a symphony of artistic expression. Visitors wandered through galleries adorned with student-created paintings, sculptures, and mixed-media pieces, each telling their own unique story. 

Interactive workshops offered participants the opportunity to immerse themselves in various art forms, from painting Draco the Dragon on an easel, making beaded bracelets and necklaces, potting pet-friendly pets, and even creating textured art with multi-colored sand. Food trucks, the Signatures vintage tent, and a caricature artist were also present to entertain guests as well. 

At the heart of The John Cooper School is the cultivation of well-rounded individuals who embrace creativity, critical thinking, and compassion. The annual Fine Arts Festival, with its inclusion of Empty Bowls, underscores The School’s philosophy of nurturing each student’s potential, both as artists and empathetic members of society. 

By participating in initiatives like Empty Bowls, students learn the importance of using their talents for the betterment of others, embodying The School’s commitment to service and ethical leadership. This tradition exemplifies creativity for good. 

This event could not have happened without the support of The John Cooper School Community: “As the Co-President of the Fine Arts Council, I am so proud to see these two ladies [Mrs. Lisu Javedan and Mrs. Fernanda Sacasa de Castillo] bring all of the programs in The John Cooper School Fine Arts together,” said Melanie Creel, Co-President of The John Cooper School Fine Arts Council. The John Cooper School is incredibly thankful to the Fine Arts Council, the Friends of the Fine Arts, and the entirety of The School’s Fine Arts Program for making this event such a success.