Empty Bowls event gets boost from cross-media graphics students

March 20, 2017

Cross-media graphics management students Cassandra Boulanger, left, and Paaj Naag Lee, check over tickets printed for Empty Bowls.

Stepping Stones of Dunn County has teamed with cross-media graphics management students at UW-Stout to develop and produce a branded media campaign utilizing print, web and interactive media for the annual Menomonie-area Empty Bowls charity event.

Empty Bowls benefits Stepping Stones Food Pantry and the Shelters and Community Connection programs in supporting low-income residents of Dunn County. Area schools and artisans, including UW-Stout students, produce ceramic and wood bowls that are purchased at the event. Soup, bread, desserts and beverages are provided by more than a dozen local restaurants.

The annual event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 25, at the Menomonie High School Community Room.

The Empty Bowls poster for this year’s event was created and printed by UW-Stout students.The UW-Stout project was coordinated by instructors Keif Oss and Cynthia Greening as part of two cross-media graphics classes, Graphics Software Tools and Post-Press Operations, to provide students with practical experience in designing and producing a variety of materials.

The event materials that students produced include tickets, save-the-date cards, thank you cards, table tents, a direct mail card, interactive webpage and social media video segments.

“The project was Keif’s idea,” Greening said. “He wanted the post-press operations students to have bindery projects that would really be used. He mentioned his idea, and I jumped at the chance to have my students design elements for a broad, branded campaign that had to pass through the rigorous print production process.”

In addition to teaching cross-media graphics at UW-Stout, Greening is a development and communications specialist for Stepping Stones.

“I’m so glad that Keif had this idea. It’s really making a difference in the students’ engagement and learning. In addition to the print work, four of the students are also doing video editing of Empty Bowls stories for social media, web pages and e-blasts,” Greening said.

Many of the students plan to attend the Empty Bowls event March 25 to “see their work in action,” Greening said.

Nearly 50 students have worked on the various aspects of the campaign.

“This project is so exciting,” said cross-media graphics management student Jessica Kastello, of Muskego. “I always do my best work in class, but now I know something I make will make a difference.

“Last fall I assisted at a Stepping Stones event, and I really feel good about working on projects for them. It’s a win-win for everyone,” Kastello added.

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Photos

Top: Cross-media graphics management students Cassandra Boulanger, left, and Paaj Naag Lee, check over tickets printed at UW-Stout for the Empty Bowls event.

Bottom: The Empty Bowls poster for this year’s event was created and printed by UW-Stout students.