Today, I had the opportunity to be a part of presenting the grant proposal we developed for Shop funding to the Aiken County Accommodations Tax Advisory Board.  As I described in a prior post, these grants are available to Aiken County non-profit organizations who promote tourism related activities and events that draw patrons from beyond 5o miles.  The grants are funded from the accommodations tax and this year the Advisory Board has $100,000 to award.  

Over the years the Aiken County Accommodations Tax Advisory Board has been very supportive of the Park's growth and development by awarding grants in support of the Rogers Ordinary, the Livery, and most recently, a significant grant to help fund the construction of the Colonial Barn. 

Dressed in Colonial clothing (I would wear them every day if Joanne would let me), Lynn Thompson and I presented our plans for the Shop to the Board.  We had the opportunity to share the blue prints for the building, plans for the programs we will host, and show examples of the woodworking projects that we will create from within the Shop.  All-in-all, I think the concept was well received.  

So now, we wait and see how well we fare against the other worthy candidates.

Over the past 2 months, I have set my sights on meeting with various woodworking organizations in Georgia and the Carolinas to spread the word on what we have planned at the New Windsor Cabinet Shop in North Augusta, SC.

In February, I met with the Peach State Chapter of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers (SAPFM) in Roswell, GA of which I am a member.   During our Winter meeting, I covered an overview of the Park and the Shop and expressed a need for participation in the form of donations of period furniture elements such as various leg forms and carving examples, tools, materials, and involvement of period demonstrators.  The response was very positive.  Individual Georgia SAPFM members indicated an interest in providing or provided: a period tool chest, a Ball and Claw carved leg, several pieces of walnut and cherry wood, a custom made 18th century style handsaw and one person volunteered to demonstrate at the site.  I was also encouraged when one member provided thoughtful input on contacting the Mid-West Tool Collectors organization to seek tool donations. 

A Friday night engagement in March where I was to present the Shop to the Woodworkers Guild of Georgia had to be canceled due to a conflict at work.  So, I will be making my way back to this local group of which I am a member to share with them an update on where we stand with the Shop.  In October of 2009, I presented a morning program on Windsor Chairmaking for their Fall Symposium for which the group made an honorarium donation to the shop's construction.  This was my first donation and one that I am very grateful for!

While in Raleigh, NC yesterday to deliver a chair that I made for the North Carolina Museum of History's new "The Story of North Carolina" exhibit, I had the opportunity to stay over an extra day to join the Carolinas chapter of SAPFM Spring meeting scheduled for today.  Dave Powles, the group's program coordinator, graciously made 10 minutes of the groups agenda available for me to talk about the Shop.  Dave also suggested that the information would be of interest to the Greenville Woodworkers Guild, so I will be contacting them and requesting the opportunity to speak to their group.

Help spread the word!