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30 Year Anniversary Chapter Profiles: Tennessee Association of Woodturners
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Chapter: Tennessee Association of Woodturners

Founded: March 12, 1987

Chapter Anniversary Profiles:
Tennessee Association of Woodturners

Chapter name:  Tennessee Association of Woodturners
Area served:  Nashville and middle Tennessee
First President: Charles Alvis
Current President:  Lou Mineweaser
Founded:  March 12, 1987
Website: http://tnwoodturners.org/


What motivated the founders to start a chapter?
A small group of artists lead by Charles Alvis and James Haddon wanted to meet with like minded individuals to learn more about woodturning.
The Tennessee Association of Woodturners is one of the original AAW chapters With over 165 active members the TAW is one of the larger AAW chapters.  Charles Alvis also served as the president of the AAW.  
How many joined the new chapter?  
There were 8 original members of the TAW

Who were the founders?    
Charles Alvis, James Haddon

Where did the first group meet?
John Jordan, Jim Haddon, Helga Winter, Burton Fielder meet in the living room of Charles Alvis on July 5, 1987 and created the TAW as an active chapter of the AAW.  Pete Schutt and Pat Matranga joined the TAW shortly thereafter and Charles told Pat that the “guys” would have to get over the fact that a girl was going to be part of the organization.

How much were the dues?
Initially dues were free, when dues started being collected the membership charge was $10.00 per year

Are there any original members still involved with the chapter?
John Jordan is still involved with the chapter.

What are some of the favorite memories of the chapter?
Giving back to the woodturning community has always been an important part of the TAW’s core activities.  In addition to member scholarships the TAW also is a partner with Tennessee Crafts and the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home.  Working closely with the Narrow Gate foundation members of the TAW helped build out a workshop and create a woodturning program that has touched the lives of over 100 students.  Some of the original students are now instructors and full time employees with Narrow Gate Artisans.

What are some of the milestones of the chapter?
The TAW has produced one of the longest running regional woodturning symposiums with over 350 in attendance at the 28th annual symposium in 2016.  There has been over $50,000 in scholarships provided to woodturners over the years.  TAW members generously donate their time to assist the Narrow Gate Foundation young men with woodturning instruction and mentorship.  Chapter has a membership of 165 members.      

How has the AAW affiliation affected the chapter?
The TAW has also been a partner with the AAW.  TAW members have turned over 500 bowls to be donated to the AAW International Symposium Empty Bowls programs. In addition the TAW was one of the equipment sponsors of the 2015 AAW International Symposium in Pittsburgh and will be the sponsor of the John Jordan demonstration room.

In the thirty weeks leading up to AAW's 30th Anniversary Symposium in Atlanta, we will be sharing the stories of members and chapters who joined in 1986 and are still with us today. We hope you enjoy their memories and insights!  

  • Click here to view profiles online. 





Click here to read more AAW 30 year anniversary member and chapter profiles.

American Association of Woodturners
222 Landmark Center, 75 5th St W, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102
651 484-9094 | www.woodturner.org


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