Speaking on behalf of the Board and staff, we are humbled by the outpouring of support we have seen since announcing the cancellation of the AAW Symposium. I thank you for the patience and empathy you offered while the AAW went through the process of making this difficult decision.
While the financial outcome of the symposium cancellation remains uncertain, we are confident that any negative effects to the AAW organization will be manageable. The AAW Board provided strong leadership under difficult circumstances, working with experts who helped to guide us through the process. We are heartened by your offers of financial support. AAW is gracious for all charitable donations and please keep us in your plans during our fall 2020 fundraising campaign.
At present, there are many others who will be impacted more severely than AAW by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the AAW Symposium cancellation. Now is a time for all of us to focus our emotional support where it will be needed most, on friends, neighbors, and families who may fall victim to the virus.
The AAW Symposium cancellation, together with proper social distancing, is impacting the livelihoods of our vendors, demonstrators, and artists, and has disrupted our local chapter functions. Think about spending part of your symposium fee, airfare, and hotel to support our vendors, demonstrators, and artists, or organizations working to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Your online purchases could tip the scales for small businesses, keeping them afloat in these very challenging times.
Here’s how you can help:
- Make online purchases from businesses who would have been exhibitors in the 2020 AAW trade show (see attached list).
- Make online purchases from woodturning artists.
- Gift an AAW membership to a friend or colleague to keep them connected as part of the woodturning community.
- Purchase gift certificates to support the businesses you care about.
- Encourage your chapters to look into scheduling demonstrators who are available to deliver interactive remote demonstrations.
- Donate any unused N95 masks and respirators, and eye protection to local hospitals, medical facilities, or organizations.
- Donate blood locally.
- Thank grocery store clerks, nurses and doctors, police officers and fire fighters, sanitation workers, delivery people, and the list goes on.
- Check in with elderly friends, neighbors, and chapter members by regularly calling, video chatting, or sending a text.
- Support your local food bank.
In the coming weeks, we will be staying in regular communication about alternative ways of offering woodturning content and engagement online to keep the AAW Symposium spirit going strong. Let us know your creative ideas by sending a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re facing these uncertain times together and are rallying to help the woodturning community stay safe, informed, active, and connected. Please continue to make and create, which will help you keep active and strong.
Phil McDonald, Executive Director on behalf of the AAW Board and staff
- March 30, 2020: Due to the seriousness of COVID-19, and adhering to international,
federal, and state advisories and legal impossibility mandates, the AAW
Board of Directors unanimously approved the cancellation of the 2020 AAW
Symposium. Read more.
- March 24, 2020: AAW expects to announce a formal and final decision soon. In the meantime, we ask for your continued understanding and patience as we pursue all options, including a potential forced cancellation decision. You may expect another update within the next two weeks. Read more.
- March 12, 2020: We remain watchfully optimistic that the AAW Symposium will go
forward. Based on all available guidance as of March 12, the symposium
is still scheduled to occur in June. Read more.