To lend a hand to people who are underrepresented in our ranks, I’m teaching a free stick chair class this July for women, BIPOC and GNC (gender non-conforming) woodworkers at our storefront in Covington, Ky. There are six spots in the class, and the scholarship covers both tuition and materials for the chair.
The emphasis of this class is to help create a new generation of woodworkers who teach. We have two spots for students who have some chairmaking experience and want to teach others, and four spots for students with little-to-no chair experience but who have some sort of active teaching practice (elementary school math, academic writing, shop maintenance in educational facility, podcasting, etc).
The class is being organized by Aspen Golann, who runs The Chairmaker’s Toolbox. You can apply for the class via this link. Aspen and Megan Fitzpatrick will be assisting during the week and helping out with the “teaching about teaching” component of the class – sharing advice, war stories and strategies for teaching woodworking in a live environment.
I am thrilled to be able to do this. I am sure some of you have questions. Here are some answers.
Why Not Offer Scholarships to Everyone?
For my first 10 years of teaching, I donated all the royalties from my videos to woodworking scholarships based purely on need. Of all the people I funded, I know of only one recipient who was female. Other free teaching that I do currently (such as at The Florida School of Woodworking) funds both need-based scholarships and scholarships for people who have been historically excluded from our craft.
Bottom line: I’ve funded a ton of scholarships for white guys like myself. For this one class, I’d like to do something different.
How Can I Help?
I rarely ask for help with these things. But I’ve decided to make an exception with this class. I am going to pay for all the material and stock preparation for the students from my pocket. And I’d like to use nice wood, such as cherry. I estimate that the wood for the class will cost between $1,500 and $1,700. If you would like to donate a little money to help, you can click on the donate button below.
If the button doesn’t work (sorry), try this link instead. Or if you prefer to use Venmo, my username is: christopher-schwarz-10.
This is not a tax-deductible donation. This is like tucking a $20 bill into my shorts at the pro shop. (Did that sound weird? Yes.) If I unexpectedly collect more money than needed for the materials, I’ll use the excess to pay for students’ meals during the class.
Thanks to Aspen and everyone who is working to expand the circle of people who love woodworking.
— Christopher Schwarz
49 thoughts on “Scholarship Chair Class July 11-15”
The donation link doesnt seem to work directly from email, but works fine if you click through to the blog and follow it from here.
Thank you! I was struggling to get it to work.
When you click the donation link you are required to fill in the charity name. I may have missed something, I would like to donate what is the charity name? Thank you!
That is odd. Maybe try this link instead? Sorry!
Thank you, this link worked.
Its a good thing you are doing here.
I followed @Barry’s advice and it worked. Chris, so glad you are doing this. Thank you!
Love that you’re doing this!
Christopher you are a breath of fresh air in the tiny portion of the world that I inhabit. Kudos to you.
Thanks Chris! This is a awesome thing you are doing.
Good idea. Sound, practical planning. Laudable and reasonable objectives. Here’s hoping all goes well. But instead of tucking this $20…anywhere…I’ll just leave it on the bench, okay? 😉
If he wants money shoved in his shorts he better be dancing 😉
People pay me not to dance.
Happy to help out in a small way. I hope you raise enough to pay for this and more courses.
This is great! Thanks for doing this Chris. 🤠⚒❤
We’ll, you’ve been a reliable tool resource. Thank you for that.
Wish you’d been around 48 years ago, when it was illegal for me to take shop… Thanks for this !
Thanks for letting us kick in. I couldn’t tuck the money directly into your shorts, but you can send the shorts instead.
I’d gladly pay to watch this class. It’s truly a wonderful idea. You can stick me outside and I’ll watch through the storefront window. No, that seems creepy. Honestly, it just seems like a wonderful idea. Marvelous.
Please post often during the week to show progress pictures.
We will! Thank you, John.
Thank you for doing this. Best wishes for the class!
Great idea, and thank you for asking for help. It is a good thing you all are doing.
Hi Chris. Please let us know how the donations stack out.
Another are of underrepresentation that you might consider is inner-city/at-risk youth. I realize woodworking is kind of esoteric to most, but if this can turn kids to consider the construction trades (carpenter, electrician, plumber) as a possible career option for young people who think they have very limited opportunities. I will put my money where my mouth is on this one, too.
Want to donate but your PayPal hot link does not take me to your donation page, or show the amount I want to donate etc. Help please. .
Sorry you are having trouble. Perhaps try this link?
See first comment. If you donate from the blog instead of the email, it works perfectly.
VIVA the “non-white man” person! Er..um. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Props for sharing skills with others. May your workshop be greatly blessed.
“To lend a hand to people who are underrepresented in our ranks,”
In a world of seeming darkness, a burst of sun light.
I wish you and your students success.
Thanks for everything you do to encourage all people to learn and enjoy woodworking. You are an awesome teacher and a wonderful human being!
Thanks for doing this! Would like to donate but the link is not working.
Had to use the other link in comments to get there. Who could resist stuffing a 20 dollar bill in your shorts! Ha! Good cause!
As a parent of a nonbinary kid interested in the industrial arts, I needed to see something as positive as this today. Thank you. You give me hope. Got you on Venmo.
You may be within you’re rights to do this, but I think discrimination is wrong…period. Sounds like you have helped people in the past access educational opportunities in a much fairer way and I encourage you to continue that approach rather than pursuing your new strategy.
Chris, I assume they chopped off something like the word fund to come up with what you get on your statement.
The transaction will appear on your credit card statement as PAYPAL *CMSCHWARZFU.
Thank you for doing this! Do you need any additional tools for the chair class? I have a bunch of old chisels including the dreaded blue handled beasts that I will gladly send for the class and for you to donate to the students.
Always appreciate you supporting historically underrepresented people in our field. Donation sent, pick some good wood. For what it’s worth, I actually picked up a load of cherry from Frank Miller during the last auction and won’t need it all for upcoming projects. If cherry is what you settle on and need a few more boards, I’ll happily donate some wood as well. Live in Indianapolis so it’s a reasonable drive for me. Looking forward to progress pics the week of.
Nothing screams inclusion like saying “Everybody EXCEPT ‘Blank”. Apparently white guys in this instance.
Obviously you’re free to do as you wish but seems like a nice mix of pandering and biting the hand that feeds you.
I’m happy he’s helping people and as a heterosexual white man, I don’t feel threatened or excluded because someone wants to lend a helping hand to people who aren’t exactly like myself. We could use more of that kind of attitude.
Judging by the comments here, I’d say the overwhelming majority of the hands that feed him are enthusiastically in support of this idea. I know this white guy is.
Or a nice mix of perspective and extending a hand. I admire it.
Jeez Chris, for all the stuff you’ve done for us, the least I can do is sneak you a $20 (and thanks for making it sound creepy – it made me chuckle).
This makes me SO HAPPY! I’m hoping my name gets pulled out of the hat to take the class in October. I was thinking about how if I get there, the class will most likely be a bunch of white guys like me. I had a pipe dream of somehow one slot in the class being reserved for someone who isn’t a white guy like me. This announcement exceeds my pipe dream by more than I could have hoped. There must have been something pretty good in that pipe! I’m kicking in some money for this and recommending it to my friend Vicki who teaches math at our local community college and whose father helped her build her house.
Posting here because Venmo cut me off at 280 characters…
I had a sudden compulsion to tuck $20 into your shorts at the pro shop. I have no idea why.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading your workbench book where you declared yellow pine to be the mullet of the forest. Had you been standing next to me at the moment, you might have gotten hit with the tea spraying out my nose. So I guess the $20 is for your shorts dry cleaning bill.
Or maybe it’s to support your badassery in making woodworking accessible to historically marginalized folks. Thanks for that.
New fan. Carry on.
Oldish straight white guy and wannabe woodworker
Thanks for sharing
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