Home Bensalem Times Bucks County Community College awarded $100,000 grant for fine woodworking

Bucks County Community College awarded $100,000 grant for fine woodworking

The Arts Department program will be supported for two years

Bucks County Community College Associate Professor Chris Todd (right) works with Benjamin Eckley (left), a student in the fine woodworking associate degree program, checking measurement accuracy before ripping components on the table saw in this photo from 2019.

Bucks County Community College has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Windgate Foundation to support the fine woodworking program in the Arts Department.

The two-year award funds the Windgate Fine Woodworking Legacy Residency, coordinated by Associate Professor Chris Todd, and keeps the unique program that was founded by Professor Emeritus Mark Sfirri running.

“There is a long tradition of fine woodworking in Bucks County and southeastern Pennsylvania,” said Todd, who is in her fourth year teaching under the Windgate Legacy Residency. “Windgate’s generous support of our program allows us to continue to offer a high quality woodworking education to those in the area.”

As trades across the country have seen a decline in interest among younger people, the program remains even more vital.

“It prepares those interested in crafting fine pieces in wood an opportunity to develop their skills and the time to find their own artistic voice,” said Todd.

Todd is grateful for previous grants from the Windgate Foundation that have helped outfit the shop on the Newtown Campus with high-quality machinery, and another that allows Bucks to give awards for outstanding works in wood to students each year.

“They are indeed an extraordinary source of support in the wood arts,” Todd said.

Based in Little Rock, Arkansas, the Windgate Foundation is a private grant-making foundation established in 1993. Its principal goals include funding significant educational programs in contemporary craft and visual arts, as well as providing funding to K-12 and higher educational institutions to develop and support the arts, scholarships and effective instructional programs.

Bucks County Community College’s Arts Department offers a 62-credit Associate of Fine Arts in Fine Woodworking, designed for students who plan to transfer to a four-year college; and a 31-credit certificate in Furniture and Cabinetmaking, for students looking to directly launch a career. The college is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Visit bucks.edu/arts for more information.

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