Open Doors

AAUW Celebrates 50 Years of Funding Education…

The Redding Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) has hosted its annual fundraising Home Tour and Art Show for 49 years. For the 50th Home Tour on November 6, guests will be invited to explore:
• A geodesic dome home
• A down-sized retirement oasis
• A luxurious home on the river
• A restored historic house museum
• Three large wood workshops where the owners have created their own cabinets, furniture, birdhouses, garden features and bowls made from a variety of woods

As always, there will be an art gallery where members display fine art pieces. Home Tour attendees have always enjoyed a Saturday of touring private homes decorated in the owners’ personal or professional style, some with incredible art
collections as well as furniture and collectibles from their world travels. It is an opportunity to envision the possibilities for one’s own décor, spend a day with friends and family, and for many, celebrate an annual tradition.

The first AAUW Home Tour was held in 1958 to raise funds to help build the AAUW headquarters building in Washington, D.C. Members were expected to raise $1.5 million for this $2 million project. Since the AAUW national office determined that $10 per member was the amount to “donate,” the Redding Branch needed to raise more than $1,900 to meet that goal.

AAUW Redding’s strong support for the arts began in 1964, when the branch co-sponsored an art rental gallery. Members of the public were invited to view and rent mosaics, oils, watercolors, prints and sculpture for three months at a rental cost of 1 to 2 percent of its value. The All Member Fine Art Show was formally incorporated into the AAUW Home Tour in 1997. Since then, guests have been invited to purchase affordable original art pieces in oil, acrylics, watercolors, oil pastels, mosaics, collages, photographs, baskets, ceramics, some giclee prints and many assorted artists’ note cards.

The Redding Branch has a 79-year history of civic involvement, and new members are always welcome; anyone with an associates, bachelor’s or advanced degree as well as registered nurses may join. Membership provides an introduction to a group of new friends during monthly general meetings and via sections that include drama, film, books, international travel, Scrabble and wine tastings. Volunteer opportunities have included the Women in STEM Conference for middle school girls, Women’s March on the Capitol, and involvement in the many aspects of the Home Tour, where half of the proceeds go to students graduating from Shasta College and moving on as a full-time student at an accredited university. The other half of the proceeds go to women in California finishing advanced degrees.

Established in 1942, AAUW Redding membership has grown significantly and the branch has truly opened the doors to education for hundreds of college graduates and thousands of middle-school girls who attended the bi-annual STEM Conference. •

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