Through exhibits that explore everything from astronomy and physics to biology and paleontology, the Science Factory inspires a lifelong love of science in children as well as adults. Above all else, the nonprofit embraces a motto of "please touch," creating safe, engaging opportunities for children to act on their curiosity and gain insight into the principles underlying scientific and technological theories.
The Exploration Dome exemplifies the immersive nature of the Museum, surrounding audiences with a full-dome screen that displays digital and live-action films. These educational features can take guests to virtually any location in the world and beyond, including the heart of the Borneo rainforest, the depths of prehistoric oceans, the edge of our galaxy's super-massive black hole, and a universe where popcorn kernels never get stuck in your teeth. Permanent exhibits—including a feature on responsible recycling as well as a terrarium of lizards, frogs, and plants, complete with Renegade, the Museum's resident iguana—explore topics in more depth, complementing both the Exploration Dome’s videos and an ever-changing roster of special attractions.
Emerald Art Center carves out a community for local artists of all skill levels, showcasing and selling masterworks from neighborhood virtuosos at their gallery and workspace. Contribute time alongside money with a Participating membership, which unlocks the perks of patronage in exchange for one day of gallery hosting per month, or five hours of equivalent service. When not running the show, members pick their way through a variety of rotating and permanent exhibits or introduce their own work to artful eyes during frequent EAC-sponsored member shows. Monthly meetings foster networking opportunities, cultivate creativity, and encourage spontaneous conga lines. Artist biographies, featured on the Emerald website and in the gallery's Artist Bio Book, delightedly divulge factoids and sample images from each member.
The accolades accorded several of LaVelle Vineyards' wines in the pages of Wine Enthusiast magazine serves as evidence of the diligent work of founder Doug LaVelle and his son, Matthew, who tends the vines today. After taking over the winery—then one of the oldest in Southern Willamette Valley—in 1994, Doug took it upon himself to make a number of improvements to its antiquated technology and distribution network. He started the wine club in 1995, and just recently opened a brand new wine bar and tap room off of International Way in Springfield called the LaVelle Tap Room. The tap room serves as an in-town location for wine club members, but also to provide a new wine-bar-meets-tap-room experience with more than 30 wines to choose from and several local beers on tap.
Doug's investments paid off. Today, with Matthew as lead winemaker, the winery ferments grapes both from its original Willamette Valley location and another site in the Columbia Valley in eastern Washington. At the rustic Elmira winery, visitors can recline on the sunny deck, tour the winemaking facilities, or outsmart tipsy minotaurs in the garden's labyrinth.
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (JSMA), the University of Oregon's premier art museum, tunes uninspired brain waves to fine-art frequencies with its extensive collection of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and American art. With more than 13,000 objects in its permanent collection, the JSMA allows museum visitors to delve deeply into past and present cultures from around the world. Museum members can sink sight buds into traveling exhibitions, such as Giuseppe Vasi's Rome: Lasting Impressions from the Age of the Grand Tour, which focuses on the 18th century Italian printmaker and his prophetic paintings of R&B group Boys II Men. Members can also partake in one of JSMA's educational programs. In addition to the free admission, museum members get the following benefits:
Valley Vintner & Brewer supplies budding and experienced home brewers all the equipment and recipes needed to concoct tasty batches of beer and wine from the comfort of their kitchens. Each home brewery basic starter kit contains fermenting necessities along with The Complete Joy of Home Brewing, an instructional tome chronicling beer’s mighty rise to prominence as America’s go-to shower beverage of choice. Your experienced vintner instructor will guide guests through a three-hour home-brewing class, answering all grain-related queries from, "How are hops grown?" to "Can I still drink my beer if it develops human emotions?" With gear and guidance from Valley Vintner's expert ale aficionados, beginner beverage barons can raise their glass-fulls from bottle-dependent infancy to full-flavored adulthood.