Through the multimedia resources and informative exhibits that earned executive director Nicole Myers-Lim a 2010 Native American 40 Under 40 award, the California Indian Museum educates visitors on the diverse history and culture. Museum members can bring a guest or their children free of charge to explore various topics of California Indian history, such as the Gold Rush, native languages, military history, and anthropology. The museum's principal exhibit, Ishi: A Story of Dignity, Hope and Courage, uses cultural artifacts to tell the story of the Indian who was studied for five years by the anthropologists at the University of California. Members of the museum will also receive the educational bi-annual newsletter and timely notifications about The Tillie Hardwick Lecture Series, which features a collection of hands-on basket making, dancing and music making, and storytelling while highlighting the history of the landmark Tillie Hardwick v. United States case.
Sebastopol Center for the Arts entertains the right half of visitors' brains with art galleries, films, workshops, performances, and classes. A Sebastopol Center for the Arts membership grants an individual or a family of up to four people a variety of reduced fees for select performances, exhibits, classes, and events, plus a complimentary QuARTerly newsletter subscription. Last year the center showcased 18 gallery exhibitions featuring works from 550 different artists. Current art-galley offerings include a juried exhibition on the art of the book, which runs through July 23 and features the artwork of homemade books. Musicians playing at the center’s Summer Performance Series on Thursday evenings July 7–August 18 delight sound receptors with locally flavored tunes. The annual documentary film festival will be held in March 2012, highlighting intrepid short-form and feature-length storytelling. Standout selections from the 2011 festival will be screened throughout the summer beginning July 22 and provide a welcome change of pace from the usual evening ritual of being serenaded by nieces and nephews doing the rodent-bones lawn-fire dance.
The Charles M. Schulz Museum pays loving homage to the life and career of the legendary creator of the Peanuts comics. For 50 years, Schulz illustrated the adventures of Charlie Brown and his friends Snoopy, Linus, Pigpen, and Lucy in hundreds of U.S. newspapers. The museum maintains six permanent exhibitions, including a re-creation of Schultz’s studio, a morphing Snoopy timeline, the Peanuts–themed wall of his daughter’s nursery, and a flying Red Baron who constantly pelts customers with pepperoni slices. Rotating exhibitions last for about six months, featuring such curiosities as a 13-foot-tall Charlie Brown sweater and an examination of Schulz’s evolving pen line. Museum memberships give patrons a discount on all museum stores, complimentary admission, and invitations to members-only events.
At the Napa Valley Museum, regional history and art collide in an idyllic setting with rotating exhibits of artwork, photography, and a permanent history gallery. Membership unlocks access to the museum and openings of various exhibits such as the currently running Wanderlust: Journeys with Napa Valley Photographers, a collection of stunning images from exotic happenings in Burma, Cuba, and local Dungeons and Dragons campaigns. Joanne Youngberg and Nina Antze's A Year in Flowers demonstrates phalange-crafted artwork with paintings and sketches of botanical wonders found throughout nature. Relive the horticultural and wine-soaked history of the Napa Valley with Land and People of the Napa Valley, an exhibit displaying artifacts from the region alongside a huge collection of period-specific advertisements and Internet memes.
A nonprofit organization dedicated to the celebration of the art, history, and science of pinball, the Pacific Pinball Museum welcomes hardcore enthusiasts and casual fans alike to learn about and play the popular game. Over 85 operational machines—all set to free play—line the walls of the museum, including electro-mechanical, wood-rail, and wedgehead models, as well as the newest digital machines. Along with historic games on display, such as an 1879 Montague Redgrave Parlor Bagatelle and a Gottlieb 1931 Baffle Ball, three playable clear cabinets reveal the inner workings of the engineering marvel, from the wires feeding the lights to the tiny steelsmiths forging new balls between every play. Enthusiastic guides conduct regular tours of the facilities, whose walls feature hand-painted murals celebrating the game’s diverse colors and symbols.
Nestled in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Area Discovery Museum draws children's inquiring minds with a host of exhibits modeled after the surrounding sea and city. The Wave Workshop lets kids explore the San Francisco Bay's ecology and test their own boat designs against simulated wind and waves. In the 2.5-acre Lookout Cove which overlooks the bay itself, a 23-foot-tall Golden Gate Bridge entices children to put on hardhats and help construct a giant model.