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.
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.
With nearly 30 years of experience teaching gymnastics, owner and director Naja Rossoff and her staff of kid-minded professionals train children of all ages and skill levels. They start with tykes as young as 15 months old, letting them explore movement with the help of a parent or imaginary legal guardian. They keep developing skills in older kids with advanced classes and a trampoline-and-power-tumbling team. Otherwise, during circus-arts classes, they'll help students master the trapeze, tiptoe across tightropes, and learn of the ins and outs of circus performance.
Bounce Gymnastics also hosts open gyms so that kids can have their run of the facility's balance beams, nine trampolines, and padded floors. During birthday parties, the facility also opens up obstacle courses and organizes group games.
The woodland aviaries at Cascades Raptor Center provide a safe space for more than 60 resident raptors representing 30 native species including owls, hawks, falcons, bald and golden eagles, and vultures. Meet the intense gaze of these airborne hunters as you stroll through majestic aviary trails. Members can keep up with their favorite fowls with unlimited admission for an entire year. Proceeds benefit the center's on-site wildlife hospital for birds of prey, which has treated more than 2,500 birds suffering from broken wings or existential ennui. Expand your winged knowledge at informative handler talks in which feathered friends are allowed to preen for paparazzi and field questions from their perch on the handler’s glove. Avid avian watchers can explore the Cascades Raptor Center grounds Tuesday to Sunday and catch handler talks on weekends at 1 p.m.
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 started building a new wine bar in Springfield called the LaVelle Tap Room, which is scheduled to open in late October of 2013.
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. The LaVelle Tap Room will have 30 wines from around the world, as well as several local beers on tap. And 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.