An equine veterinarian founded Sound Equine Options (SEO) in 2009 after witnessing the plight of horses whose owners had succumbed to financial crises. Without the funding to provide them with adequate care, owners were forced to watch horses languish, and many could not find adequate resources for the animals. Sound Equine Options filled this void by strengthening the safety net for horses in need through a variety of programs. The Emergency Veterinary Care Fund helps reduce immediate suffering with the help of a local veterinarian, and the Rescue Blankets program distributes waterproof blankets to keep horses warm during the winter. SEO also supports equine rescues that make sure neglected horses have shelter.
Portland Opera has always set its collective eyes on the horizon. Since filling the gaps left by touring troupes and sporadically performing local companies in 1964, it has endeavored to expand the art form on the stage and beyond. Twenty years after its inception, it became just the second company in the US to project English translations of foreign lyrics above the stage, enabling audiences to leave their Italian dictionaries at home. The company also pushes the boundaries of the shows themselves, staging world premiers of classic stories such as Wuthering Heights, commissioning the work Lucy's Lapses, and producing the West Coast premiere of Philip Glass's Orphée. Not to be contained within one performance space, it also established Portland Opera To Go, a touring division that performs works such as Cinderella and La Bohème at schools and community centers.
Following a curriculum designed by Dr. Lin Day, a British child-development expert, the classes at Baby Sensory help to forge the bond between parents and their infants by engaging all the baby’s developing senses. Sessions begin with a song accompanied with sign language before diving into one of 40 unique lesson plans, which incorporate everything from exercise and stretches to music, puppet shows, and tactile games with scarves and feathers. Parents and children then split off into an exploratory play area—suited for both noncrawlers and babies strapped into tiny roller skates—to engage in play together and meet other families in a comfortable and safe environment. Lessons conclude with more structured sensory activities based on the latest research and developmental theories.
Danita Rigert has spent more than 19 years teaching gymnastics to boys and girls of all ages—many of whom went on to win state championship titles. At Rigert Elite Gymnastics, Danita and her staff of coaches teach youngsters of all experience levels in gymnastics, ballet, and cheer classes and lead competitive boys' and girls' teams. The gym is packed with professional equipment, including a 40-foot tumble track and an above-ground pit.
Chasing down your favorite food truck typically requires a little planning. Getting more than 20 of them together requires a herculean effort or a giant sinkhole. Happily for motorists and foodies alike, Portland Summer Food Cart Festival has done the legwork. Mobile vendors trundle their gustatory delights to the fest, doling out tasty treats from crepes and cupcakes to authentic Cajun food. Live music wafts through the air, and inspires games of musical chairs in the beer garden where guests can pair their food with a refreshing brew. And the festival doesn’t only benefit foodies—the profits go to ALSO, or Adult Learning Systems of Oregon, a non-profit that supports people with developmental challenges.