Spotlight: Mercy Corps Action Center

Weekend on the Cheap:

– Last weekend for free admission at the Lan Su Chinese Garden

Portland Children’s Museum First Friday free admission from 4:00pm – 8:00pm

– Central Eastside Arts District First Friday Art Openings, 6:00pm – 8:00pm, free.

– East Portland Community Center’s 2nd annual Fitness Fair this Saturday from 10:00am – 1:00pm, free.

REI Winter Trails Day this Saturday from 9:00am – 3:00pm at Mt. Hood’s White River West Sno-Park. Free, see web site for details.

William Stafford Birthday Celebration With Ursula K. Leguin and Molly Gloss this Saturday at the Beaverton City Library, 2:00pm – 3:30pm. Free.

– Free class “The Seven Habits of Highly Happy People,” this Sunday at the Multnomah County Central Library, 2:00pm. Free.

Entertainment Books for Portland and other cities are on sale through this weekend for the New Year price of $20.11 and includes free shipping.

– For more ideas on what to do this weekend, please visit Aroundthesunblog or PDXPipeline.


Next time you are downtown and have an hour to spend, take a look into the new Mercy Corps Action Center, located at the Skidmore Fountain MAX stop (the old Saturday Market spot) and open Tuesday – Friday from 11:00am – 5:00pm. Portland and New York’s Manhattan are the only cities with these centers, which are open to the public and sustained through grants and donations.

The Action Center is Mercy Corps’ public outreach and youth education space dedicated to global issues and features interactive exhibits that help to “educate and empower visitors to tackle the global challenges posed by poverty.” Within the 3,500 foot space you’ll find multimedia exhibits that begin with a introductory video in the Briefing Hut. Then in the “Training Towers,” visitors have an opportunity to learn about case studies in Niger, Guatemala, Afghanistan and Indonesia. Other exhibits include information on Mercy Corps programs and locations; video field dispatches from community members and aid workers; a news feed area about hunger and poverty and how they are being addressed; and a ‘Take Action’ station that offer visitors with ideas on what can be done on the individual level as well on a larger scale.

In addition to the permanent exhibits above, the center is also currently displaying “the Girl Effect” in the main gallery space. Through real life anecdotes, videos and photographs, this exhibit offers ten suggestions on what can be done to help adolescent girls end poverty in the developing world. It is available to view only until January 28th, 2011, so get there soon!

Center staff are available to assist and answer any questions, and groups young and old are encouraged to call ahead and schedule a guided tour. Whether you come alone, with your family or as part of a tour, this is a great addition to Portland because it provides us with a serious look outside our little corner of world and offers up hope and steps for what we can do to take action.

Save on all the things you love to do!

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