United Way raises $1.17 million, about 90 percent of ‘bold’ goal

Greta Ownby and Edwena Crowe

UWAC Board President, Greta Ownby, left, announces Edwena Crowe, right, as Volunteer of the Year. (Submitted photos)

The campaign was complicated by the partial government shutdown in October, but the United Way of Anderson County raised close to $1.2 million this year, or about 90 percent of its goal.

The results were announced at an annual meeting and campaign announcement at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge on Thursday.

The campaign goal, which was described as “bold,” had been $1.3 million. The total amount raised was $1,172,742. The United Way said this will allow for stable funding for its agency programs.

“Unfortunately, we will not be able to increase funding to our community partners,” UWAC Executive Director Rick Morrow said. ”Last year’s total resulted in a reduction of $200,000 to the funding pool, and this year’s total will only allow for continued funding at that level.” [Read more...]

United Way of Anderson County’s annual meeting on Thursday

United Way of Anderson County Meeting Invite

Reservations due Monday

The United Way of Anderson County will have its annual meeting on Thursday morning at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge.

Reservations are due Monday, April 14.

A light breakfast will be available at the annual meeting, which is scheduled from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Thursday.

“The community is invited to attend the annual meeting and campaign announcement,” a press release said. “It is a time for UWAC to share with donors the lasting change their contributions make in Anderson County and an opportunity to thank and recognize the volunteers that lead the effort. [Read more...]

Connect to the Earth hike on North Ridge Trail

Connect to the Earth on the North Ridge Trail – April 12

Location:  Hike will begin at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge – 461 West Outer Drive, Oak Ridge.

Learn how plant and animal worlds depend upon and relate to each other. See animals while hiking the trail. Learn to identify harmful plants, how to be safe in the woods, and much more. Bring a sack lunch and drink. Ages 9-12. Time: 9:00am – 1:00pm. Fee: Members of the Oak Ridge Children’s Museum is $10; Non-Members is $15. For more information, visit www.childrensmuseumofoakridge.org or call 865-482-1074.

Celebration of the Young Child –at Children’’s Museum

 Celebration of the Young Child – Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge – April 11

Location:  Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge – 461 West Outer Drive.  Time:  9:00am – 1:00pm

At this Celebration, there will be “make and take” crafts, a fire safety skit from the Oak Ridge Fire Department; creative movement with National Fitness, a puppet show by Brain Minders, snacks and healthy living from Anderson County Health Department, and storytelling with Adele A. Roberts.  For more information, call 865-482-1074 or visit www.childrensmuseumofoakridge.org.

See this story for more information.

Children’s Museum hosts Young Child Celebration on April 11

Backwoods Rambling Puppets

Wood and Strings Theatre will bring the rich folklore and toe-tapping tunes of the Appalachian Mountains to life with a puppet performance of “Backwoods Ramblin’” on Friday, April 11, for the Celebration of the Young Child at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge.

The celebration, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., will be a tribute to Selma Shapiro, who led the museum for 32 years before her retirement at age 80 in 2004. She expanded the museum from a group of small exhibits established by Girl Scouts into a nationally recognized regional center of learning and play, and continued to volunteer at the museum until her death in 2011.

Wood and Strings Theatre’s marionettes play fiddles, smoke corn cob pipes, dance jigs, and sing mountain tunes as they take the audience to the front porch of storyteller Grandpa Will’s cabin. He spins tall tales based on “Jack Tales,” authentic Appalachian folk tales compiled by Richard Chase. Grandpa Will’s family, friends, and hound dog all join in the lively entertainment. [Read more...]

Children’s Museum hosts International Fest

Picti, a duo performing Celtic rock, will be featured performers at the International Festival on Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge. The duo will have the audience on their feet as they entertain with bagpipes, bouzouki, whistles and drums, drawing on tribal elements from Celtic traditions.

Festival goers will experience entertainment, crafts, and cuisines from cultures around the world at the family friendly event, with musical and dance entertainment on stage throughout the day. Participants will dine on international cuisine, children will make international crafts to take home, and all will visit booths displaying crafts and traditions from world cultures.

The International Festival will be from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Children’s Museum, 461 West Outer Dr., Oak Ridge. Food will be available from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. [Read more...]

Music, dance, food, crafts at Children’s Museum International Fest on Saturday

Children's Museum International Festival 2013

International tastes, sounds and sights will fill the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge during the International Festival from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15.

The family-friendly event features musical and dance entertainment on stage throughout the day. Participants will dine on international cuisine, children will make international crafts to take home, and all will visit booths displaying crafts and traditions from world cultures. Food will be served from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the museum, which is at 461 West Outer Drive in Oak Ridge.

Picti, a duo performing Celtic rock, will be featured performers at the International Festival. Other performers will include the klezmer band Dor L’ Dor; Good Thymes Ceilidh Scottish Fiddle Band; Chinese folk musicians Song Yu; Carib Sounds; South American musicians Cantemos; Andrew Payzant on Scottish bagpipe; and Hmong folk music and dance. Appalachian music—including David Neidig and Tom Smith, Early Bird Special, Knoxville Area Dulcimer Club, and Allen McBride on hammer dulcimer—will be in the Appalachia Heritage exhibit area of the museum, along with crafts exhibitors. [Read more...]

Children’s Museum Hosts International Fest Feb. 15

Childrens Museum International Festival

Dancers at the 2013 International Festival at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge. (Submitted photo)

Picti, a duo performing Celtic rock, will be featured performers at the International Festival on Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge. The duo will have the audience on their feet as they entertain with bagpipes, bouzouki, whistles and drums, drawing on tribal elements from Celtic traditions.

Festival goers will experience entertainment, crafts, and cuisines from cultures around the world at the family friendly event, with musical and dance entertainment on stage throughout the day. Participants will dine on international cuisine, children will make international crafts to take home, and all will visit booths displaying crafts and traditions from world cultures.

The International Festival will be from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Children’s Museum, 461 West Outer Dr., Oak Ridge. Food will be available from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Returning this year will be the Kids Fest from 8-10 a.m., featuring international crafts, tasting food from other cultures, and dancing. The Kids Fest is for children in second through seventh grades, the cost is $15 per person, and pre-registration is required. Accompanying adults are admitted with regular International Festival admission. [Read more...]

AMSE’s operating contract with for-profit could be replaced by nonprofit

American Museum of Science and Energy

The American Museum of Science and Energy on South Tulane Avenue in Oak Ridge is pictured above.

The contract with the for-profit company that runs the American Museum of Science and Energy will change from quarterly to monthly starting Jan. 1, and a museum expert could be hired on an interim basis to assess the museum, its place in the community, and a logical new operating structure.

The museum is now funded by the U.S. Department of Energy at a cost of about $1.5 to $1.6 million per year, said David Keim, communications director at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Revenues from the gift shop, admissions, and programs add up to about $300,000 per year.

But officials have long said that the department should not be operating the museum.

“It’s always been a government-funded operation,” Keim said. But, “DOE is not in the museum business.”

In June, a group of museum directors brought to Oak Ridge from around the country recommended that the museum be run by a community-based nonprofit organization—not DOE and not a for-profit company, Keim said. [Read more...]

Children’s Museum Gala celebrates 1970s

The Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge will celebrate its origins in the 1970s when guests gather for the 40th Birthday Gala at the museum on Friday, Dec. 6. The theme will be “Rocketing through the 70s!” in honor of the March 11, 1973, birth of the museum and the Rocket Room play area that delights children of all ages.

Guests will hop aboard the “Soul Train,” with the museum decked out as Knoxville’s Southern Terminal, as they enjoy the folk, rock, and pop culture of the 1970s. The gala will feature a 1970s menu and music from that decade, and guests are invited to dress as their favorite characters of that era.

Festivities begin at 6 p.m. with cocktails, appetizers, and the silent auction. The celebration continues with dinner and a live and lively auction with Clinton auctioneer Bear Stephenson, of Stephenson Realty and Auction, who is donating his services for the event at the museum, 461 West Outer Drive.

The gala supports the museum’s mission of educating children of all ages through play. Tickets are $125 per person, with a portion of that tax-deductible. Support levels and corporate tables are available upon request.

For more information about tickets or sponsorships for the Gala, call museum Executive Deputy Director Carroll Welch at (865) 482-1074, extension 105. See the Children’s Museum web site at www.childrensmuseumofoakridge.org to register and pay online.

See this story for more information.

Children’s Museum Gala celebrates 1970s

Jack Funari and John Brown

Jack Funari, also known as “Saxophone Jack,” and John Brown will perform at the Children’s Museum 40th Birthday Gala on Friday, Dec. 6. (Submitted photo)

The Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge will celebrate its origins in the 1970s when guests gather for the 40th Birthday Gala at the museum on Friday, Dec. 6. The theme will be “Rocketing through the 70s!” in honor of the March 11, 1973, birth of the museum and the Rocket Room play area that delights children of all ages.

Guests will hop aboard the “Soul Train,” with the museum decked out as Knoxville’s Southern Terminal, as they enjoy the folk, rock, and pop culture of the 1970s.

Saxophone Jack and Friends will entertain guests with the music from the 1970s, and guests are invited to dress as their favorite characters of that era. Jack Furnari, also known as Saxophone Jack, has been in the Knoxville and East Tennessee music scene for more than 30 years. [Read more...]

Children’s Museum reopens Waterworks Exhibit

TVA Group Exhibit Display

Tennessee Valley Authority staff members, who designed graphics showing TVA’s role on the Tennessee River and displaying river safety information, join TVA board member Neil McBride, center, and others who helped renovate the exhibit. Laura Smith, with TVA, holds the plaque thanking TVA for its many contributions to the exhibit. (Submitted photos)

Children are once again splashing water as they send wooden tugboats down river in the TVA Waterworks Exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge. The exhibit recently reopened with some new additions that highlight learning through play.

In addition to operating small locks and dams in a flume donated by the Tennessee Valley Authority, children now may climb aboard a child-sized tugboat for an imaginary trip down the Tennessee River. After boarding, children may walk around the deck before entering the pilot house and crews’ quarters of the red, white, and blue tugboat, a small-scale replica of Ingram Marine Group’s working tugboats. [Read more...]