Seattle, February 1st. Portlanders were on hand for the opening of the new Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center.
Karol Brown is a board member for Hands to Hearts International
and Laura Peterson is the Founder/Director. Laura was one of just 70 people invited to attend the Innovator’s Forum because of her work with vulnerable children and economically disadvantaged women around the globe.
The Visitor Center is in the new Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation headquarters and incorporates a number of sustainable features and locally sourced materials.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center opens to the public Saturday, February 4th. It’s an interactive attraction to connect visitors to the work of the foundation and help them explore their own solutions to some of the world’s toughest challenges. The Center is located near the Space Needle and the Experience Music Project in downtown Seattle. Admission is free.
Melinda Gates told the special guests, “Every day, we are inspired by the innovative work our grantees and partners lead—work that is providing solutions, hope, and opportunity,”
From family homelessness in the Pacific Northwest, to education in the United States, to malariain Africa, visitors can touch, interact with, and focus on exhibits that address the issues that interest them most. Visitors can also join conversations about important global and local issues. Exhibits encourage people to explore their own solutions and share ideas with other visitors and their own communities.
“There is something in the Visitor Center for everyone. You can dive into some of the most complex issues in really fun, interactive ways,” said Jeff Raikes, CEO of the foundation. “We offer hands-on experiences so that people can see for themselves how innovative tools are helping improve lives around the world.”
At the Innovation & Inspiration Gallery visitors can take a “Find Your Skills” quiz to help them identify their own strengths and passions. From there, they are invited to explore various stations aligned to their strengths that ask them to solve real-world problems and share their solutions with family and friends.
The Visitor Center building, achieved LEED Gold certification and has one of the largest green roofs in the Pacific Northwest. Wall insulation is made from more than 2,300 pairs of recycled blue jeans.
Throughout the year, content will be updated based on contributions to the exhibits. For school or other groups and the public, the foundation also plans to host foundation videos, presentations, and public talks.
The Visitor Center, located at 500 Fifth Avenue North in Seattle, is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. To learn more, visit www.gatesfoundation.org