The show must go on.
Washington County nonprofit Adelante Mujeres is celebrating months' worth of renovation work on its downtown Forest Grove facility with a virtual grand opening event at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30.
Adelante Mujeres, which has a mission to provide holistic education and empowerment opportunities to low-income Latina women and their families, to ensure full participation and active leadership in the community, is celebrating the project's completion by unveiling its newly renovated center on Main Street virtually, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This is huge," Adelante Mujeres marketing manager Anna Yeager said. "And it's going to be huge for the entire community."
The facility is bigger now, adding on to meets Adelante Mujeres' growing needs — but beyond the square footage, new to the facility are six early childhood education classrooms, a commercial kitchen for internal meal preparation and external meal prep for local Latinx business owners needing initial help, an outdoor playground, and a makerspace.
Yeager spoke to the importance of the makerspace, which includes devices such as a 3D printer, craft supplies and programmable robots. She said Adelante Mujeres sees a demand in the community it serves to expose Latina youth to science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) disciplines.
"It's a really safe, inclusive space for Latina youth to come and explore STEM careers," Yeager said. "Latina youth are very underrepresented in those areas, and we're trying to get them hooked to pursue STEM fields."
The hour-long virtual grand opening will include a message from Adelante Mujeres executive director Bridget Cooke, a virtual tour of the building, Latin music, a beach house raffle, and an online auction as part of a fundraising effort for remaining costs of the renovation.
"It's going to be full of a lot of really inspiring stories from right within our local community," Yeager said. "There's a lot that's going to happen in that one hour."
While not presently open to the public due to the pandemic, Adelante Mujeres has been operating its early childhood education programs since September, so classrooms are open, however little else is. The facility has been offering limited services as part of its Business Recovery Center, but the majority of its other services, like adult education, Chicas Youth Development and other programs, have been moved online due to COVID-19.
"All of our classes are in full swing right now," Yeager said. "But they're all digital."
Ultimately, while a bit hamstrung by the virus environment, Adelante Mujeres' grand opening — virtual or not — will be a celebration of what has been, is and will become in the organization's new and improved facility.
"It's going to have a lot of really cool components," Yeager said. "We're really, really excited about it."
Those interested in participating in Adelante Mujeres' virtual grand opening can RSVP at avstream.me/adelante. Those interested in the online auction can register beginning at noon Wednesday, Oct. 28, at adelantemujeres.org.
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