Salem’s museum for children is hosting a special adults-only party.
The Gilbert House Children’s Museum is opening its doors Aug. 29 for an outdoor concert to raise money for a redesign of the play area, scheduled to begin this fall. The concert is open to those 21 and older.
The 30-year-old museum plans to take out much of its aging play structure and replace it with a more open, accessible “discovery area” featuring six distinct areas with nature-themed activities including a garden, fort-building station, ball racing and city building. The popular Erector Set – a wooden maze with tall slides shaped like the iconic toy – will remain in the outdoor area.
To complete the renovation, dubbed “Priority:Play,” the museum hopes to raise $750,000. It’s an inflation-adjusted goal from the initial $600,000 target set last fall. Maps Community Foundation, the charitable arm of the Salem-based credit union, recently donated $25,000 toward that effort.
The museum is 60% of the way there, according to a press release, and is hoping the concert and other efforts will help close the gap before a fall groundbreaking.
The Aug. 29 concert features Abilene, a country bluegrass band that includes Oregon Symphony Associate Concertmaster Peter Frajola and several of his Portland colleagues.
“This opportunity kind of dropped in our lap,” said Alicia Bay, Gilbert House executive director, in a statement. “When they offered to donate their talent, we decided that a Backyard Concert would be a perfect fundraiser to support Priority:Play.”
The concert begins at 7 p.m., with gates opening at 6:30 p.m, at the museum, 116 Marion St. N.E. Tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the door for Gilbert House members, and $25 in advance or $35 at the door for nonmembers. Beer, cider, wine and soft drinks will be available for purchase. More information and tickets are available on the Gilbert House website.
The new play area is expected to be completed in the spring of 2023.
Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.
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Rachel Alexander is Salem Reporter’s managing editor. She joined Salem Reporter when it was founded in 2018 and covers city news, education, nonprofits and a little bit of everything else. She’s been a journalist in Oregon and Washington for a decade. Outside of work, she’s a skater and board member with Salem’s Cherry City Roller Derby and can often be found with her nose buried in a book.