Four Rivers exhibit

Some of the exhibits on display at the Four Rivers Cultural Center’s museum offering, such as the one pictured here, show examples of local history to visitors.

ONTARIO — “Here at the Cultural Center, our mission is pretty grand with a lot of aspects to it,” said Four Rivers Cultural Center’s marketing and development director Tanya Navarrete.

Navarrete expressed how one of the Cultural Center’s feature attractions is the museum.

“The most important piece of the museum is to celebrate diversity, art, culture, history,” she said, “The people who made today happen.”

Navarrete said that she has toured the museum many times since childhood and each time she visits, she sees something new or gains a different appreciation she didn’t have before.

“Everyone’s trip to the museum is special,” added Navarrete, “It looks different for everyone.”

She said that when visitors from out of the area come through Ontario and they use the mobile application TripAdvisor, Four Rivers Cultural Center comes up in the search results as one of the top tourist destinations.

“The Center values history and stories,” stated Navarrete.

Matt Stringer, Executive Director of the Cultural Center, said that the full tour experience includes viewing the approximately 13 minute video in the screening room adjacent to the entrance to the museum. The video is a locally produced documentary that was filmed in the late 1990s and features interviews with notable members of the community.

Stringer said that the community is receptive to the mission of the museum and willing to contribute however they can.

“People are good about getting a hold of us for donations to the museum,” said Stringer.

He went on to describe how the museum tells much of the local history and development of the valley in its early years and how famed photographer Dorothea Lang had been dispatched to the region by the government to take photographs of the area in an attempt to be “sensitive to the plight of the rural poor” Stringer said.

Reminding community members about the museum and the other programs offered at Four Rivers Cultural Center, Navarrete expressed that the offerings of the Center are many.

“We’ve tried to turn it into the community’s living room,” she said.

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