Arts & Entertainment

‘Daughters of Hanford’ opens Aug. 1 at Reach center in Richland

An exhibit telling the stories of 12 women who’ve influenced and been influenced by the Hanford nuclear site opens this weekend at the Reach center in Richland.

And the Daughters of Hanford unveiling will involve a day of learning, exploration and fun — in keeping with the project’s spirit.

The Reactor Factor grand opening event is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 1.

“We are so excited,” said Anna King, a public radio reporter who produced the project with Seattle photographer Kai-Huei Yau and Doug Gast, an artist and associate professor of fine arts at Washington State University Tri-Cities. “We really believe that the thrust of this project is to educate the next generation of journalists, scientists, mathematicians, engineers. These women we’re profiling are examples of people who’ve followed their passion and made a difference.”

Daughters of Hanford includes radio pieces, portraits, a museum exhibit and more.

It’s presented by the Reach, WSU Tri-Cities and Northwest Public Radio, which is a service of WSU’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

The Reactor Factor event includes a mix of performing arts and science-centered activities. While many are aimed at kids, adults also will find plenty to do.

Offerings range from a drone demonstration, to hands-on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) mentoring tables centered on topics from geology to wildlife to the Coyote Canyon mammoth dig, as well as a dance by the Mid-Columbia Ballet to the project’s Fission Phizz theme song.

Members of the Yakama Nation and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation will perform an honor song for women.

Reactor Factor will be filled with “fun hands-on activities and demonstrations that are engaging,” said Renee Smith, who’s helping coordinate the event.

Smith said she appreciates that the Daughters project highlights the important and, at times, unsung contributions of women. “It’s wonderful for (these women) to step out of the wings and get recognition. And for people to see that women are involved. It’s not just men in this field,” Smith told the Herald.

King is a reporter for Northwest News Network. Her first Daughters radio piece debuted in March, and several more have rolled out since.

Others will be released in the coming months.

The featured women range from Leona Woods Marshall Libby, who helped build the B Reactor, to U.S. Sen. Patty Murray.

King said it’s thrilling to unveil the museum exhibit after so much dreaming, planning and work. The project is “larger than I ever thought possible,” she said. “We’re really excited for this day, to show it to the world.”

The Reach is offering a special family rate for the event of $15 for a family of six, with a $1 charge for each additional family member. Regular admission for adults is $8 for adults and $6 for youths, seniors and military.

The Reach is at 1943 Columbia Park Trail, Richland.