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PORTLAND-Local residents Barbara M. Dawson and her husband Matthew A. Katzer are donating $1 million to the American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts, an international $70 million cultural museum and educational center currently under construction on the banks of the Napa River in Napa, Calif.

The American Center is scheduled to open in fall 2001. Housed on 12 acres, the American Center will include an 80,000-sf main pavilion; more than 13,000 square feet of exhibition galleries; 3.5 acres of decorative and edible gardens; a 500-seat outdoor concert terrace; a dining room and a gift shop. The facilities will showcase interactive exhibitions and produce an public education programs for all ages, including films, music, garden programs, seminars, lectures, culinary demonstrations, wine tastings and workshops.

The American Center will recognize the gift from Dawson and Katzner in the building’s Presentation Kitchen and Artists-in-Residence Guest House. The Center’s staff and guest chefs will use the full-service Presentation Kitchen to prepare dishes that incorporate and highlight the many influences and cuisines found in American cooking.

Dawson and Katzer have chosen to name the Center’s Guest House, which will house visiting chefs, in honor of a group of winemakers in Walla Walla, Washington who contributed substantially to Portland’s wine community. The group operates Canoe Ridge Vineyard, Dunham Cellars, Leonetti Cellar, Glen Fiona Winery, L’Ecole No 41, Walla Walla Vintners and Woodward Canyon Winery.

Dawson and Katzer are veterans of the Northwest’s technology industry. Dawson’s career was spent primarily at Intel, where she spearheaded many of the company’s marketing strategies. Katzer, in addition to heading a software company he founded, is a technology consultant to several Fortune 100 companies.

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