Eugene, with an estimated population of 148,595, is the second largest city in Oregon. Located at the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers and the south end of the Willamette Valley, Eugene is the seat of Lane County, Oregon. Eugene is noted for its spectacular natural beauty, alternative lifestyles, outdoor recreation opportunities, and political activism. Groups like Earth First have helped to fuel the passion of environmental responsibility with tree-sits, demonstrations, and forest defense camps. Eugene anarchists were the sole members who gained the mistaken identity of Black Bloc during what was since known as the Battle of Seattle. Eugene's motto is "The World's Greatest City of the Arts and Outdoors." It is also referred to as "The Emerald Empire," "The Emerald City," "The People's Republic of Eugene," "The Anarchist Capital of the United States," and "Track Town, USA," or "The Track Capital of the World." The latter two nicknames stemmed from the Nike Corporation getting its start in Eugene.
Eugene is home to the University of Oregon, Northwest Christian College, Lane Community College, Eugene Bible College, Gutenberg College, and Pacific University's Eugene Campus. The city's largest industries are wood products and recreational vehicle manufacturing. The largest employers are the University of Oregon, local government, and Sacred Heart Medical Center. Other businesses of note are Bi-Mart, Marathon Coach, Hynix Semiconductor America, and the Organically Grown Company. Several locally owned and developed businesses also operate in the area and have a successful support coalition called Unique Eugene.
Performing and visual arts are offered throughout the city through venues and cultural organizations like The Hult Center for the Performing Arts, the Eugene Symphony, the Eugene Ballet, the Eugene Opera, the Eugene Concert Choir, the Oregon Mozart Players, the Oregon Bach Festival, the Oregon Children's Choir and the Oregon Festival of American Music. Principal performing arts venues include the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts ("The Shedd"), Beall Concert Hall on the University of Oregon campus, the McDonald Theatre, and W.O.W. Hall. A large number of live theater groups thrive in Eugene, including the Willamette Repertory Theatre, Lord Leebrick Theatre, The Very Little Theatre, Actors Cabaret, LCC Theatre, and University Theatre; each has its own performance venue.
Eugene museums include the University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, and the Museum of Natural and Cultural History, the Oregon Air and Space Museum, Conger Street Clock Museum, the Lane County Historical Museum, Maude Kerns Art Museum, Shelton McMurphy House, the Cascades Raptor Center, and the Science Factory Children's Museum & Planetarium. Eugene's visual arts community is supported by over 20 private art galleries and several organizations, including Maude Kerns Art Center, Lane Arts Council, DIVA (the Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts), the Hult Center's Jacobs Gallery, and the Eugene Glass School.