Night At The Museum: Ignite guests had an extra perk on Saturday, November 9, at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. They not only were a part of the “reimagined” Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall ribbon cutting, they got a sneak peak at the out-of-this-world second level exhibition. And, of course, there were the food stations on the various levels provided by Wolfgang Puck catering as well as the various activities including the after party. Here’s a report from the field:
Partying for a cause has never been so hot! The Perot Museum of Nature and Science’s Night at the Museum: Ignite illuminated Dallas on Saturday, November 9, for a gala unlike any other. More than 1,000 guests attended, including Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Dallas City Councilmember David Blewett, Texas Instruments officials and Sally Hoglund – all on hand to help dedicate the newly reimagined Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall days before its public opening on Tuesday, November 12.
Event co-chairs were Marlene and John Sughrue, and honorary chair was Mary McDermott Cook.
The VIP pre-party for Geode sponsors kicked off the evening followed by the main party and the ever-popular after-party that ran till midnight.
Upon arrival, guests like Margot Perot, Nelda Cain Pickens, Betsey Urschel, Nancy Cain Marcus, Yatzil Rubio, Thomas Surgent, Cassie and Mac McFarland, Aimee and Royce Ramey, Katherine and Michael Phillips, Terri and Mike West, Roberta Williamson and Kim Jordan were welcomed by color-changing illuminated arches projecting simulated fire, lasers, fire eaters, a neon-lit champagne wall and a blue glitter carpet. The Museum’s five floors teemed with delectable, science-inspired inspired cuisine from Wolfgang Puck Catering (from flaming cocktails to blueprint food stations), mind-igniting happenings, and activities designed to surprise and spark curiosity.
As guests were transported up the famed “T. rex-calator” to Level 4, they were greeted with “Mechanical Minded” experiences and cocktails from a moving bolt bar and with Asian-inspired small plates served on a conveyor belt, a “space henge” 360-degree photo booth, and the famous “shouting paleontologist.”
On Level 3, “A Flash of Inspiration” mixed the visual awe of combustion and heat with mid-century modern pizzazz complete with a crepe station, “ignite” hair bar glitter station, neuron-fired photo-ops and futuristic body-art station.
With a “Constructing the Idea” theme, Level 2 took a more modern approach with its roaming robot photo booth, a Rube-Goldberg dessert station, food-aeration station, dry-ice test-tube cocktails, and programmable LEGO® robots. Also on Level 2, partygoers got a sneak peek of the newly reimagined Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall days before its public opening on Saturday, November 12. The Hall boasts a massive LED music code sequencer, ChallENGe Lab (funded by The Hoglund Foundation), three robotic tables, “Awesome Airways” wind-tunnel activity, “North Texas Innovator Timeline,” interactive mechanical art sculpture and more.
Decked out with gears, cogs and peculiar mechanics, the steampunk-style VIP pre-party on the Lower Level will featured an Inventor’s Workshop complete with brassy late-19th century décor and colors. Revelers delighted in the “da Vinci” Negroni ice-sphere cocktails encased in ice and served with a small hammer, a flambéed steak station, and sip-on-a-spoon cocktails topped with gold flakes. A Tilt Brush by Google virtual reality station and festive photo ops completed the scenario.
The Museum’s world-exclusive exhibition, Origins: Fossils from the Cradle of Humankind, was also open on the Lower Level. The exhibition showcases fossils of two ancient human relatives – Australopithecus sediba and Homo naledi – marking the first time that human relative fossils of two different species have ever been displayed together outside of Africa.
To round out the night, a blazing after party featuring the Georgia Bridgwater Orchestra brought down the house from 9 p.m.-midnight. Late-night refreshments included chicken schnitzel, wagyu beef burgers and adult milkshakes.
Lead commitments included $100,000 Planet-level contributions from Lyda Hill, the Eugene McDermott Foundation and Margot Perot, and $50,000 Dinosaur-level contributions from Balfour Beatty Construction and The Hoglund Foundation.
The $25,000 Turbine-level donors are Atmos Energy, Cassie and Mac McFarland, Suzanne and Patrick McGee, GenOn Energy, Highland Capital Management, Nancy Perot and Rod Jones, Sarah and Ross Perot Jr., Katherine and Michael Phillips, Katherine and Eric Reeves, Carolyn and Karl Rathjen and Deedie Rose. Sewell Automotive Companies was the premier automotive sponsor, and Wolfgang Puck Catering was the catering sponsor.
Proceeds support the Museum’s mission to inspire minds through nature and science to fund educational programming, student scholarships, Museum operations, traveling exhibitions and groundbreaking research.
* Photo credit: Kaitlyn Kilpatrick