Night at the Museum
Dallas gala-goers party with T. rexes to raise $2 million for Perot Museum
It's not every Saturday night that Dallasites get to take selfies with T. rexes and bedazzle themselves with gemstones, but that's the way the Perot Museum rolls for patrons at the annual Night at the Museum Gala.
This year's fundraising mega-event, held November 11, attracted 1,000 guests and brought in a dino-mite $2 million for the Perot Museum's learning and outreach programs, including scholarships and financial assistance for local schools and families.
Under the guidance of co-chairs Catalina Gonzalez, Santiago Jorba, Elizabeth Phillips, and Kevin Phillips, every floor of the museum lit up with opportunities for exploration, fun, food, and drink. A pavilion across the lawn continued the night outside the museum, too.
Upon their early arrival, VIPs descended on the lower-level reception for an exclusive preview of the Perot's new exhibition "T. rex: The Ultimate Predator." Without the crowds of normal museum hours, patrons could stand face-to-face (or, teeth-to-face) with ginormous models of the prehistoric predators. It was the buzziest photo backdrop of the night, and even the setting for a local TV reporter's marriage proposal.
In the lobby, DJ RomiQ kept the beats upbeat as attendees queued for craft cocktails at the Premium Bar and ordered up hand-shaken Dirty Martinis and Yuzu Martinis at the sleek Haku Martini Bar. The evening's signature cocktail was a daring choice of a Mezcalito featuring Mezcal Verde Amaras and fruit juices.
At 7:30 pm, the masses arrived and filled all four floors of the museum. Those who stopped on level two were greeted by a Brite Side Craft Hard Seltzer Bar and a long Iberico grazing table of gourmet meats, cheeses, crackers, and spreads. Guests could play scientist in the "Bio Lab: Giant Chromosomes" exhibit, take a Drone Challenge in the Challenge Lab, or try out a roaming photo booth.
On level three, long lines formed quickly at the On The Rocks Bar, where bartenders made cosmos, margaritas, and jalapeño margaritas to pair with Mexico City-inspired Nosh Boxes starring crispy chicharrones. A Face Gem Bar was an especially popular stop for women who wanted a little extra sparkle and shine.
On level four, guests dug into a Paleo Lab Experience and more premium cocktails. Fun Night at the Museum tidbit: the #IYKYK crowd always looks forward to this gala's signature dish - the flaky, savory, piping hot Pot Pies. Alas, level four ran out of its supply of Masala Chicken Pot Pies quickly, and guests were sent to the pavilion outside on the Plaza.
The pavilion was where the real food action was happening. Food stations by Wolfgang Puck Catering were serving up global cuisine like Salt & Pepper Crispy Quail, Texas Tomahawk, Raw & Rice (spicy bluefin tun on rice cakes), and yes, Masala Vegetable Pot Pies.
Elan Artists' Gen8 band kept the dance floor rocking for hours and a Robotic Sketchbot offered a cool photo booth alternative. Just outside the pavilion, guests gathered around fire pits along Fire Pit Lane to roast s'mores with gourmet marshmallows and refuel with Carajillos espresso martinis presented by Licor 43. Late-night revelers could snack on Boozy Milkshakes, Perot Smash Burgers, Waffle Cut Fries, and more.
The 11th annual Night at the Museum Gala - planned, designed, and executed by Jason Valdivia of Valdivia Ventures - successfully launched the Perot Museum into its next decade of education and inspiration, organizers said afterwards. Among the patrons there enjoying the night were Missy Rogers Peck, Madison Strode, Jennifer Grinnan, Kelcey Hamilton, Frances Mitchell, Cory Youmans, Bri Amaranthus, Hanna Battah, Kevin Fleck, Kristen Cobb, Britton Cobb, Katie Samler, Matthew Samler,Brent Christopher, Monica Christopher, Michael Guirguis, Jayda Batchelder, Alan Katz, Karen Katz, Kelly Compton, DeWitt McCarter, Betsy Dixon, Monica Egert Smith, Caroline Harrison, Lara Pryor, Ashley Chellgren, Tori Mulford, Junko Yamazaki, Wasan Alfalahi, Jessica Bolander, Geraldine Torrens Parker, Maria Zajia Soto, Kate Alberts, Brad Alberts, Paul Michael Halicki, Kate Halicki, Laura Price, Jessica Khan, Linda Silver, and hundreds more supporters and guests.