Who hasn’t dreamed of dancing under the stars? Some of New York City’s brightest young stars did just that last Thursday night in the famed Cullman Hall of the Universe in the American Museum of Natural History. The young philanthropists, socialites and fashionable guests turned out to raise funds for the museum’s scientific and educational programs at New York City’s longest-running junior benefit, the Museum Dance. The event raised $310,000.
The night’s “Star Studded!” theme was fitting for the dinner and the after-party sponsored by Kwiat, designers of diamond jewelry. The invite called for “black tie; dress to sparkle and shine” to celebrate the Museum’s new Space Show “Dark Universe,” which is narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium. “Dark Universe” shares new information regarding the structure and history of the universe using dynamic images and comprehensive narration, as well as bringing to light more questions and deeper mysteries to explore.
After dinner and cocktails in Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, guests were ‘launched’ into the cosmos in the Cullman Hall of the Universe, where science met style, facts met fashion for the electric after-party. Patent-leather loafers were placed on scales configured to reveal weights on Mars and moons, and gloved fingertips were run over museum labels replete with intergalactic facts.
The music set by JUS SKE got the party started as the more than 400 guests streamed onto the dance floor underneath the globe of the planetarium. Attendees sporting velvet smoking jackets and slippers or floor length gowns and glittering cocktail dresses bopped to the beats while waiting for drinks at the two bars or munching on fun fare of hot dogs and warm soft pretzels.
Guests were enticed by items at the silent auction ranging from diamond earrings from the Kwiat Star Collections to Luxury Leather products—John Lobb shoes for him and a Tory Burch tote for her— to a mini Miami vacation or a Hometown getaway at the Sofitel New York. Last but certainly not least, a Night at the Museum Sleepover including behind the scenes tours was up for bid.
Chairpersons of this year’s Museum Dance were Kristen Edgreen Kaufman and Michael Kaufman, Elizabeth Kurpis and Jonathan A. Kurpis, Alexandra and Gregory Kwiat, Nina and Mike Patterson, and Colleen and Kipp deVeer. Celebrity guests included Jemima Kirke of “Girls,” writer Ed Smith, curator Anne Huntington, designer Eric Javits Jr. and painter Annika Connor.
As one of the world’s preeminent cultural and scientific institutions, the American Museum of Natural History has long been an important educational destination in New York. Since 1869, the museum has made it its mission to disseminate information about human cultures, the natural world and the universe through research and educational programs including permanent and rotating exhibitions.