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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

You don’t have to be Ben Stiller to spend a night at the museum.

The Florida Museum of Natural History will host its third annual sold-out Drink with the Extinct event Friday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for those 21 and older who have purchased a ticket.

“It’s nice that we get to be in a museum setting with the artworks and artifacts that people have gathered and worked so hard on making to be such a beautiful part of what we have here in Gainesville,” said Adriana Rugeles, a 21-year-old UF political science junior.

The event has 10 local sponsors, with Cypress and Grove, Blackadder and David’s BBQ new to this year’s event. The sponsors will provide free food, drinks and live music to all attendees.

“The event is very relaxed, but fun,” said Kaitlin Gardiner, the marketing and public relations coordinator for the museum.

Julie Song, a UF doctoral student, said she plans to attend with three colleagues in her program.

“This event is something different — a unique environment,” Song said. “We were going to have our regular meeting, so why don’t (we) go outside of school and do something different?”

The event creates a social scene within an academic setting, encouraging the community to gather and appreciate artifacts while raising money for the program it benefits. In past years, the event has sponsored the Butterfly Gardens at Local Schools program and the Junior Volunteer program.

Kara Schwartz, the development coordinator for the museum, said the museum chooses to sponsor programs in which even a small dollar amount can make a big impact.  

This year the event will benefit the museum’s own Pop-Up Museum program, which aims to foster interest for the natural sciences within the Gainesville community, according to the event’s website.

“Engagement, inspiration and accessibility: Pop-ups create engaging experiences and facilitate two-way conversations around current science topics,” said the living exhibit specialist outreach coordinator, Jonnie Dietz. “By traveling to non-traditional locations and reaching diverse audiences, we hope to inspire our community to care about life on earth."

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