While San Francisco’s Exploratorium (the popular museum that was moved from the western outskirts of town to the city’s historic waterfront and upgraded earlier this year) is definitely tops among the toddler and teen crowds, grown-ups have their own reason to visit. After Dark is a themed evening series for adults (18 and older) held the first Thursday of each month that offers cocktails, live music, lectures and innovative science and art programs at the Exploratorium’s new digs. The series first launched in 2009 with Music After Dark, when the Exploratorium was housed in the Palace of Fine Arts. On a hiatus since 2012, the popular After Dark program has returned.
“After Dark creates a great opportunity to engage adults with science while providing ways for them to connect with the arts and cultural experiences,” says Melissa Alexander, director of public programs at the Exploratorium.
The inaugural After Dark at Pier 15, May’s “Home” themed event, hosted lead design architect Marc L’Italien and head mechanical engineer Peter Rumsey to discuss the process of transforming a cavernous historic pier into a vital home for the Exploratorium. There was music on the outdoor gallery terrace and a chance to explore various exhibit and art installations. Other past motifs have included “Gastronomy,” “Glow” and “Fashion.”
Next up is the August 1 event, “Freestyle” (visit the museum’s site for tickets). It will celebrate spur-of-the-moment creations at the intersection of art and science. Highlights will include concocting your own cocktails with mixologists from SeaGlass (the museum’s onsite restaurant) and meeting music ethnologist/musician/instrument maker Michael Bradke for a hands-on, full-body exploration of musical cultures from around the world.
September’s theme is “Transformation” and curious guests will learn everything from how an ice cube melts in a cocktail — a demonstration of phase transition — to seeing an artist magically transform a face or body into an entirely new creature and learning how stem cells use chemical cues to transform into specialized cells.
Photos Courtesy of The Exploratorium