Muse at the Museum in the Nelson-Atkins Sculpture Garden

With bursts of colorful light, the magic of Tarot and palm readings, the majesty of star gazing and the deliciousness of light summery cocktails – Muse at the Museum on the lawn of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art rocked our worlds.

Kansas City’s most anticipated party of the summer did not disappoint.Ink Magazine

A peek at the recap video I tossed together (up there ☝️) doesn’t even do it justice. I was enjoying the party far too much to spend the night filming video on my phone. But, the bits that I did catch are wonderful reminders of just how awesome the party was and just how unbelievably amazing the team behind it continues to be. It’s rare that a party in its first year can live up to the hype, but Muse was even better.

A members-only cocktail hour opened the party’s doors to museum and Young Friends of Art members an hour early. The experience, sponsored by Capitol Federal, was simply unbeatable. Each guest was greeted with head crowns, greenery cuffs and floral accessories by The Cottage Rose and Westport Floral. Live music by Oread Music rang through Bloch Lobby as Tom’s Town Distilling Co. kicked off the night with signature cocktails, Cooper’s Hawk popped bottles for wine tastings and bars opened loaded with Boulevard Brewing Co. bottles and Plaza Liquor pours.

Partiers poured in decked head to toe in fashions inspired by the evening. Sequined tunics, bold accessories, floral dresses, bright colors, creative crowns – each of nature’s elements was represented in the styles across men and women alike. Not only were the looks amazing, but creativity in fashion became the name of the game.

A grand table packed with delicious bites from Waldo Pizza and the Nelson’s own Rozzelle Court Restaurant welcomed crowds while lines for Tarot, palm and aura readings by Aquarius Books twisted through the room. Shocked, uneasy giggles peppered discussions as everyone recapped the curiously accurate readings while mingling among stunning arrangements by Adorn Floral Design. Signs and graphics by Reactor KC and Mpress dotted the bar tops and pointed guests to new experiences beyond the lobby’s doors.

Of course, it was written in the stars that the party would move outdoors onto the terrace as the sun set. For the first time in years, mid-July rains had stepped aside for an unbelievable outdoor experience. The pink and blue sky set the perfect canvas for drinks, dancing and shenanigans along the museum’s infamous steps.

Below its iconic columns, Red Bull DJ Ashton Martin kept the crowds dancing while Hartzell and crew from 96.5 The Buzz showed them how. Oracle‘s Tarot and astrology readers inspired guests with even more predictions on the terrace. And, as night fell, Platinum KC revealed an interactive art installation combining guests’ aura readings with a complete takeover of the party lighting. Guests could pick a creative seat for the aura show in intimate mingling spaces created by Ultrapom.

But, no, the party still didn’t stop there. On the lawn, Cinder Block Brewery poured delicious brews for party goers. Star gazing with the Astronomical Society of Kansas City pulled crowds across the dance floor to peek through telescopes as lights danced through the trees and flooded our beloved shuttlecocks.

Guests took advantage of the late-night beauty of the Bloch Building’s modern glow. In the distance, you could spot silhouettes of dancers catching the perfect photo op. Meanwhile, the later hours revealed a sweet surprise – a dessert bar packed with SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza gelato, Insomnia Cookies fresh-baked perfection and even more treats from the Nelson-Atkins chef.

In the end, the festive evening raised funds to support a number of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art programs including funding school visits, community art programs and keeping the museum free and open to the public. Each year, the opportunity to enjoy such an extravagant event while still giving so much to the community is made possible only through the generous donations of sponsors, partners and the purchase of our guests’ tickets. For that, we could not be more grateful for the amazing local businesses and people that gathered together to make Muse happen.

The entire night was one wonderfully curious discovery after another. As promised, Muse inspired guests with free-spirited experiences, different perspectives and an entirely new celebration. With the first year being so absolutely incredible, we’re certainly excited to see what the stars have in store for the next.


See photos and read more about Muse at the Museum at:

My personal special thanks to:

  • Kansas City Fashion Collaboratives for a spectacular pre-party fashion show featuring numerous Kansas City designers, stylists, photographers, models and more. Their incredible talents were such an asset in preparing for Muse!
  • ENVE Designs accessorized my look for the night. Ngan’s jewelry-that-is-actually-artwork is absolutely incredible and there is always a piece to fit your life – everyday baubles, simple accents, impactful statements and full-on body armor. Visit her site, follow her Facebook, shop local and fill your closet with a bit of KC!
  • Matt Seithel (our Manager of Next Generation Giving at the museum) and Denise Dibben (the 2017 Muse at the Museum Chair). You two know what you did.

Love this? Want to be part of it? As the 2018 Muse at the Museum Chair, I’d like to invite you to join us. Reach out to discuss committee, sponsorship and partnership opportunities. Or, simply follow along @lauranoll_ on Instagram to be notified when tickets go on sale!

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