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Monday, Feb. 16, 2015


'Monsters, Myths and Legends' Make Up Sci-Port's Guest List For All-Start Event


A host of creatures are preparing to descend upon Shreveport, and it’s all for a good cause. The Mad Scientist Ball is a fundraiser to benefit Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center, the hands-on science discovery center in downtown Shreveport. This year’s event will be held 7 p.m. March 7 at Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center.

“This year’s goal is to raise money to help support the center in its efforts to develop STEAM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics] education opportunities for children of all ages,” Dr. Christina M. Notarianni, co-chair of this year’s event, said. “This year, 100 percent of the money raised will be used to fund ongoing care for our current exhibits, develop outreach programs, as well as create new programs to bring science to our children.”

The Mad Scientist Ball theme this year is “Monsters, Myths and Legends.” “This theme will include the Caddo Lake Monster, Hollywood monsters and Roman mythology,” Claire Floyd, community engagement manager for Sci-Port, said. “We are encouraging everyone to dress up as your favorite monster, myth or legend. We’re hoping to see a great variety of creative costumes this year.”

“This theme was chosen by us and the committees as an opportunity to explore mythical creatures, such as the Centaur, delve into legends, like the Loch Ness Monster, and expose monsters of the world, from Frankenstein to Shrek,” Notarianni said.

“In addition, this theme was chosen to also bring attention to the newest exhibit at Sci-Port, ‘How to Make a Monster: The Art and Technology of Animatronics,’” Notarianni said. This traveling exhibit allows visitors to peek behind the scenes to see how cinematic creatures are made, from the storyboard process to the convincing specimens that actually appear on the big screen. As part of the exhibit, guests can touch the alien guts from the sci-fi horror movie “Pitch Black,” run Inspector Gadget into a stop sign, maneuver a Megalania (an ancient Australian mega-reptile) and even direct a dinosaur. The exhibit runs through April.

Even beyond the exhibit, Sci-Port itself will be filled with thrills and chills. “Expect to see different areas of Sci-Port transformed into magical areas, such as the deep swamps of Louisiana to the high peaks of the Swiss Alps,” Notarianni said. “Each area will highlight specific legends and myths. Be sure to keep an eye out for the Creature of Caddo Lake!” “In addition, we have the band New Evolution ready to turn up the volume and rock the night away in our Hollywood Monster room,” Notarianni said.

The five-member New Evolution is well-known in the Shreveport area, playing everything from funk, R&B and popular hits from the ’70s and ’80s.

The night will also feature a unique opportunity to win a lot of cash. “By purchasing a ticket for our draw down raffle for $100, you have a chance to go home with $10,000,” Notarianni said. “The last number standing at the end of the raffle is the winner.” Only about 300 tickets will be sold for this raffle, so patrons are encouraged to buy early during the presale.

“Insurance can be bought at presale for $25, which ensures that if your ticket is one of the first 50 drawn, it is thrown back in for another chance,” Floyd said.

Tickets for the draw down are $100 and are available for sale by calling Comegys at 424- 8703.

“We’ll also have a Pirogue Wine Pull, where guests can pull a bottle of wine from a pirogue for just $20,” Floyd said. “The pirogue will contain wines worth anywhere from $20 to $200, so you could go home with a lot of bang for your buck.”

Notarianni was excited at the chance to co-chair this year’s event because she sees Sci-Port as an invaluable resource for families. Her husband, Dr. Andrew Werner is also a co-chair of the event.

“My husband and I were approached by our friend Liz Comegys, who is the special events coordinator at Sci-Port, to consider chairing this wonderful event. We immediately said, ‘Yes!’ because with two small children, we know how important Sci-Port is for our community,” Notarianni said. “Our children, Henry and Caroline, absolutely love going to Sci-Port. The center is a fun, educational place for our children to explore science, the human body, technology – just to name a few. We bring our children to Sci-Port at least three times in a month.”

“Knowing how special this place is to our own children, we want to make sure Sci-Port gets all of the support it needs to keep serving all of the children of our community with exciting STEAM exhibits and events,” Notarianni said. “Sci-Port is a place unlike any other in this region. We all need to continue to support Sci-Port.”

Partygoers have come to look forward to the ball and its fun, unusual atmosphere. This year will be Jordan Harris’ third year to attend. “Last year, my husband, Aaron and I went to the Mad Scientist Ball. We had a blast,” Harris said. “I really loved the theme, the food and the fact that you can play at Sci-Port without having to worry about kids – is that terrible?” “I think the event is so unique to Shreveport, and it’s not too stuffy,” Harris said. “There is something for everyone there – a live band, great food, fun games and a chance to explore.”

“Mad Scientist Ball is such a unique event for the people of Shreveport-Bossier,” Notarianni said. “This is a costume ball at the museum itself, so everyone can explore Sci-Port and see what a gem it is for this area.”


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