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Default WNMU Museums hosts Black-on-White Gala

Western New Mexico University Museum will be holding its 2007 Black-on-White Gala, on Saturday, November 3, 2007. The theme of this year’s black-tie black-on-white fundraising event is A Night at the Museum, A 1917 Evening of Mystery and Elegance. The themed evening will recognize the completion of Phase I of the Museum’s Revitalizing History Project, which included a complete overhaul of the Museum’s electrical and lighting systems, the beginning of Phase II of the project, and the 90-year history of Fleming Hall, which houses the University Museum.

The event begins at 6 p.m. with a pre-dinner hour sponsored by WNMU President, Dr. John Counts with music by accomplished classical guitarist Dr. Alireza Arasteh. A sumptuous buffet dinner of beef tenderloin or optional non-meat entrée of crab-stuffed Portobello mushroom, double-baked potatoes, sautéed mushrooms and asparagus, and salad of fresh greens follows at 7 p.m. Dessert and coffee service will be provided at 9:30 p.m.

The mystery, which is the centerpiece of the evening’s entertainment, begins upon entry into the Museum. When guests are greeted at the front door, they will be provided with a small card and pencil and asked to “take note of what they hear,” according to Cynthia Bettison, WNMU Museum Director.

“Upon entry, guests will hear clues that have been dropped in exaggerated theatre-style sotto voce by museum staffers and various individuals, including actors portraying the ghosts of Colonel and Mrs. Fleming. It is hoped that attendees will get into the spirit of the evening, discussing the clues they overhear during the pre-dinner hour, comparing notes and leads while in the buffet line, and talking with their table companions at dinner,” said Bettison. Possible suspects will be interrogated during the latter part of the dinner hour, so that guests can solve the mystery during dessert.

The gala will take place on the main floor of the University Museum and is limited to only 150 seated individuals. The cost of dinner seating/reservations is $100 per person. Event proceeds will be used for museum infrastructure and operations needs.

Seating for A Night at the Museum will be arranged in tables of four. A group of four is not necessary for making a reservation; Museum staff will combine couples and single guests together to form complete tables of four. On the day of the event, guests will be met at both the Main entrance, near Miller Library, and at the Alabama Street entrance by Museum staff who will check the each guest’s name against the reservation list and then direct guests to their assigned tables.

Following the black-tie, black-on-white, 1917 theme male guests are requested to wear black-tie and female guests are encouraged to wear any combination of black-on-white dress. Evening dress circa the late 1910s period is also appropriate.

Invitations to the event will be sent by the end of September. Enclosed in the invitation are response cards. The deadline for the return of response cards for dinner reservations, with the appropriate reservation remittance, is Wednesday, October 17, 2007.

If you have recently moved to the area, changed your address, or want to ensure that you will receive a printed invitation by mail, please call the University Museum and provide us with your mailing address. Reservations can be made over the phone, 505-538-6386 (575 area code beginning October 7, 2007), or in person at the WNMU Museum, with remittance due by Wednesday, October 17 to confirm dinner reservations. Event seating/reservations will not be available after the deadline. Remittance and/or reservations will not be permitted at the door. Admittance to the event will be by reservation only.

In preparation for the 30th Anniversary Black-on-White Gala, the University Museum will be closed to the public from Thursday, November 1, 2007 through Sunday, November 4, 2004. The museum will reopen with regular hours on Monday, November 5.

For more information about the event, or to ensure an invitation, please call 505-538-6386 or e-mail bettisonc@wnmu.edu.

CONTACT: DR. CYNTHIA ANN BETTISON, WNMU MUSEUM DIRECTOR & ARCHAEOLOGIST, 505-538-6386, www.wnmu.edu/univ/museum.htm, bettisonc@wnmu.edu,

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