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GIVING BACK | Adler Planetarium's Celestial Bash Raises Nearly $1.2 Million


Adler Planetarium Grainger Sky Theater
Guests enjoy music and mingling under the stars in the Adler’s Grainger Sky Theater

Adler Planetarium Celebrates the Return to in Person Events with Celestial Bash, Raises Nearly $1.2 Million

CHICAGO–On Saturday, September 10, 2022, the Adler Planetarium hosted Celestial Bash; a reimagined version of our biggest fundraising event of the year. Held at our iconic Chicago lakefront location once again, Celestial Bash guests were treated to a special night at the Adler; getting to explore the entire museum after hours. Furthering the Adler’s commitment to an “Adler anywhere” experience, the event also included a 15-minute digital program streamed on the Adler’s YouTube channel for guests around the world to enjoy.


Highlights of the in-person event included getting to know the world’s first high-altitude balloon light pollution mapping system that was designed and flown with the help of our teens and volunteers, creating a masterpiece in our Community Star Studio, experiencing Chicago’s oldest planetarium-the Atwood Sphere, looking at the universe through the new Doane Observatory telescope, relaxing under the Grainger Sky Theater dome as breathtaking space visualizations transported guests to other worlds, and dancing the night away against a backdrop of the Chicago skyline.


The Adler’s first in-person event in nearly three years raised almost $1.2 million for everything the Adler does in support of our mission to connect people to the universe and each other under the sky we all share.



The work that we are able to do, both in building and virtually, wouldn’t be possible without the generous contributions of the Adler’s donors. The 2022 Celestial Bash Corporate Partner Award recipient is United Scrap Metal, whose president Brad Serlin serves on our Board. United Scrap Metal’s commitment to the Chicagoland community embodies the Adler Planetarium’s spirit of connection.


“As the Adler works towards a future where the Planetarium is accessible to people of all ages, all around the globe, a foundation of connection and community is more important than ever,” said Adler President and CEO Dr. Michelle B. Larson.


In addition to our award-winning exhibitions, sky shows and hands-on, minds-on programming, the Adler is also home to one of the largest astronomical collections in the world. This year, Celestial Bash sponsors were invited to adopt an exhibition feature or collection item for the night, which were available at a variety of funding levels. This opportunity not only provided the sponsor recognition for the evening, but also gave them a chance to learn about their specific collection object or feature in depth. This approach enabled more local and minority-owned businesses to support the Adler (some for the very first time) and allowed us to create more connections within our community.



About Celestial Bash

Formerly known as Celestial Ball, the Adler’s biggest fundraising event of the year began in 1994. Now in its 28th year, the event has a new name and a new experience that better represents the Adler’s commitment to our community by giving guests a glimpse into the work we do both in-person and virtually around the globe; building space for everyone, where we can gather, connect, and discover together.


About the Adler Planetarium:

The Adler Planetarium connects people to the universe and each other. Whether it is introducing a guest to the Ring Nebula, a neighborhood school to a community partner, a research team to a network of citizen scientists, or one staff member to another, the Adler’s focus on meaningful connections dates back nearly a century. The museum typically hosts more than half a million visitors each year and reaches millions more through youth STEAM programs, neighborhood skywatching events, people-powered research, and other outreach efforts. Today, the Adler is bringing our unique approach—scientific exploration rooted in community and connection—to guests from around the world who can enjoy the digital Adler from their own homes, libraries, schools or offices. With the Adler’s support, people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities gain the confidence to explore their universe together and return to their communities ready to think critically and creatively about any challenge that comes their way.



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