Adventure awaits with Third NIC Nite

Mild summer evenings are the perfect time to relax out on the museum backyard for music, refreshments, and a movie on a giant screen during NIC Nite. This new event series is free to attend and offers live performances, art activities, and a family-friendly film. Local vendors sell food, beverages, and beer.  

The third  NIC Nite for this summer on August 5 brings a theme of adventure with the 1985 classic “The Goonies.” The NIC Nite series kicked off in June to help continue the NIC’s long tradition of fun, cultural experiences for all ages.   

“And the concept of the idea was to work with our partners and our community members to bring something entertaining and art-enriching at the same time,” NIC Executive Director Andy Couch said.

A night of adventure 

The upcoming NIC Nite adventure starts at 5:30 p.m. with an art scavenger hunt through the museum with the Casper Artists’ Collective.

This month’s art activity to go along with “The Goonies” treasure hunt plot will help kids discover the museum and maybe even bring home a treasure of their own, said Rachel Hawkinson, a member of the artist group leading the activity.

“Creating is fun, and I think with little kids, it’s really cool, because their imaginations just run wild,” she said. “They don’t have all these filters that we have as adults,” she said. “And so it’s always fun to interact with the kids.”

The museum stays open until the movie begins with no admission charge, so NIC Nite is a great chance to check out all the galleries and even make your own art in our Discovery Center for children.

Casper band Culmination will entertain outside from 6:30 p.m. to sunset when the movie starts. Kuver’s Texas Barbecue food truck returns after being a hit earlier this summer at Nic Fest. Oil City Beer Company will offer their best brews. 

Visitors are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair to stay comfortable through the movie, which plays on a 20-foot screen.  

Andy chose iconic 1980s and 1990s films that are often favorites at movie theater retro nights. 

“We wanted to show these iconic films, so parents today can experience the movies they grew up watching, with their own children,” Andy said.

After Rachel helps lead the art activities, she likes to stick around for the movie. People stretch out on the cool grass with snacks and beer, laughing together, she said. Rachel also likes that the event can be an affordable, even free, opportunity to gather and experience local culture.  

“It’s awesome and kind of nostalgic to see all of these older movies come back to life, and it’s cool to be able to do an art activity at the same time,” she said.    

Community contributions 

A lot of planning and contributions from around the community have made the three-part summer NIC Nite event series possible.

Each film corresponds with a different local organization partnering with NIC Nites, Andy said. This time, attendees will hear from Visit Casper about Casper’s many outdoor recreation opportunities. Previous partners included Casper Horseheads Baseball Club at the screening of “The Sandlot” and the Natrona County Library for “Jumanji.”

The sponsor for the upcoming NIC Nite is Casper Cardiology, which covered costs including the band, film licensing, and for Rocky Mountain Sound & Light. The latter also gave a substantial in-kind donation for the movies to be able to show on their big screen, Andy said.

The NIC has planned around other local events to avoid schedule conflicts with other nonprofits that the museum works with, Andy said. People can arrive and leave whenever they wish and participate in any or all of the variety of options throughout the evening.    

 “And so by starting with an art activity by the wonderful Casper Artists’ Collective and Rachel Hawkinson, they bring something creative to the Discovery Center each time we do a NIC Nite,” he said. “And then that’s followed up with music where we’re supporting our local artists. And, of course, we use a local brewer, a local food truck, so we’re supporting local businesses here in Casper.”

Free public community programming like NIC Nites will continue each month, funded by local partners and the Wyoming Arts Council’s Community Support Grant. If you are interested in partnering with the NIC for one of these programs, please contact the museum.