Eighth Annual Light in Winter Festival Program

The full program schedule for the eighth annual Light in Winter Festival of Arts & Sciences was announced today, with events that include an interactive stage show that brings Star Trek to life, the science standup of Tim Lee, and the return of the Alloy Orchestra to town, among many other exciting festival offerings. Tickets go on sale today and are available at Ticket Center Ithaca, or online at ithacaevents.com or lightinwinter.com.

The Light in Winter Festival will take place January 20-23rd at various venues throughout Ithaca, NY. Through interactive presentations including lectures, panel discussions, dance, music, workshops and multi-media spectacle, Light in Winter Festival will showcase cutting-edge ideas and will continue to bring accessible and entertaining explorations of sciences and the arts to festival participants.

“I’ve been working on this program since last winter, but I still get a thrill looking at the brochure; I wouldn’t want to miss a thing,” says Barbara Mink, Artistic Director and Light in Winter Festival founder. “A real treat is science standup: Tim Lee from Los Angeles is starting the weekend with PowerPoint humor, perfect for our loyalists, I think. I also love what has emerged as a through-line of exploration, whether it’s of the cosmos, our senses, human evolution, or the world around us.”

Says Mink: “For eight years we have created unusual collaborations between scientists and artists, which makes us very different from other science festivals. Sometimes presenters embody the intersection of art and science; at other times different practitioners work together to create something new.”

“This year we have individuals who combine science and art in their work, like tactile sculptor Roz Driscoll and anthropologist-singer-writer Richard Milner singing Darwin; in others we have new collaborations, like Natural Science writer Diane Ackerman and the Cayuga Vocal Ensemble exploring the myriad facets of ice and snow,” Mink continued.

Mink lauds the “celebration of new partnerships, like performances at the Museum of the Earth, the Hangar Theatre, and the Plantations, as well as our home base of Cornell University, the State Theatre, and locations downtown.”

Activities are sure to please audience members both young and old. The interactive stage-show “Star Trek Live!” combines special effects, audience interaction and science as middle school children and adults are invited to assume the role of new cadets at Starfleet Academy (4:30pm Sunday, Jan. 23, at The State Theatre). Elsewhere in the weekend, theoretical physicist Lawrence M. Kraus will explore the “Physics of Star Trek” (2:30pm Saturday, Jan. 22, at The Statler Auditorium, Cornell).

Other Highlights of 2011’s Light in Winter Festival include:

* “Off the Charts with Tim Lee.” A Biology PhD, Tim Lee is a humorist that blends stand-up comedy with science and PowerPoint presentations (8:00pm Thursday, Jan. 20, at The Museum of the Earth).

* “Midwinter Barbaric.” Poet, essayist and naturalist Diane Ackerman joins the 16-member Cayuga Vocal Ensemble performing choral works on a wintery theme (7:00pm Friday, Jan. 21, at The Statler Auditorium, Cornell).

* “Perpetual Motion: Revolutions in 17th Century Science and Music Reading and Musical Performance.” Author Dava Sobel weaves commentary by astronomers through a concert of the avant-garde music of Galileo’s time (7:30pm Saturday, Jan. 22, at The Hangar Theatre).

Interactive presentations and workshops will include:

* “The Hall of Wonders.” Curious exhibits and hands-on activities to inspire curiosity and learning, the Hall of Wonders is a science fair for all ages, or a museum that has come to life (12:00 noon Saturday, Jan. 22, at The Statler Atrium, Cornell).

* “Dark Dining Project.” The artist Dana Salsbury will host a four-course meal paired with fine wine immersed in velvety darkness thanks to blindfolds (6:30pm Sunday, Jan. 23, at Taverna Banfi, The Statler Hotel, Cornell).

Tickets to Light in Winter are on sale at The Ticket Center in Ithaca, 171 The Commons – Next to 15 Steps, Open Monday – Saturday, 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM.

LIW Founding and Artistic Director Barbara Mink to Emcee “Out of Bounds” Anniversary

For five years, the weekly radio show “Out of Bounds” has featured interviews with idealists, enthusiasts, and visionaries: people thinking, working, and living, outside the mainstream. For each show, host Tish Pearlman transforms the tagline, “We have a lot to talk about,” into a vibrant reality as she transcends the ranting of most popular radio and promotes understanding among people of diverse backgrounds through thoughtful 30-minute conversations. Broadcast on WEOS 89.7 FM (now available streaming on weos.org) and WSKG 90.9 FM, the show brings clear-headed conversations into car radios and other listening devices.

On Thursday, October 14, Out of Bounds will celebrate its fifth anniversary with a special live taping of the broadcast at Cinemapolis (116 E. Green St.) in Ithaca at 7:00 p.m. Pearlman will be joined by sisters Amy and Rachel Dickinson, writers who have both appeared on the program before. The program will be emceed by Barbara Mink, the Founder and Artistic Director of the Light in Winter Festival of science and the arts.

Since its debut in April 2005, the show has featured conversations with writers, teachers, composers, artists, activists, musicians, and members of various religious and cultural communities. These guests discuss their non-traditional work and undertakings, which are generally “outside the mainstream.”

Guests on “Out of Bounds” have included everyone from folk duo Nate and Kate to Howard Zinn, Judy Chicago and Russell Banks. Pearlman does all her own booking. Her focus is on the local however, whether guests are literary (J. Robert Lennon, Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon), scientific (mathematician Steve Strogatz) or activist (Coalition Against Hunger’s Joel Berg, Toxic Targeting’s Walter Hang.)

Pearlman grew up in Los Angeles and studied at the Columbia School of Broadcasting. She told The Ithaca Times in 2008 that creating a radio show was a natural segue for her work in theater and politics – specifically political organizing and communication. “People kept saying, ‘You have a really good voice,’ and I thought that it was a logical step to get into broadcasting. I take the politics and the acting in some ways and put them together,” Perlman told The Ithaca Times’ Bryan VanCampen.

Amy Dickinson writes the syndicated column, “Ask Amy,” is the author of The New York Times bestseller The Mighty Queens of Freeville and is a regular contributor to NPR programs, including “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” and “Talk of the Nation.” Rachel Dickinson is a travel writer and has written on science, nature and the environment for many national publications. She is the author of Falconer on the Edge: A man, his birds, and the vanishing landscape of the American West. Both reside in Freeville.

The fifth anniversary taping of “Out of Bounds” will occur at Cinemapolis Thursday, Oct. 14 at 7:00pm. Tickets for this celebration/fundraiser are $25 and are available at The Ticket Center.

Life in Balance

On Sunday, February 19th, Galumpha will take the stage at the State Theatre in a performance that starts at 3 PM. Then, following the dance performance, Paul Geisler from the Ithaca College faculty will join the members of Galumpha to host an interactive workshop on the stage of the State Theatre. This workshop on athletic motion and balance will appeal to a very wide audience of dancers, athletes, and Pilates practitioners— among many others. Paul will bring anatomical models and can demonstrate the physiological phenomena behind what Galumpha has just performed while performers from the group provide live demonstrations. Audience participation in this interactive workshop is encouraged. “Come with loose clothes, an open mind, and an appetite for fun” are the explicit instructions from Galumpha. Balance, grace and motion will fill the afternoon.

Galumpha tickets can be purchased at the State Theatre box office or online. The workshop has a suggested donation of $5. If you are participating in Teacher’s Week – there is special pricing with your VIT pass. Thank you for supporting Light in Winter!

The Secrets of the Devil’s Box

The Secrets of the Devil’s Box will open with an exploration of the physics of how sound travels through air. Then, in an exploration of harmony and western music, Kathy Selby will explore the dynamics of stringed instruments from single string instruments then to the early viol to the modern violin. She will explain why the development of the modern violin so intrigued and possessed luthiers like the Stradivari family in Cremona Italy. Judy Hyman (fiddler with the popular group The HorseFlies, and a sought-after composer in her own right) will join Kathy in the second half of the program to explore how electronic amplification has changed the ways that we experience stringed instruments. Judy will demonstrate some of Eric Aceto‘s exotic amplified instruments. Finally, members of Stringfever will join Kathy and Judy onstage to explain why and how they developed the electrically amplified instruments that they will play later in the evening. Stringfever’s performance will start at the State Theatre at 8 PM.

Check out some sample videos of Stringfever.

Stringfever tickets can be purchased at the State Theatre box office or online. “The Secrets of a Devil’s Box” program has a suggested donation of $5. If you are participating in Teacher’s Week – there is special pricing with your VIT pass. Thank you for supporting Light in Winter!

What’s happening on Friday, February 17th?

Join us for a happy hour of conviviality, music and intrigue with Ithaca’s dj laika, presenting a multi-media showcase on the themes of music and magic. Then, at 7:30 PM, we’ll present Alex Stone in a special Light in Winter edition of the popular Science Cabaret series.

There are a number of connections between magic and science—especially psychology, neuroscience, mathematics, and physics, says author and magician, Alex Stone. Magic, at its core, is about toying with the limits of perception, and as any neuroscientist will tell you, one can learn a lot about the brain by studying those bizarre moments wherein it succumbs to illusion. Magic lives in these moments. At its best, magic is a kind of psychological cage match. What distinguishes a great magician is the ability to divert an audience’s attention and manipulate their expectations. Expert conjurors possess not just an arsenal of sleights but an instinct for how people see things, a marksman-like ability to get a good bead on a person’s perception. Alex Stone’s talk, Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks and the Hidden Powers of the Mind, is about the connections between magic and science—an exploration that probes the limits of perception, the mysteries of consciousness, the road to mastery, and the art of deception.

This program has a suggested donation of $5. Thank you for supporting Light in Winter!

Update: Light In Winter 2012

Greetings friends,

We are thrilled to share the news that Light in Winter, in partnership with The State Theatre of Ithaca and the Ithaca/Tompkins County Convention & Visitors Bureau, will present an effervescent mix of music, magic, movement and merriment, on February 17, 18 and 19.

In true Light in Winter fashion, this year’s events combine science and the arts in a feast for the mind and senses. The program coincides with the 2012 Winter Recess, an annual festival that celebrates public school teachers and school employees across the region with entertainment, activities, family fun, and discounts throughout the community.

On Friday, February 17, the magic begins in the upstairs space at Lot 10 Kitchen & Lounge (formerly Delilah’s) at 112 S. Cayuga Street. Drop by at 6:30 pm to experience Ithaca’s own dj laika, who applies her love of science and music to create multimedia sets that are “always fresh and on the edge.” At 7:30 pm, join New York-based magician, physicist, and author Alex Stone for “Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind,” a special Winter Recess edition of Ithaca’s celebrated Science Cabaret. Drinks and light snacks will be available for both shows.

The festivities begin again at 4:30 pm on Saturday, February 18, at Ithaca’s historic State Theatre, when physicist and fiddler Kathy Selby unlocks the mysteries of the violin in “The Secrets of the Devil’s Box.” Selby, who teaches the physics of musical sound at Cornell University, will be joined onstage by special guest performers.

Music lovers will want to return to the State at 8 pm for a spine-tingling performance by Stringfever, a British band that bills itself as “the world’s first genetically modified string quartet.” Playing electric instruments, brothers Giles, Ralph, and Neal Broadbent and their cousin Graham have been wowing audiences all over the globe with their wizardly (and often humorous) versions of popular tunes and classics.

On Sunday, February 19, at 3 pm, the internationally acclaimed troupe Galumpha brings its stunning acrobatics, striking visual effects, physical comedy, and inventive choreography to the State Theatre stage. The show, featuring new material, is perfect for families. At 5 pm, join Galumpha’s co-founder and director Andy Horowitz onstage for a physical workshop focusing on weight sharing and acrobatic partnering.

We hope you can join us—it should be a mind-bending weekend!

Light In Winter Board of Directors