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.