Newswise — The anger, frustration and sadness that can accompany the experience of Alzheimer’s is getting a new feel through sight, sound and science.

Merging research and rhythm, Arizona State University’s new project, Science Exposed: Bringing Science to Life through the Arts is bringing context to the complex with a unique interpretation of the study of the neurological effects of aging. Working with ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and the Biodesign Institute, composers, dancers and scientists are sharing the stage in this one-of-a-kind collaborative event that strengthens the connections between art and science of art and science.

“We want to build a space for people to experience on an emotional level why bridging the gap between art and science is so important to education and community,” said Stephani Etheridge Woodson, director of Herberger Institute Design and Art Corps, which works to change the role and relevance of design and the arts in public life. “This piece speaks to the need for building that connection and charts a course for innovation and social transformation.”

Like several others involved in Science Exposed, Etheridge Woodson also has a personal stake in communicating the experience of Alzheimer’s: her grandmother struggled with the disease. A once vibrant jazz singer and storyteller, Etheridge Woodson recalls her grandmother’s zest for life and remarkable ability to recite age-old song lyrics, even when Alzheimer’s robbed her of her ability to remember the names and faces of loved ones and - eventually - her life.

It’s why music became the starting point for Science Exposed as experts continue to research music’s effect on memory and how it can be used to improve the lives of those suffering from debilitating brain conditions. What else will be highlighted? 

  • The sound and science portion of the project features orchestral compositions from ASU graduate students Stephen Mitton and Zachary Bush. Both worked extensively with neuroscientists Diego Mastroeni and Paul Coleman to construct what’s being called a “symphony of the brain” for the Herberger Institute’s first Artist-in-Residence series. 
  • The sight portion of the piece involves a collaboration of the “Animating Research” class led by renowned modern dance choreographer and MacArthur “genius” Fellow Liz Lerman, who is also a professor at the Herberger Institute. Lerman says she wants students through Science Exposed to realize they can take on any subject; she hopes the scientists will see that the creative process is valuable in educating the public about their work. 
  • Attendees will also experience the Seeing Science Photo Competition Gallery Exhibit gallery that will boast images of science research under the microscope and behind the lab doors. A reception featuring artists and scientists will follow.

Science Exposed:Bringing Science to Life through the Arts will debut on April 26, 2017, and is free and open to the public. It will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Biodesign Institute B on ASU’s Tempe Campus. Click here for more information.

To schedule an interview, contact Suzanne Wilson at ASU Media Relations:                                                        [email protected] | (480) 965-9681