‘Mesmerica’ Returns, ‘What the Fishes Taught Us,’ Lunar New Year

The Museum and Planetarium will be open on Monday, January 16, Martin Luther King Day

‘Mesmerica,’ a Dazzling Visual Journey, Returns to Reichert Planetarium

The award-winning, visual music journey Mesmerica is returning to the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s Reichert Planetarium, on Friday, January 6, with showings each week on Fridays and Saturdays at 5:00 and 6:30 pm. The hour-long show features 360-degree projections and stunning 7.1 surround sound.

The program brings the music of James Hood, an award-winning composer and percussionist, together with visually hypnotic, animated 3D art curated from artists around the world. Mesmerica is designed to transcend time, relax, and soothe while simultaneously stimulating the senses.

“The power of immersive music and art is like no other art form, it has the ability to create unique moods and brain states,” Hood said. “The result is an experience that is simultaneously an epic immersive visual journey and an opportunity to de-stress.” The soundtrack, taken from Hood’s album Mesmerica, is based around the sound of a uniquely soothing percussion instrument called the “Hang.”

James Hood is renowned as a vital and versatile musical pioneer. His lengthy and varied musical resume includes playing drums in The Pretenders; an ongoing two-decades-plus run as mastermind of the visionary ambient/electronica act Moodswings; and an expansive array of production and soundtrack projects. His album Ceremony reached number one on World and New Age charts in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the UK in 2014, then repeated that success with the release of Pure Ceremony in 2015.

Tickets can be purchased directly through Hood’s Mesmerica site:

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NYU Scholar Explores ‘What the Fishes Taught Us’

On Thursday, January 19, at 7:00 pm the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum will host Dr. Becca Franks, a leading scholar in animal welfare studies, for an evening lecture about the concept of dignity and its role in thinking through our relationships with the non-human world.

Franks, an expert in aquatic animal welfare, will draw heavily from her years of research at the intersection of environmental and animal protection. In her scholarship, she specializes in understanding the complex dynamics of animal cognition and its bearing on the structure of human-animal relationships. Specifically, her work explores two core questions: How are animals affected by our current era, in which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment? And how can our scientific studies of animal life contribute strategies to our conservation efforts?

What the Fishes Taught Us is the latest event in the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s Climate Change and Ecology Lecture Series. As one of the first museums in the world devoted to ichthyology, the Vanderbilt Museum is committed to presenting educational opportunities that inspire us all to become more conscientious stewards of our planet.

The lecture will take place in the Vanderbilt Museum’s Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium.

 

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Becca Franks is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at New York University (NYU). She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from Columbia University and a B.A. in Anthropology from New York University. Prior to joining NYU, Franks was a Killam Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia where she was awarded the Killam Research Prize. She is an Associate Editor for the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

 

Celebrate Lunar New Year, Learn Chinese Calligraphy

新年快樂!Xīn nián kuài lè! Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit.

Vanderbilt Museum educators will offer Lunar New Year Celebration on Sunday, January 15, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Recommended for Grades 2-4. Visit the wildlife dioramas, learn Chinese calligraphy, and make a decoration that will bring good luck all year.

Fee: $20 | $18 Members.

 

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Storytime Under the Stars: Books with Winter Themes  

The Vanderbilt Museum’s next Storytime Under the Stars is set for Sunday, January 16, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm in the Reichert Planetarium.

A live narrator at the front of the theater will read from selected picture books, with pages projected onto the Planetarium dome for families to enjoy the illustrations and follow along.

Between stories, an astronomy educator will explore seasonal constellations visible from here on Long Island. All children are invited to wear their comfiest pajamas and bring their favorite stuffed animals. The admission fee is $8 per person and $6 for members.

 

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Erin Bennett, Planetarium Education Coordinator, said, “Storytime Under the Stars brings classic storybooks to life, and will introduce families to new favorites, too. We’re excited to revitalize this popular planetarium program using our state-of-the-art digital projectors. Join us for a magical and memorable night out with the whole family.”

 

Lecture: Lost Story of the Revolutionary War

The noted historian Benjamin Carp will explore the Great New York Fire of 1776, a mystery of the American Revolution, in a lecture on Thursday, February 16, in the Vanderbilt’s Reichert Planetarium. Carp’s book on the devastating fire – one of the great mysteries of our early nation – is forthcoming from Yale University Press.

Carp’s presentation will draw heavily from his years of research and from his book The Great New York Fire of 1776: A Lost Story of the American Revolution (Yale University Press); publication date: January 31. In his book, Carp reconstructs the political climate of eighteenth-century North America and highlights the significance of New York City as a strategic center in the American War of Independence. He returns to the summer of 1776, when the rebel army under George Washington repeatedly threatened to burn New York City to the ground rather than see it fall under British control.

Under these circumstances and days into the British occupation of the city, a tremendous fire swept across Manhattan, destroying a fifth of its buildings and creating the conditions for riot and plunder. Was this devastating fire the result of an accident at a tavern? Or was it started under direct orders from the revolutionary commander? Carp’s important retelling of this seminal but largely forgotten event features some of the American Revolution’s most important figures, including Nathan Hale, an early patriot with special importance for Long Island, and another lesser-known spy who deserves equal adulation.

Advanced praise: “Benjamin Carp’s impressive new study represents a pathbreaking investigation of the role of fire in the American Revolution. Full of twists and turns, this beautifully crafted book will definitely fascinate and inform… Highly recommended!” – James Kirby Martin, author of Insurrection

The lecture will take place at 7:00 pm in the Museum’s Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium.

 

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Benjamin L. Carp is the Daniel M. Lyons Chair of American History at Brooklyn College and affiliated faculty in the history program at the Graduate Center of the City University of the New York (CUNY). He specializes in the history of the American Revolution and the eighteenth century, particularly in the seaport cities of eastern North America. He has written about firefighting, gunpowder explosions, fear, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson’s Embargo of 1807-1809.

In addition to books and academic articles, Carp has written for BBC History, Colonial Williamsburg, The Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. He received a B.A. in history from Yale University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia.

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