On Monday, November 14, UCSB Arts & Lectures arranged a fascinating evening for its Leadership Circle members and special guests with astronaut Scott Kelly, who had just returned in March from spending a year in space. After mingling during the cocktail reception in the Granada Theatre’s grand second floor lobby, guests adjourned to the elegant Founders Room for a three-course meal. After dinner, Kelly addressed the group, noting that he has done many arts and lectures presentations since returning, but this has certainly been the nicest because of the esteemed and friendly group of people.
Kelly enthralled the guests with his responses to questions about his year in the International Space Station and about the future of space exploration. He described how he acquired an “orbital perspective” where he didn’t see political borders, but rather saw us all as part of one “spaceship earth.” Kelly spoke of the tragic disconnect between seeing the beautiful Mediterranean and hearing on the news about the refugee crisis. He gave his perspective on privately-financed space exploration, future expeditions to the Moon and Mars, and much more.
Guests then moved to the theater for Kelly’s show, The Sky is Not the Limit: Lessons from a Year in Space, where he shared stories about his time spent 229 miles above earth, journeying 143 million miles while conducting experiments and reconfiguring station modules.
Earlier that day, Kelly delivered a presentation at the Granada to 1,500 4th-6th grade students, which sought to inspire the students by offering an exciting perspective on science, technology and engineering. Kelly also gave an inspiring talk that day to about 120 students, teachers and parents at Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy.
These community outreach activities are typical for Arts & Lectures (“A&L”). With most events, A&L arranges for engaging community outreach programming for students and/or the general public. This free programming includes talks, discussions, workshops, master classes, and open rehearsals. For A&L, ticket sales cover only about 30 percent of the cost of presenting performances and lectures and doing community outreach. Thus, donations are critical. A&L presents more than 100 events each year, including concerts, dance performances, lectures, and films.
For more information about Arts & Lectures, go to artsandlectures.sa.ucsb.edu.
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By Gail Arnold