Here at the Greater Hartford Arts Council, we talk a lot about the role of the arts in improving quality of life, health, even happiness. Arts education, for example, has been shown to help high school students increase GPA and standardized test scores. It’s no wonder 57% of Connecticut adults identify as artists. But what about the role of the arts in the sciences? We partnered up with The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) for a special fundraiser (yup, Concert & Cocktails) to learn just that. Featuring a live performance and presentation by Dr. Edison Liu, President and CEO of JAX, Concert & Cocktails will showcase the intersection of art, music, and science as you enjoy signature cocktails by Hartford Flavor Company and Waypoint Spirits (lemon lavender vodka martini, anyone?)
In addition to being a jazz pianist (he’s been playing since the age of 7!), Dr. Liu is also a world-renowned cancer and genomics researcher at JAX. We chatted with Dr. Liu to get a preview of his presentation “The Art & Science of Creativity” and find out why the arts are important to him.
On the importance of the arts
“The arts is all part of the human condition. It’s such an integral part of who we are as a species,” said Dr. Liu. “It’s a form of communication, a form of kinship. Art is in many ways emotive, it brings people together rather than tear people apart.”
On the health benefits of playing music
“Music is a big part of “me” time. It’s a refuge, a form of refresh. Music lowers blood pressure and soothes the soul, that’s actually an important part of your mental health.”
How music helps his career
“Music provides a form of release. We all need a respite. In this case, to be totally immersed in another medium gives my brain a refresh.”
Why he supports the arts
“To support the arts is to support being human,” said Dr. Liu.
We couldn’t have said that last part more eloquently. Learn more about the intersection of music and science from Dr. Liu at Concert & Cocktails on November 3rd. Tickets are almost sold out, get yours today!