Sian Proctor, astronaut and artist, headlines the ASU Space2Inspire Weekend

Astronaut and artist Sian Proctor is headlining Space2Inspire at Arizona State University this weekend as part of ASU’s Black History Month celebrations. (Photo by Charlie Light/ASU)

Astronaut and artist Sian Proctor is leading Space2Inspire – a hands-on community event this weekend featuring science demonstrations, panel discussions and a Black History Month-inspired art mosaic at Sun Devil Stadium photographed from space.

As a mission pilot for SpaceX’s Inspiration4 in 2021, Proctor was the first black woman to pilot a spacecraft and the first black commercial astronaut. The Arizona State University Artist- and Explorer-in-Residence and his XRts Immersive Media Fellow will engage in discussions with fellow astronauts, artists and scientists during the Space2Inspire events Friday through Sunday, February 17-19.

Part of ASU’s Black History Month events, the weekend will feature comprehensive activities open to all to celebrate Black history and culture.

Beginning at 6:00 p.m. Friday, ASU is offering a free screening of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever at Sun Devil Stadium. Kimberly Carson, marketing manager for ASU 365 Community Union, said Proctor, who has an art series called Afrobotica, and a film producer from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be “talking about how Afrofuturism is tying into the development of Black Panther.” along with other artists and speakers. After the film, there will be stargazing on the field.

Beginning Saturday at 9:00 am, Proctor will help create and set up large art mosaics on the ASU football field.

“An orbital satellite will be over Sun Devil Stadium, miles away, and it will capture an image of the mosaics and everyone else in the stadium at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, February 18,” Carson said .

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The film and arts/stadium events are free but tickets are required by registering at VIP ticket packages for additional activities are available for $35 to $55.

After the space snapshot, participants can participate in hands-on science activities until 4:00 p.m

“Guests will have some interactive hands-on experiences with some STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) activities like 3D printing, astronaut space suit demonstrations, and some cool activities that people can share at different stations around the stadium,” says Carson called. “People can come out and interact, hear and learn from a handful of different astronauts.”

Ed Dwight, the first black American astronaut candidate, NASA astronauts Nicole Stott and Cady Coleman, and Egyptian astronaut Sara Sabry will also attend the weekend events.

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A virtual reality film series will also be screened as part of ASU’s Black History Month celebrations. Wonderspace, an immersive arts company, is partnering with ASU School of Arts, Media and Engineering to present a virtual reality film series on Saturday and Sunday, February 18 and 19 from 12:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m entitled “Traveling While Black”. in the Stauffer Communication Arts Building on ASU’s Tempe campus. Tickets cost $10-16.

“The film itself, the content is very touching, very moving,” said Pavan Turaga, professor and principal in ASU’s School of Arts, Media and Engineering. “A series of interviews with generations of Black families and people who participated in civil rights movements, the film shows how the experience of travel changed, or didn’t change, from the 1930s and 40s through the 2000s.”

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The filmmaker used a 360-degree camera to allow viewers to better immerse themselves in the scenes. The film is non-interactive, but participants wear virtual reality headsets to watch the film.

“The filmmaker is one of the first black men to win an Oscar for any type of directorial work,” Turaga said. Director Roger Ross Williams was nominated for Outstanding Interactive Original Program in 2019.

“It challenges our assumptions about the security that we experience in America, or how different perceptions of security are for different people in America,” Turaga said.

To celebrate Black History Month, ASU West Campus will be hosting a cooking demonstration at the West Sun Devil Fitness Complex Kitchen in Glendale on Tuesday, February 21 at 12:30 p.m.

Chef Martin Johnson will teach participants how to prepare a dish that is easy to prepare in a dorm room or a simple home kitchen. Johnson makes traditional macaroni and cheese with a side of garlic green beans and vegan options.

“Growing up in the kitchen with my mom, I think that was my first meal I ever made and I’ve been cooking ever since,” said Johnson, who encourages attendees to come ready to laugh.

“I think there’s a great thing about teaching other people how to make other items – especially things that they might not be used to making, or things that we might really enjoy but don’t know how to make ‘ Johnson said. “I make meals that I made with my family growing up in North Carolina and these are things that we enjoyed making and that I and my family love and I hope other people will love too.” .”

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