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Connecting science and art RiSA festival to host events through early November

During last year’s Physics Circus, students smashed a cinder block on a person lying on a bed of nails, without causing harm.

The annual Rio Grande Science and Arts (RiSA) Festival, which celebrates science, technology, engineering and mathematics through various art forms, got underway last weekend and continues through Nov. 13.

The Art and Science of Wine will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Historic Brownsville Museum at 641 E. Madison St. Nerd Nite will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday in the Half Moon Saloon, 1101 E. Adams St.

“One of the main goals of the festival is to really share with everyone, students and the community, the science and arts resources that we have here in Brownsville,” said Joey Shapiro Key, director of education and outreach for the Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy.

The first event of November will be Latina Day, which will bring local female students and their mothers or mentors to workshops and activities based on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). The event will take place on the Brownsville campus from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Nov. 5. Student Day, set for Nov. 6, will bring high school students and teachers to workshops based on STEAM subjects and runs from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., also on the Brownsville campus.

“People don’t necessarily know all of the great stuff that we have going on, the great faculty and research and professionals in science and arts,” Key said.

The main event of the festival is Community Day, which is scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 7 at Linear Park, 1338 E. Eighth St. There will be live music, food vendors, and a wide variety of STEAM booths, displays, and activities.

“We have a black hole dance, we have a physics circus, we have a musical number from the El Paseo Arts Foundation based at Port Isabel,” Key said. “There is a dance school performance, we have a [guitarist]/ singer, a robot parade and some theater students from BISD.”

The closing events of the festival will be Science Café meetings, which are scheduled from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Nov.9 at El Hueso de Fraile, located at 837 E. Elizabeth St. in downtown Brownsville. The last meeting will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Causeway Café, 418 E. Queen Isabella Blvd. in Port Isabel.

For more information, call Key at 882-6665.

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