Press Room: Illuminations



Cal Performances' new Illuminations series invites the public into the heart of the groundbreaking scholarship and research work for which UC Berkeley is known throughout the world. Featuring performances, discussions, and public programs created in collaboration with campus partners, the series harnesses the power of the performing arts to explore questions that have the power to transform our understanding of the world and shape the future. Illuminations aims to bring together a diverse community—longtime Cal Performances patrons, first-time visitors, academics and teachers, students, visiting artists, and members of the wider public—and to present events that pull back the curtain to reveal the dynamic relationship between cutting-edge thinking on campus and the world beyond. The 2020–21 season of Illuminations programming focuses on two themes relevant to and resonant with modern life: Music and the Mind and Fact or Fiction.

Fact or Fiction: Overview
Does something need to be real to be true? Mark Twain famously said we should never let the truth get in the way of a good story, and arts audiences have long accepted that a compelling performance experience may not be 100% faithful to history. Indeed, a different spin on the details has always played a role in morphing history into mythology and creating legends that amplify the stories of heroes. Illuminations: Fact or Fiction examines the tension between this "creative license" and what happens when alterations of the truth—even the deliberate dissemination of disinformation—begin to impact our ability to effectively tell the difference between fact or fiction, and how this challenge is impacting our world today.

Fact or Fiction: Partnerships
UC Berkeley partners include Berkeley Arts + Design, Berkeley Law, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Berkeley School of Information, Berkeley Library, and the Townsend Center for the Humanities.

Fact or Fiction: Related Events
Additional details regarding Illuminations related public events will be announced throughout the season. For more information, visit calperformances.org/illuminations/..

Fact or Fiction: Performances >

Illuminations: Music and the Mind
We do not "need" music to survive, yet rarely do we meet anyone who claims not to love it. Music has the power to unite, entertain, move, and comfort us. However, our relationship with music is full of mystery. From where does something so abstract and seemingly non-essential for human life draw its power? What can listening—an act both simple and complex—teach us about how our brains work? And what is current scientific research revealing about the therapeutic power of music to treat long-term degenerative diseases?

Music and the Mind: Partnerships
UC Berkeley partners include the Berkeley Brain Initiative, the UC Berkeley faculties of Molecular & Cell Biology and Psychology, and Berkeley Public Health. Off-campus partners include UC San Francisco's Weill Institute for Neurosciences and the Weill Neurohub, a partnership between UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, and the University of Washington.

Music and the Mind: Related Events
Additional details regarding Illuminations related public events will be announced throughout the season. For information, visit calperformances.org/illuminations/.

Music and the Mind: Performances >