From the Pasadena Arts Council website: Pasadena has always been a city of art and science, the two intertwined with its identity like the strands of DNA sought by Linus Pauling at Caltech in the 1950s. There are larger cities in the world, but few if any are better characterized by the impact of art and science or able to replicate Pasadena’s extraordinary blend of institutions engaged in those two explorations.
Since 1999, arts and science institutions in Pasadena have been collaborating on a festival series which celebrates this unique heritage. Now produced by Pasadena Arts Council, the AxS Festival will bring together some of the area’s most engaging and influential arts, cultural, and research institutions to offer performances, exhibitions, presentations, public conversations, and more to the city of Pasadena for a 16-day celebration of arts and sciences in October 2011, under the unified theme “Fire and Water,”
With the support, in part, of generous grants from the James Irvine Foundation, the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the City of Pasadena and the National Endowment for the Arts, PAC has launched the “Fire and Water” Commissioning Initiative to create and present four new art projects for premiere at AxS 2011.
All AxS commissions will respond to the 2011 festival theme, “Fire and Water,” and will reflect the distinct identity of Pasadena as a city where art and science enjoy a rare symbiosis. AxS 2011 will celebrate and showcase this key aspect of Pasadena’s identity, highlighting the breadth and depth of its many arts and cultural institutions, as well as leading science and research institutions. PAC has chosen the elemental theme of “Fire and Water,” for its great resonance with both art and science, and provocative relevance to the landscape and ecosystem of the Southern California region.