National Aquarium Announces Tickets and Artist Programming for Voyages: Chapter 3

Local artist Nicoletta Daríta de la Brown to explore human connection to water

The National Aquarium is pleased to announce that tickets are now available for the third installment—or chapter—of Voyages, an original immersive event series for adults that celebrates the intersection of art and conservation science in uniquely Baltimore style based on the work of Baltimore artists.

At Voyages: Chapter 3, guests will explore the restorative connection between humankind and water through the multimedia work of interdisciplinary artist Nicoletta Daríta de la Brown. In preparation for this special one-night-only event, de la Brown, whose research process involved seeking inspiration from time spent in and near water, immersed herself in nature, spending time forest bathing and engaged in other ecotherapies in spaces connected to water. She also spent many hours at the Aquarium, including swimming in a tank in the Aquarium's Animal Care and Rescue Center—an experience she describes as life changing.

The outcome of this research will be an evening full of original art, including experimental film projected within the Aquarium's spaces, performance-based ritual, and sculptured garments, all inspired by the magnetic pull of humankind to water. The artist hopes the evening will feel for guests as her process has to her—soothing, calming and restorative.

"I want people to feel how healing, powerful, soothing and special this space is, and the water is," de la Brown explains. "I knew that was the seed, and I knew I wanted to plant it in the ground to see where it bloomed and what I could harvest from that."

De la Brown's process was informed not only by National Aquarium experts and her time submerged in natural and aquatic spaces, but also by the work of scientists and researchers whose work overlaps with her own, including marine biologist Dr. Wallace J. Nichols and author Bonnie Tsui.

In his book "Blue Mind," Dr. Nichols uses neuroscience and psychology to explore how being near, on, or in water has positive effects on our mental health. His "blue mind theory" seamlessly complements Nicoletta's intent to convey the healing properties of water through art.

In her book "Why We Swim," Ms. Tsui dives into the significance of swimming throughout different cultures and history, chronicling the work of scientists studying phenomena including the cardiovascular benefits of being underwater and a holistic look at humans' relationship with water.

Guests will also experience dance performances by Ballet After Dark, a Baltimore-based dance troupe that provides trauma-informed dance therapy to Black youth and women. The troupe was notably featured on NBC Universal's hit show "America's Got Talent." As with all chapters of the Voyages event series, guests will navigate this exhilarating work while enjoying an exciting selection of local food, beverages and cocktails available for purchase from a variety of Baltimore vendors, including Arepi, Heritage Kitchen and Waffle-Licious, as well as a bar menu curated by culinary artist and storyteller Cieara Adams. The evening's exhibit—or art—route will culminate in a vibrant after party brought to life by the sounds of DJs Sarloc and Lang.

For Voyages, the National Aquarium has partnered with a group of community and scientific advisors to provide guidance and insight into each event based on their areas of expertise. The 2023 cohort of community advisors for Voyages include: food blogger Simone Phillips of Charm City Table; Sam Sessa, director of events and community engagement at WTMD & WYPR; and Bri'Anna Horne, microbiologist and director of operations at Pigtown Climbs.

Voyages: Chapter 3 is an adults-only event for guests 21 years of age or older and takes place on Thursday, July 20, 2023, from 6 to 11 pm. Attendance for the evening is limited and previous chapters have sold out. Tickets are on sale now.

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