Columbia University in the City of New York

Breakout Science

Above: A recent Breakout Science event at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem (Credit: Fran Kaufman for Columbia's Zuckerman Institute).

Partnering with our local community to develop interdisciplinary events for adults

Do you feel adventurous? Breakout Science is a series of engaging virtual events with a side of science. Our online events are created in partnership with community members and groups from upper Manhattan, Harlem and the South Bronx.

Join us as we bring science to our community in inventive, unexpected ways! Scroll to the bottom of this page or check on the events page for current and upcoming events.

“I enjoyed the blend of science and art. It was informative, eye opening, and beautiful. I loved being a participant in the workshop as well. It was an inspiring sense of community during a time of such isolation. Thank you a million times. I could not be more grateful.” - “The Brain at the Barre” participant, 2021

Our community partners include The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, Arts & Minds, Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Dance Theatre of Harlem and Harlem International Film Festival. Our events feature scientists and health professionals in partnership with jazz musicians, visual artists, filmmakers, and much more.


Questions? Interested in partnering with us?
Fill out our inquiry form or email us at [email protected].

These events are geared toward an adult audience. Upcoming events will be listed below.


Upcoming Events

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Sound Waves and Brain Waves - Birdbrains & Love Songs

Join multiple Grammy nominee Miguel Zenón and Dr. Vikram Gadagkar, Assistant Professor at Columbia's Zuckerman Institute, for an intimate music performance and conversation, as they explore how the brain changes with practice. In partnership with Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance.

Music on the Brain - Contemplation as Question & Answer

Join Dr. Michael Shadlen, Professor at Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute and avid jazz guitarist, and Steinway Artist Helen Sung, for a lively discussion and music performance exploring the role of decision-making in jazz improvisation and musical interaction. In partnership with the National Jazz museum in Harlem.

The Brain at the Barre

Enjoy a live dance performance with insight from scientific and dance experts about how the brain and body work together to produce the magic of ballet. In partnership with The Dance Theatre of Harlem.

Music on the Brain - Music that Moves Us

Join Steinway Artist Helen Sung and neuroscientist Miriam King, an expert in the neuroscience of dance, as they explore the connection between music, movement and - of course - dance! In partnership with the National Jazz museum in Harlem.

shades of blues

Artist Ivan Forde and jazz musician David Adewmumi join Dr. Bianca Jones Marlin, Assistant Professor at Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute and Dr. Sidney Hankerson, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University as they explore the intersections between art and science through the power, influence, and lasting effects of the color blue. In partnership with the Studio Museum in Harlem.