We promote evidence-based environmental solutions by forging innovative relationships between the sciences and the arts.
We aim to...
The story of Artists with Evidence (AwE) begins with a chance encounter between a scientist and an artist on a subway platform in New York City. While on a business trip from Oakland, CA, Seth Shonkoff, Executive Director of PSE Healthy Energy was returning to Midtown. Unsure of whether he should take the local or express train, he asked a stranger. That stranger was Scott Johnson. They started a conversation that continued beyond their meeting on the train.
A few weeks later, Shonkoff shared his subway discussion with Adam Law, the President and founding board member of PSE. He told Adam that Scott was an architect, stage designer, classical concert cellist and performing artist. They agreed he would make a great addition to the PSE board to bring new perspectives to the issues of science-policy interface.
Over the next few years, Adam and Scott wondered how they could bring the perspective of the arts to PSE. At a board meeting in April 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, an art-science collaboration was discussed with more urgency. Fellow PSE board members Nap Hosang and attorney Jake Hays became the core of this new art-science group. From there, the advisory council was formed from representatives of the arts community to include theater, poetry, dance, visual arts, and social justice: Linda Levy, Jody Sperling, Daniella Topol, and Whitney Tome.
The core group explored different configurations and decided to form a new independent non-profit organization, and after extensive deliberation, chose the name Artists with Evidence (AwE). They recognized that AwE would be a commissioning organization created to encourage talented artist and scientist collaborations. As AwE expands, this will be achieved through artist residencies, independent curatorship of shows, development of educational curricula surrounding art-science, and fellowships.
In order to visualize and articulate the potential of the organization, Adam and Scott posted a web designer position on the Cornell student jobs page. By the end of September, they hired Allexxus Farley-Thomas, a Master of Architecture student, to begin designing the aesthetic of the new organization. Collin Montag joined shortly after as lead developer, having already completed his B.S. in Computer Science and finishing his master’s degree in engineering. The full team, consisting of Tracy Lihui Zhang as the Frontend Developer and Anna Rodriguez as Content & Outreach Coordinator, work together to envision and realize all visual aspects of the organization seen on the website.