Celebrating People Preserving Our Planet

Bridging indigenous cultures, women's wisdom, and environmental science through soul-stirring films, workshops, and inspiring musical performances.

Paradigm Shifts Programs presented 6 performances in Brooklyn with:
NASA Astronaut Michael J. Massimino who spoke about his space walking experience in repairing the Hubble Space Telescope;
Columbia University Professor Joe Patterson who spoke about the upcoming 2017 eclipse and global telescopes and the network for backyard Astrophysics;
David J. Helfand, Astronomy Chairman of Columbia University who showed a film and spoke about, “We’re Made of Star Stuff;”
Zephyr Penoyre, Astrophysicist at Columbia University, led a panel on inspiration & careers in astronomy;
The cast of performers spoke about their experience attending Space Camp and how they developed their roles. The composer, director led panels on the science and music connections in The Astronaut’s Tale.
Science Meets Music, an Interactive Electromagnetism Workshop for young students, ages 9 and up, at the South Oxford Space in Brooklyn, featuring a hands-on demonstration of how the Theremin works by a top Theremin musician, Rob Schwimmer. Scholarship tickets made available to middle and high school students and teachers.
In Manhattan, Paradigm Shifts held 5 Community Outreach Engagements at various venues:
The Museum of Natural History for the Amateur Astronomers’ Association
The Astronomy Public Outreach Program at Columbia University (3 engagements)
The New York Institute of Technology for students (3 engagements)
The Stein Senior Center
The opera portion of Paradigm Shifts presented staged scenes from Blood of Angels, a new opera about the early Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s with 27 singers and musical staff at the Manhattan School of Music for New American Opera Previews, with an audience talk-back with singers, composer and director, and moderated by Midge Woolsey, of Channel Thirteen PBS for 1 performance, reaching 200 audience members of students and general audience.


Join us for a lively and engaging demonstration of the intersection between music and electricity, led by physicist and designer Karen Patwa. In this interactive workshop, you will receive an informative introduction to electromagnetism, build and take home your own electric motor, and learn about and experience an exciting musical performance on the theremin by Rob Schwimmer, one of the top theremin virtuosos in the world.

The theremin employs electricity to produce unique sounds,
including the spooky sounds played in horror movies!

After receiving her B.A. in physics from Bryn Mawr College, Karen Patwa studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She has taught physics and mathematics for over a decade in public and private schools in New York City. 

Rob Schwimmer is one of the top theremin virtuosos in the world and co-director of The New York Theremin Society. He has performed in global venues such as Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, and the Colosseum. He has worked with Gotye, Simon and Garfunkel, Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson, Chaka Khan, Arif Mardin, Marc Shaiman, and many more! 
Photo by Julie Mardin

Program is appropriate for ages 12 and up. Adults are welcome to participate.
Adults present as guardians and chaperones are welcome free of charge.

Click Here for 2015 Paradigm Shifts

Click Here for 2014 Paradigm Shifts

Encompass Opera thanks Environmental Education Fund
for providing the films and speakers and for inspiration and assistance.
Encompass New Opera Theatre
creates and produces adventurous new music drama and opera that explores our place in the universe and the inter-connection of nature through compelling human stories.  Angel of the Amazon, about protecting the rain forest, The Astronaut’s Tale about science and religion, and The Theory of Everything, exploring quantum physics and indigenous cosmology were produced in its Science & Arts program


Environmental Education Fund (EEF)
EEF’s EcoCinema program provides training, mentoring and resources to help individuals and organizations plan and hold an environmental festival.  Creative mediums such as film help to spread awareness and the discussions following the films often inspire collaborations that lead to solutions. A new awareness is key to solving our complex environmental crisis.


A Thank You to Our Sponsors:

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”
- Albert Einstein

“I salute the light within your eyes where the whole universe dwells.
For when you are at that center within you and I am at that place within me, we shall be one.”

- Chief Crazy Horse, Oglala Sioux, 1877