The Star Eyes Initiative uses diverse styles of music to communicate physics topics with wide and varied audiences in refreshing ways, breaking conventional music-science associations and facilitating multiple forms of outreach in the process. To maximize our ability to communicate science through music, we perform new original compositions (written by both internal and external artists) crafted specifically with narratives of physics topics in mind. Moreover, we hope to help decrease the current lack of non-classical and non-electronic music in the repertoire used by popular media to supplement the communication of topics in physics and especially astrophysics. We emphasize jazz music, as it has long channeled collaboration among individuals from different cultures and intermingling between their musical heritages. There is also something to be said about the parallels between jazz improvisation and the development of new scientific ideas.
The Star Eyes Initiative programs two types of events: (1) performances for wide audiences at universities, science centers, science festivals, planetariums, and music venues, and (2) outreach in underrepresented minority communities, with a target audience of K-12 students. Whenever possible, we seek to incorporate scientific and career dialogues between astronomers and the public. In addition, we aim to help increase the involvement of minorities in physics through an approachable and exciting entry into its wonders, and especially through the use of musical styles that may be more relevant to them and their cultures than the styles used in most existing music-science communication efforts. Starting with communities in the Chicago area, the Star Eyes Initiative intends to engage audiences, especially K-12 students, with the ultimate hope of inspiring new science and the new generation through its music-science communication efforts.