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Unique Collaboration Offers A Rare Opportunity To Spend A Day With DNA

The discovery of the DNA double helix, 50 years ago, was a team effort between Dr. James Watson, president of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and Dr. Francis Crick. In celebration, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Heckscher Museum of Art and the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington have joined together to present Spend A Day With DNA, on July 12, 26, August 9 and 23. The four Saturday programs, sponsored by Vytra Health Plans, are the first known attempt to relate how the discovery of DNA has served as an inspiration to artists and filmmakers throughout the world.

“Vytra is proud to support our local community and programs that promote science and good health. The 50th anniversary DNA celebrations create an exciting opportunity for the arts and science to collaborate as a unified event,” said Eileen Nolan, Vice President of Marketing, Vytra Helath Plans.

Each one of the four days will begin at 10 am with a tour of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and a visit to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Dolan DNA Learning Center to explore its new exhibition, The Genes We Share. At 1:30 pm, participants will view a film at the Cinema Arts Centre followed by a speaker and audience discussion.

“Jim and Liz Watson have been longtime patrons and supporters of our efforts. We look forward to presenting films that have been written and developed based on DNA and the opportunities it presents for creative expression,” said Judith Gardner, Director of Development at Cinema Arts Centre.

The program will conclude with a tour of Genetic Expressions: Art After DNA at Heckscher Museum of Art at 3:45 pm. The exhibition features works by Salvador Dali, Hans Arp, Max Ernst, Man Ray and others.

“Our exhibit really talks to the impact that genetics has made in art. We are just beginning to see ‘genetic expressions’ in our culture and I am sure that the beauty and importance of the double helix, and genetics in general, will inspire artists for generations,” said Beth Leventhal, Executive Director of Heckscher Museum of Art.

“This program is largely due to Jim Watson’s vision of presenting a unified program for the local community, to experience how DNA has made its mark both as a scientific and art form,” added Charles Prizzi, Director of Events and Special Projects at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. “I am very excited that we could all work together on this project.”

Attendees will provide their own transportation to the four venues and will have a break for lunch, which can be brought or bought. Tickets for the full-day of activity are $30 for adults and $20 for children under 12. Tickets may be purchased at the Cinema Arts Centre box office, 631-423-7610. Please specify which of the four dates are requested. For more information, visit, or

Schedule of Events

10:00 – 11:00 Tour Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
11:15 – 12:15 Visit Dolan DNA Learning Center
12:15 – 1:15 Lunch Break
1:15 – 3:30 Film and Discussion at Cinema Arts Centre
7/12 – The Race for the Double Helix
7/26 – GATTACA
8/9 – The Fly
8/23 – The Invasion of the Body Snatchers
3:45 – 4:45 Heckscher Museum of Art Exhibit, “Genetic Expressions: Art After DNA”
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