The Gift

Tue. Dec 6, 2022 3:00pm - 7:30pm EST
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Join us for the premiere of The Gift, an immersive reading experience. In a special one-day event at The New York Public Library, presented in partnership with Lincoln Center.

Este programa es bilingüe. Al registrarse en esta página obtendrá traducciones en español e inglés. Póngase en contacto con si necesita asistencia lingüística. Aprenda más

Carousel images of The Gift, plus LIVE from NYPL and Lincoln Center logos

The Gift is an immersive installation that animates contemporary astrophysics research to open up metaphorical space for grief, care, and renewal.

In this rolling-entry experience, participants gather in a music-filled reading room, where they encounter an all-ages illustrated book—based on the astrophysics research of Dr. Natalie Gosnell—that invites responses both tactile and emotional. This book tells the story of two stars that are so close to one another yet so far from us that they appear as a single point of light in the sky.  Their fates are intertwined; one star, at the end of its life, transfers its material to the companion, allowing the companion to burn brighter and to appear—for a moment—younger, brighter, bluer. This tender story and playful experience heeds the call of anthropologist Emily Martin, to “wake the sleeping metaphors of science.”

The self-guided immersive installation lasts about 10 minutes but guests are invited to linger. We ask that you register in advance. Entry is on a rolling, first-come-first-admitted basis. Feel free to visit at any time between 3 PM and 7:30 PM; if the room is at capacity, we will ask you to kindly wait until space permits. Guests of all ages are permitted.

The Gift is a collaborative project between Janani BalasubramanianDr. Natalie Gosnell, and Dr. Andrew Kircher. The book features artwork by Amy Myers and design by Katie Hodge. The original score is by Tina-Hanaé Miller with arrangement by Solomon Hoffman.

Presented by LIVE from NYPL and Lincoln Center. 


Janani Balasubramanian is an artist and researcher creating accessible, inviting, and beautiful portals to natural and computational worlds. Janani has received support for their work from the MacArthur Foundation, Tow Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Sundance Institute, Pew Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York Community Trust, Jerome Foundation, Stanford Institute for Diversity in the Arts, UCross Foundation, and MAP Fund, among others. Their work has been presented at dozens of venues internationally, including  The High Line, San Francisco Exploratorium, Red Bull Arts, Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, Lincoln Center, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Janani is a member of the Guild of Future Architects, and has joyfully been the artist-in-residence in the brown dwarf astrophysics group at the American Museum of Natural History since 2017.

Dr. Natalie Gosnell is an observational astrophysicist and Assistant Professor of Physics at Colorado College. Dr. Gosnell received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was a McDonald Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Gosnell’s research uses observational data to explore the stories of binary star systems. In her role as a teacher-scholar, Dr. Gosnell seeks to bring creative practices into both the physics classroom and her research pursuits. She is also a 2021 Cottrell Scholar and a member of the Guild of Future Architects. 

Andrew Kircher is a creative producer, dramaturg, teacher, and artist. He is the Director of Public Humanities and Engagement at the Bard Graduate Center, and previously led The Public Theater’s Devised Theater Initiative and was General Manager of Ars Nova. Recent creative projects include the critically-acclaimed immersive experience A Thousand Ways with 600 HIGHWAYMEN and Flako Jimenez’s interactive tour through gentrification, Taxilandia. He has a PhD from CUNY and is a member of the Guild of Future Architects, a former curator of the Prelude Festival, a 2020 Sundance Fellow, and a Brown Institute for Media Innovation Magic Grant recipient.


Be sure to visit the Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library's Treasures, the Library’s first-ever permanent exhibition highlighting our world-renowned research collections. To register and learn more about the exhibition, which features rare and beautiful astronomical books, charts, and artwork, click here


  • Copies of The Gift are provided in both Spanish and English in 18-point font

  • Audio descriptions are available upon request

  • The accompanying score is instrumental and does not include words

  • Assistive listening devices are available

  • An accessible entrance is located on 42nd Street, and seating is available for this program

  • An accessible, single occupancy restroom is located on the first floor

For more information about accessibility or to request additional accommodations, please email

Masks are strongly encouraged at all LIVE from NYPL events. If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or suspect you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, please stay home.


Please submit all press inquiries to Sara Beth Joren at least 48 hours before the event: email or use this Gmail template.

For all other questions and inquiries, please email or use this Gmail template.

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The Gift was created with the generous support of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Public Theater, New York Community Trust, the Sundance Institute, the Guild of Future Architects, MAP Fund, Stanford University, Brooklyn College, Creativity & Innovation at Colorado College, The University of Colorado, and The Tow Foundation.

The Gift was developed in part in the Collider, an R&D lab for the performing arts at Lincoln Center. The Collider is generously supported by founding partner Diana Chen. Major support for the Collider is provided by: The Ford Foundation and The Mellon Foundation. 

LIVE from NYPL is made possible by the support of Library patrons and friends, as well as by the continuing generosity of Celeste Bartos, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos, and the Margaret and Herman Sokol Public Education Endowment Fund.

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Edna Barnes Salomon Room (3rd Floor) The New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 42nd Street & 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10018