Blurring the Lines Between Science and Art: ACCelerate Festival Explores Themes of Culture and Society, Environment, Health and Body

At the forefront of innovation and creativity, the 15 members of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) will come together for the second “ACCelerate: ACC Smithsonian Creativity and Innovation Festival” April 5–7 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. The festival will showcase cutting-edge technologies that draw upon art, science and humanities to address global challenges.

Presented by the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History and Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, the three-day festival will provide an opportunity for visitors to engage with leading innovators of creative exploration and research at the nexus of science, engineering, arts and design.

The event is free and provides the ACC’s member institutions an opportunity to display their work to each other and, more importantly, to the public. Student performances, conversational talks and interactive exhibits will feature digital humanities projects, musical performances and creative art displays, 3-D printing, robotic processes and multimedia exhibitions, among others.

In addition to the 38 featured interactive installations and 13 performances by students and faculty throughout the three days addressing themes of culture and society, environment and health and body, the ACC Debate Championship, representing the 15 universities comprising the ACC will also be held on location.

      For more information about the schedule, performance descriptions and exhibitions, visit Follow the hashtag #ACCelerateFestival on social media for live updates.

About the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation

            The Lemelson Center has led the study of invention and innovation at the Smithsonian since 1995. The center’s activities advance scholarship on the history of invention, share stories about inventors and their work and nurture creativity in young people. The center is supported by The Lemelson Foundation and located in the National Museum of American History. For more information, visit

About the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

            Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers more than 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally and across Virginia.

About the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)

            The Atlantic Coast Conference, now in its 65th year of competition and 15 members strong, has long enjoyed the reputation as one of the strongest and most competitive intercollegiate conferences in the nation. ACC members Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest continue to build upon the cornerstones on which the league was founded in 1953 with a consistent balance of academics, athletics and integrity. The ACC currently sponsors 27 NCAA sports—4 for women and 13 for men—with member institutions located in 10 states. For more information, visit and follow @theACC on Twitter and on Facebook (


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Media only: Laura Havel

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