Jump!Star to participate in Diverse Women's Summit

  • Jump!Star is an ongoing multimedia art project that celebrates the changing of the North Star
  • WSU community members may participate in the Creative Concourse by submitting stories, poems, images, video or performances

Jump!Star artist George Ferrandi and astrophysicist Jana Grcevich are the featured speakers for the Creative Concourse of the Diverse Women's Summit presented by Wichita State Center for Women's Studies. As part of the Creative Concourse, Jump!Star invites members of the WSU community to submit their own "star stories" inspired by Jump!Star's 12 star characters.

A broad misconception about the stars inspired Ferrandi to create Jump!Star. Contrary to popular thought, Earth will have about a dozen different North Stars over the next few millennia. Jump!Star is an initiative named in honor of Annie Jump Cannon (1863-1941), a Deaf American scientist known as the “census taker of the sky.” She was one of the “Harvard Computers," a team of female astronomers who worked behind the scenes in the Harvard College Observatory. Annie invented the mnemonic, "Oh Be A Fine Girl Kiss Me," which students in astronomy still use today to remember the Harvard classification scheme for categorizing stars. Annie's legacy continues to grow among scientists today. The American Astronomical Society presents an annual award in her name to distinguished female astronomers.

For International Women’s Day, Jana Grcevich, astrophysicist and co-author of A Vacation Guide to the Solar System, will discuss star matter and makeup, and the physical forces that prompted the Jump!Star project. Grcevich is one of the Jump!Star "satellites," a team that includes a climatologist, choreographer, musicians and administrators.

Jump!Star's creative director, George Ferrandi, will introduce the project’s namesake and reveal the intimate myths of our eventual North Stars and their origin stories within the Jump!Star cosmology.

Call for entries

Ferrandi invites members of the WSU community to connect with the archetypal North Star characters by presenting their own North Star stories, images, poems, monologues, videos, songs or performances. Presentations should use at least one of the star's attributes as a point of departure (see the prompts below). All presentations must be seven minutes or less.

Email entries to Kristin Beal at kristin.beal@wichita.edu by 5 p.m on March 6.

"Please tap into your star power and contribute to the collective vision for our inclusive future as it realates to our distant cousins, the pole stars," Ferrandi said.

The stars & their attributes

The following "points of departure" from the North Stars were developed by students in two studio arts classes: Intro to Community & Social Practice and the SlowBurn class Jump!Star Project. Both classes are taught by Kristin Beal. Beal is a co-founder of Harvester Arts, one of Jump!Star's institutional partners.

Jump!Star's iteration of PolarisPolaris—2000 CE

Is there a time you have been particularly reliable, stable, or even stubborn?


  • Have you ever stuck with something long after everyone else stopped believing in it?
  • Has there been a time where you just went with your instincts/guts?
  • Have you ever just ignored reason and went with your heart?
  • Is there a time when you needed to be very reliable but totally failed?
  • Has being set in your ways ever proved to be an advantage or disadvantage?
  • Has there been a time where you have been stubborn in a tough situation, but in similar situation you were more tolerant or understanding?

Jump!Star's iteration of Gamma Cephei, AKA CephGamma Cephei (Ceph)—4000 CE

Tell us about a time you received something you waited for or wanted a long time.

  • What are you willing to be patient for?
  • Is there an important event or item that you have been anticipating for a long time?
  • Have you ever ordered something online and had to wait patiently, checking the package tracker over and over again?
  • Has there been a time in your life where you've put so much effort towards something and got it? Didn't get it?
  • Was there ever a day when you waited for so long for something, you couldn't believe it when it arrived?
  • Have you ever given up everything just for a tiny dream?

Jump!Star's iteration of Iota Cephei, AKA IotaIota Cephei (Iota)—5200 CE

When have you been surprised by your own actions?


  • Can you describe a time when your actions caused an unexpected event?
  • Have you ever been in tough situation where you doubted yourself but somehow persevered?
  • Is there a time when you've been praised for how you handled a situation?
  • Has there been a defining moment in your life that made you realize you are stronger than you thought, or weaker than you want to be?
  • I never would have argued with my mom as a child or now, but as a teenager we always fought.
  • Have you ever been shocked by your own behavior or actions?
  • Have you ever done something you would've once said you weren't capable of?
  • Have you ever had to persevere through your actions?
  • Have you ever been put in a situation were you said to yourself ”did I just do that?”

Jump!Star's iteration of Alpha Cephei, AKA AlderaminAlpha Cephei (Alderamin) 7000 CE

Tell us about a time when you truly felt like part of a team.


  • Can you describe a moment in which you genuinely felt connected to a group of people? What traits do others in this group have that you admire?
  • Explain a setting where or person with whom you feel like you can be yourself.
  • Can you think of a time where you were working in a group and everyone knew their role to play to accomplish a task without question or hesitation? What did it feel like to contribute to something so efficiently?
  • Tell us a time that you and a team that you were part of clicked and accomplished an objective together.
  • Has there ever been a time where you felt your participation was meaningful?
  • What moment in your practice, have you fully understood something enough to help teach someone else who was struggling?
  • Have you ever felt that you were just where you needed to be?

Jump!Star's iteration of VegaVega—14000 CE

When were you a complete rock star?


  • Tell us about a time you were an expert, when all eyes were on you and you nailed it.
  • Have you pushed your self expression to the extreme?
  • Have you ever been rebellious? How did you establish your unique identity?
  • Is there a time you can think of when you felt overwhelmingly prepared?
  • Have you ever felt extremely proud of what you did?
  • Describe a moment when you felt like true champion.
  • Was there a time where you had been struggling to learn a new skill or subject and it just clicked? How did it feel when you finally got over that hurdle?
  • Can you share a time that you were on top of the world?

Jump!Star's iteration of Theta Bootis, AKA BootsTheta Bootis (Boots)—4000 BCE

Have you ever provided comic relief during a serious situation?


  • Families talk about politics when getting together and of course it can get heated until someone says something witty. What did you say? How did everyone react?
  • Do you ever laugh nervously or blurt inappropriate comments while in a serious or uncomfortable situation?
  • Has there been a time where you felt like your presence eased the tension?
  • Can you describe a moment when you had to break the ice? Was it awkward or did it go over smoothly?

Jump!Star's iteration of Kappa DraconisKappa Draconis—20346 CE

Has there ever been a time when you didn’t get what you wanted because someone else had more flash?

  • Has your talent been overlooked by someone else's appearance before?
  • Describe a missed opportunity.
  • What do they have that I don’t?
  • Have you ever not spoken up and let someone else speak for you?
  • There may be many shining stars in the galaxy but have you ever felt like your light can't compete with their brilliance?
  • Tell us about a time when someone’s popularity defeated you.
  • Have you ever been jealous of your opponent when they beat you?
  • Are you a middle child?
  • Have you ever felt as if you weren't enough?

Jump!Star's iteration of ThubanThuban—20346 CE

Is there a time or situation when the influence of the past weighed heavily on you?

  • Are there days where you wake up overwhelmed by the thought of bad situations from your past? Overwhelmed by their impact on your character today? Overwhelmed by how much more you could possibly be today if certain events didn't occur in your life?
  • Can you describe a situation when a past decision intervened on a present-day opportunity?
  • Sometimes we may feel the shadows of karma behind us but does it ever pull you down to the point you lose your motivation?
  • Have any past events (in your lifetime or prior) affected the way you live your life or the way you view the world around you?
  • Have you had a past experience that has helped you make better decisions in the present?
  • Was there ever a moment you felt like you were having deja vu & that you've done this before, but this time you want the outcome to be different?

Jump!Star's iteration of Bum and GumBum and Gum 1100 BCE

Have you ever had an argument that made your relationship stronger?


  • Have you ever had disagreement with a friend or loved one that helped you learn more about them, thus gaining more respect for them?
  • Have you ever argued with a love one only to find out it was really just a misunderstanding?
  • Have you ever had to push through a rough patch only to come out stronger or more connected to someone after?
  • What have you learned from arguments with your closest friends and family?
    Disagreements are inevitable. What did you do afterwards is what matters. Did you listen?

Jump!Star's iteration of Tau HerculesTau Hercules (Rukbalgethi Shemali)—7400 BCE

Is there a regret that has shaped who you are?


  • Has something happened to someone close to you that has impacted the way you handle certain situations? (Secondhand regret, if you will.)
  • Do you make certain conscious decisions due to a regret in the past?
  • Have embarrassing and disappointing moments in your past built your character?
  • Have you ever disappointed yourself in a situation that needed you to have integrity?
  • We all do irresponsible things. How does it affect you afterwards?

Jump!Star's iteration of DenebDeneb—9800 CE

When have you helped build an important bridge for someone or acted as an essential liaison?

  • Have you ever been the voice of reason to somebody?
  • Has there ever been a time in your life where you have been a middle man or facilitator between two or more people? How did you mediate?
  • Is there a time you can think of when you gave a lot of your time to help transform someone else’s ideas into reality? Is there a time when you sacrificed your time because you believed so deeply in someone?
  • Can you describe a moment when you took a risk for the benefit of some else?
  • Have you ever assisted anyone in any important activity or in connecting them to a group?
    Have you ever brought together a group of misfits? What common ground did you use to connect them?
  • Have you ever set up a blind date for a friend?

Jump!Star's iteration of Delta Cygni, AKA Al FawarisDelta Cygni (Al Fawaris)—11250 CE

Tell us about someone in your life who is your rock.


  •  Do you have somebody you cherish deeply and have a strong bond with?
  • Has there ever been someone in your life who has been a source of structure, calm, stability and support?
  • Who is the person you can go to when you need to get outrageous or even shameful actions off your chest?
  • Who do you feel like is your milky way or lucky star?
  • Is there anyone in your life you view as extremely strong or stable?
  • Who is your go-to person for advice, to tell your secrets or just sit quietly with?
  • We all have that person, the one we trust the most; they show up and you can count on them when things get rough. Are you that person for anyone?

Learn more about Jump!Star at jumpstar.love.