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A Message from Executive Director Laurie Baefsky

The a2ru 2015 Emerging Creatives Student Summit hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University delivered more than we imagined with respect to the work developed by our 10 interdisciplinary student teams. To continue this emergent work, a2ru has awarded three student teams seed monies for their projects via the a2ru 2015 Student Challenge Grant. This grant was introduced as part of #a2ruPulse, but open to students across the country. Through this funding teams are encouraged to use the synergies of multiple disciplines to enhance their own Cities in Flux. The winning proposal titles are: "Dance Curating Through Community," "Awareness Finds a Cure," and "Designing for Food Access." The challenge grant was a first for a2ru. We will be offering a second challenge grant at the a2ru 2016 Emerging Creatives Student Summit, so stay tuned for details.  

Speaking of firsts, a2ru will host its first webinar on April 23, 2015, from 1:00-2:30 pm EST, as part of the a2ru Circuits series of digital conversations.  The Expanding Role of the Arts in Research Universities: Curricular and Co-Curricular Trends (Part I) will focus on upcoming Mellon Best Practices Guide themes supporting curricular and co-curricular activities at partner university campuses across the country. There is no cost, but the webinar is limited to 100 attendees so be sure to register early

On the governance front, new
a2ru bylaws were approved by blind vote of our partners. I would like to extend a personal thank you to those who participated in this democratic endeavor. 

In closing, please mark your calendars for the a2ru 2015 National Conference hosted by Virginia Tech, which will take place on November 8-11, 2015. This will be a working conference shaped by an important theme: Groundworks: Supporting and Improving Practice in the Third Space. We will share best practices and workshop curricula and resources derived from the Mellon Project Best Practices Guide. We will also create a platform for ways of supporting tenure and promotion, as well as develop the beginnings of a cultural policy agenda to support the mission and goals of a2ru beyond our campuses. 

See you at the webinar,

a2ru 2015 Emerging Creatives Student Summit at Virginia Commonwealth University 

Over 100 students from leading research universities across the country attended the a2ru 2015 Emerging Creatives Student Summit. PULSE: Creative Collaborations for Cities in Flux took place January 28-31, 2015, and allowed students to utilize transdisciplinary skills to shape the city of the future based on existing and anticipated needs. 
There’s nothing like finding your tribe when you are immersed in arts-integrated interdisciplinary work. This theme continues to resonate with our students. Carrick Redden, who studies architecture, wrote an article about his #a2ruPulse experience for a blog at Washington University of St. Louis. Redden was also compelled to write a reflective piece on artistic excellence for the a2ru website; it is confident, thoughtful, and powerful. 
a2ru will launch the first in a series of webinars on Thursday, April 23, 2015, from 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EST. The topic being explored is "The Expanding Role of the Arts in Research Universities: Curricular and Co-Curricular Trends (Part I)." There is no cost for participation. Early registration is recommended as the webinar is limited to 100 attendees.

To frame this discussion, Bruce Mackh, Ph.D., Mellon Research Project Director from University of Michigan’s ArtsEngine program, will highlight national trends in curricular and co-curricular models, obstacles, strategies, costs, and impacts resulting from a three-year study funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Carmon Colangelo, Dean of the Sam Fox School of Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, and Lauren Lake, Chair of the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, will address the range of issues facing curriculum development on their own campuses, as well as what the future may hold.

A second conversation, featuring Eric Beatty, Director of the Homewood Arts Program at Johns Hopkins University and Deb Mexicotte, Program Director of Arts at Michigan, will focus on co-curricular efforts and emerging directions on their campuses.

Mark Law, Ph.D., Director of the Honors Program and Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida, will moderate the discussion.

a2ru Partners in Virginia Unite for Advocacy

The University of Virginia invites all Virginia schools to join us for a state-wide discussion of interdisciplinary arts integrated research and practice. This will be an opportunity for a2ru partners based in Virginia to meet outside of the national meetings, and launch discussions about statewide advocacy in support of interdisciplinary research within and across our institutions. Please RSVP to Lindsay Hepler at before April 13, 2015 if you plan to attend. 

Perspectives on Arts-Integrative Interdisciplinary Training: Student Views and Experiences on a2ru Campuses 

One of the benefits of a2ru partnership is access to partner-only white papers. The papers are released to the public after an embargo period has come to a close. Student Perspectives on Arts-Integrative Interdisciplinary Training: Student Views and Experiences on a2ru University Campuses is ow public and can be downloaded from the a2ru website. The paper aims to provide an aggregate view of student perspectives on the value of interdisciplinary training, student reactions to efforts and opportunities underway on their home campuses, needs currently unmet, and challenges students face and experience within that context. Information for this white paper was collected through several different formats during and after the a2ru Emerging Creatives Student Conference held January 30 through February 1, 2014 at Stanford University. The paper, which was distributed to a2ru partners in 2014, is co-authored by a2ru Education Specialist Lauren Fretz Thompon and Dr. Anthony J. Kolenic. 

How to Become an a2ru Partner

Currently composed of 31 top-tier institutions, a2ru is committed to transforming research universities in order to ensure the greatest possible institutional support for interdisciplinary research, curricula, programs and creative practice between the arts and other disciplines.

Partnership in the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) remains open. Full information about how to become a partner as well as our Phase I activities and membership can be found by clicking here.
Copyright © 2015. Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities. All rights reserved.

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