a2ru March 2017 Newsletter
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A Message from Laurie Baefsky, Executive Director

Hello a2ru Partners and Friends,

March Madness brings with it another full agenda from the a2ru wire. We begin by welcoming The University of Texas at Dallas as our 38th and newest a2ru partner!

This newsletter also includes multiple Calls for Proposals for conferences and convenings, including our own a2ru 2017 national conference, hosted by Northeastern University, November 1-4. "Arts in the Public Sphere" is this year's conference theme. We're seeking local, regional, and national use-inspired scholarship inclusive of placemaking, public health, and technology interfacing with communities, urban, rural, astral, and metaphoric. RFP deadline is April 7. On November 1, Boston University will host our Creative Placemaking pre-conference with some of the nation's top field leaders; other a2ru Boston partners MIT and Tufts University will host the after-hours parties - save the dates!

This newsletter features reports on recent network activity:
I hope to see some of you at Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C., March 20-21. a2ru will be there with the International Council of Fine Arts Deans (ICFAD), with a unified voice for higher education. We're also proud to have a2ru partners, Daragh Byrne at Carnegie Mellon University, Kevin Hamilton at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Bill Sherman at University of Virginia represent a2ru on a panel discussion around peer review for integrated arts and design-based scholarship at the national ACSA Conference in Detroit, March 25. 

Lots and more. Read on...

2017 National Conference
Arts in the Public Sphere: Civility, Advocacy, and Engagement

Call for Proposals
Deadline: April 7

The 2017 a2ru National Conference will be hosted by Northeastern University, with additional conference events throughout hosted by Boston University, MIT, and Tufts University, November 1 - 4, 2017. Keynote speakers and plenary panelists include Jamie Bennett, executive director, ArtPlace America; Jason Schupbach, director of Design Programs, NEA; Maria Rosario Jackson, senior advisor to the arts and culture program at The Kresge Foundation; and Boston City academic and community leaders.

a2ru invites proposals from researchers, field leaders, and practitioners who are investigating the intersections, synergies, and interfaces of arts in the public sphere and their influence on civility, advocacy, and engagement. We seek proposals from university level faculty, administrators, and students, as well as civic leaders and representatives from industry, private enterprise, sectors outside the arts that incorporate the arts and design in their work, and public/private arts, culture, and civic organizations. We invite proposals from researchers, field leaders, and practitioners around the 2017 theme and/or that address issues relevant to the mission of a2ru.

Full call for proposals and information on how to submit available on the a2ru website. Deadline: April 7, 2017.

Addressing Declining Enrollment in the Arts & Humanities at Research Universities Webinar

The most recent a2ru Circuits Webinar was broadcast February 16, 2017 and addressed trends in enrollment. This broadcast offered a current snapshot of national enrollment trends in higher education and a full discussion of successful strategies a2ru partners have used to prevent or reverse declines in enrollment in the arts and humanities. The webinar was recorded and is available on the a2ru website to view along with the transcript of the webinar audio.

Panelists include (full bios online):

  • LeAnn Starlin Nilsson, Kent State University
  • Dean Todd Queen, Louisiana State University
  • Sheena Ramirez, James Madison University
  • Dean Noel Zahler, Texas Tech University
  • Arny Nadler, Moderator, Washington University in St. Louis

ArtsEngine/a2ru Paid Executive Internship Opportunity

a2ru is seeking an executive intern to work with the staff during the Fall 2017 semester or Fall 2017 & Winter 2018 semesters combined. The internship includes a stipend of $5,000 per semester. Duties to begin in August and be completed in December or May. A full job description with details can be found on the a2ru website. To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, and 3 letters of recommendation to Amy Tackitt, program coordinator, by April 15, 2017

a2ru Committees

Our program committee is gearing up after a two-year hiatus; the research committee has identified key questions surrounding arts integrative research they are dipping into; and we're jumpstarting working groups around strategic areas of interest to the network to include: placemaking, arts entrepreneurship, arts in health, and our ongoing efforts in rigorous peer review for arts integrated scholarship. Please contact Maryrose Flanigan if you are interested in serving on one of these working groups. More information on committee work and process can be found on the a2ru website.

Regional Workshop

April 6-7, 2017

The next National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine regional workshop on the integration of the arts and humanities with science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine in higher education will be hosted by a2ru partner, Arizona State University, April 6-7. This workshop is designed to inform the work of a National Academies study on this topic. a2ru is part of the working committee writing this report. There will be public sessions - stay tuned for the agenda coming soon!

Arts Advocacy Day

March 20-21, 2017
Arts advocates from across the country convene in Washington, DC for the annual Arts Advocacy Day each year. Arts Advocacy Day brings together a broad cross section of America's cultural and civic organizations, along with more than 500 grassroots advocates from across the country, to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased public funding for the arts. For more info and to register, visit the Americans for the Arts website.

Artivate Call for Submissions


Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts is partnering with the Kresge Foundation to produce its first-ever special issue focused on “Arts Entrepreneurship and Creative Placemaking.” Arizona State University Herberger Institute Professor Maria Rosario Jackson, along with Greg Esser, will be guest editors of this special issue. The call for submissions can be found on the journal’s “Announcements” page. Submissions for the issue are  due April 15, 2017.

Pave Symposium on Entrepreneurship and the Arts

sponsored in part by Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation and The Kresge Foundation; presented in collaboration with the UW­‐Madison Bolz Center for Arts Administration

Arts Entrepreneurship In, With, and For Communities
May 5-6, 2017
Arizona State University

Framed by an interactive workshop on Critical Response Process by Liz Lerman and John Borstel, anchored by keynote speeches by Carlton Turner, executive director of Alternate Roots and Steven J. Tepper, Dean of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, the symposium will include sessions on theory, practice, and pedagogy for arts entrepreneurship, as it relates to community engagement and creative placemaking.

Register by March 15, 2017 and receive a free copy of the Arizona Arts Entrepreneur Toolkit.

The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) advances the full range of arts-integrative research, curricula, programs, and creative practice to acknowledge, articulate, and expand the vital role of higher education in our global society. a2ru envisioins a world in which universities - students, faculty, and leaders - acknowledge, deeply embed, and seamlessly integrate the arts in the pursuit of basic knowledge and in everyday practice. As an organization, we value the arts as core to higher education, deep disciplinary knowledge and applied research in the arts, interdisciplinary creativity, durable collaboration, diverse community, and the research university as a driver toward a better world.

a2ru Welcomes New Member

The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities welcomes University of Texas at Dallas as the newest a2ru partner. Notable programs include: O'Donnell Institute of Art History; School of Arts, Technology and Emerging Communications (ATEC); and their Art Museum-Medical Schools Partnership. Welcome!

2017 Emerging Creatives Student Summit on WATER

More than 85 students from 20 a2ru universities who self-identified in over 75 disciplines, convened on February 8-11 at University of Florida. They formed 15 interdisciplinary teams to problem solve around the topic of WATER issues—how to keep aquifers pure; the availability of water; public responsibility for clean water and public awareness of water issues. Faculty from University of Florida, along with visiting guest speakers, artists, and guest faculty/staff from member institutions came together with students arriving at some amazing solutions. Participants are now eligible to apply for an a2ru Student Challenge Grant to forward their scholarship. See photos, testimonials, and the summit twitter feed on the summit website.

a2ru Approved as Affiliated Society with CAA

The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities is proud to now be an Affiliated Society with the College Art Association.

2016 a2ru Pre-Conference Workshop Materials Available


On November 2-3, 2016, the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) convened professionals from higher education and other fields in Denver, Colorado around the subjects of arts entrepreneurship and arts + health. These half-day sandbox sessions preceded the 2016 a2ru national conference, ArtsRx: Creative Venture, Wellbeing, and the New Humanities, hosted by the University of Colorado Denver.

Dr. Linda Essig and research assistant Joanna Guevara delivered a2ru-commissioned findings on the topic of arts entrepreneurship; and Sarah Cunningham, Salem Tsegaye, and Eliza Lamb shared preliminary a2ru survey findings and led a session on arts + health. Attendees shared best practices and challenges, and everyone participated in an intensive working session to apply field knowledge to their own work, exchange ideas, and collaborate.

Materials from the workshops are available on the a2ru Research website.

International Conference on Mobile Brain-Body Imaging and the Neuroscience of Art, Innovation and Creativity

Doctoral/Postdoctoral Consortium
September 10-13, 2017
Valencia, Spain

This Consortium provides an opportunity for doctoral and postdoctoral students to explore and develop their research interests in an interdisciplinary workshop, under the guidance of a trans-disciplinary panel of distinguished researchers, artists, and innovators. Students and post docs working at the interface of the arts, science, engineering or medicine, may apply for this unique opportunity to share their work with other students and senior researchers in the field.

Applications due March 31, 2017. Additional information about the consortium can be found HERE.

Listening to the City
Call for Session Proposals

Engagement, Exploration + Intervention through Sound
May 25-26, 2017

The MIT Community Innovators Lab (CoLab), LA Listens, and the Design Studio for Social Intervention seek your submissions for conference session proposals for Listening to the City: Engagement, Exploration + Intervention through Sound. This convening is intended for activists, artists, residents, researchers, students, teachers, and community practitioners with an interest in sound as a creative mode of inquiry, a tool for democratic engagement, and a means for social change. We welcome submissions for 1-3 hour workshops, performances, panel discussions, installations, field trips, listening parties, or other types of sessions that can demonstrate how sound can better prepare us to understand, empathize, and engage with the complexities of our urban environments. Alternative sessions requiring more than 3 hours will also be considered. Supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the conference will be held at MIT and various locations throughout Greater Boston.

The deadline for submitting is Friday, March 31. The proposal form is available HEREDetails on the conference are forthcoming. For more information, please contact Allegra Williams.

HASTAC Now Accepting Proposals

HASTAC 2017 will take place November 2-4, 2017 at the University of Central Florida to explore “The Possible Worlds of Digital Humanities” addressing the unsolved hard problems and explore the new opportunities of the digital humanities, including:

  • challenges of monolingualism within the digital humanities;
  • indigenous culture, decolonial and post-colonial theory and technology;
  • technology and education–open learning, peer learning, and issues of access, equity for primary and/or higher education;
  • communication of knowledge, publishing, and intellectual property;
  • digital cultural heritage and hegemony;
  • interdisciplinary goals and conversations in digital humanities;
  • digital humanities and gender, race, and other identities;
  • simulation, modeling, and visualization;
  • games and gaming, including for learning; and
  • community development, including the importance of art and culture districts.
  • PLUS project demos, digital and/or poster sessions, and a curated media arts show exhibition.
Click HERE for full call, submission instructions, and additional conference information. Deadline: April 7, 2017.

a2ru Seeks Hosts for
2018 and Beyond

a2ru seeks hosts for future national conferences and student summits in 2018 and beyond. Benefits of hosting in collaboration with a2ru include:
  • Showcase your institution's resources, facilities, initiatives, curriculum, and leading faculty and student projects
  • Campus and national press coverage through newsletters, e-blasts, social media, and a2ru website; elicit powerful student-generated stories published both on their home campuses and a2ru website
  • Opportunities for faculty and staff leadership nationwide 
  • Stronger intra-unit relationships
For more information, contact a2ru associate director, Maryrose Flanigan.
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