a2ru October 2016 Newsletter
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A Message from Laurie Baefsky, Executive Director

Greetings a2ru Partners and Friends,

The a2ru office is buzzing with all things "conference". Two weeks and counting until our a2ru 2016 national conference in Denver. We look forward to hosting many of you on panels, breakouts, and workshops around our ArtsRx themes of arts & health, arts entrepreneurship, new directions in humanities, and the arts-sci-tech interface that is S.E.A.D. Bring your walking shoes, Twitter handle, and big ideas.

Research update: Check out the findings from our first Funding Models and Budget Sources for Arts Integrative Research and Curricula survey, in partnership with the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP). a2ru  members were asked to report on their arts integrative research and curricula priorities, fundraising efforts, budgeting practices and models, methods for making funding decisions, as well as successes and challenges of budgeting and funding arts integrative work. Student Success and Curriculum Design share the ranking of top priority for arts integrative research and curricula. Read the full report HERE.

Organizational news: a2ru ratified a new 2016-2020 strategic plan by 2/3 of our 36 members! Thanks to the many active members who participated in that yearlong process. A very special shout out to Andrew Schulz, Associate Dean of Research at Penn State University, College of Arts and Architecture for leading the work of this subcommittee. Copies will be distributed at the Denver conference and posted to the a2ru website.

a2ru student events: a2ru will be attending MIT's Hacking Arts Festival, November 19-20. This marks their fourth annual festival, organized by students and held at the MIT Media Lab, celebrating innovation in the creative industries: Design, Fashion, Film/Video, Gaming, Music, Performing Arts, Virtual/Augmented Reality, and Visual Arts.

Reminder: a2ru 2017 Student Summit applications open through December 9. University of Florida hosts this year's summit, February 8-11, 2017 in Gainesville on the them of WATER: New Directions Through Arts and Science. Think about it: February. Florida.

More conference and research news below. Read on...

a2ru 4th Annual National Conference Is Almost Here!
ArtsRx: Creative Venture, Wellbeing, and the New Humanities

Hosted by University of Colorado Denver
November 3-5, 2016. 

Find tons of helpful information including the Agenda, Session Descriptions, info on Featured GuestsSpecial Events - including things to do in Denver, Planning Your Trip on the Conference Website.

For a mobile option and to start building your schedule now, download the a2ru ArtsRx app on your iPhone or Android. The app allows you to connect with other conference goers, post photos, and tweet (remember, #a2ru_Rx) your conference experience as you go. 

The conference and a2ru even got some great press in a recent Huffington Post article!

SPARC Research Project Update

Gabriel Harp
Research Director

The purpose of this whitepaper is to provide an overview of the SPARC (Supporting Practice in the Arts, Research, and Creativity) research project as it has matured from proposal to early-stage implementation. Although we are still in early stages of development, we are able to share 1) a better understanding of the key deliverables, 2) the core infrastructure needed to support dissemination of insights, and 3) a more nuanced recognition of the value-shifts that may enable integration across the project outcomes, knowledge networks, and key collaborators.

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.

Partnership in a2ru remains open. Information on how to become a partner can be found by clicking here. We invite you to review the a2ru brochure outlining a2ru's key arts forward initiatives and partner benefits.


Connect with a2ru

Follow us on Twitter at @a2ru_news and at, and tweet us at #a2ru with news from your university on innovations, events - anything interdisciplinary!

a2ru Emerging Creatives Student Summit
WATER: New Directions Through Arts and Science

Hosted by University of Florida
February 8-11, 2017

No community on this planet is without its water-based challenges. Water-centric grand challenges are many, ranging from access and social justice issues in local and global contexts, to environmental degradation, to toxicological challenges, to saltwater incursion into freshwater, to sea level rise. Uniquely situated less than two hours from the Gulf Coast and from the Atlantic Ocean in an area known for its numerous freshwater springs, the University of Florida has great strength in local, regional, national, and international research and creative activity when it comes to these and other water-centric grand challenges. [Read More]

Open to all students of a2ru partners institutions. Apply online now through Friday, December 9, 2016. A limited number of student travel grants (up to $250 each) are also available. To apply, click HERE.

Materials-Based Research Grant

Sponsor deadline: November 16, 2016
The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD) has announced a new, pilot grant initiative that will support the expanding definition of craft-based research and promote collaboration between the fields of Craft, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The Materials-Based Research Grant is an award of up to $15,000 granted to interdisciplinary teams of researchers for an 18-month grant period. The goal of these collaborations is to encourage mutually beneficial innovation in Craft and STEM through focusing on materials and process-based research. The teams should include one maker and one professional working in a STEM-based field (e.g. Material Science, Manufacturing, Environmental Studies, Medicine, Structural Engineering, etc.). Past CCCD projects have addressed the intersections of craft and sound, digital technology, design, social justice, and community engagement.

Grant guidelines are available at


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