a2ru December 2015 Newsletter
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A Message from Executive Director Laurie Baefsky

Greetings one and all!
As we head into the holidays, the year closes with much to share and celebrate. Thanks to everyone who attended last month’s a2ru national conference, Groundworks: Improving and Supporting Practice in the Third Space, and to our wonderful hosts at Virginia Tech. Panels and keynotes will be archived on the ISU Repository. Moderated conference conversations included: six deep dive critique sessions exploring transdisciplinary peer review and 15 roundtables, with topics ranging from navigating tenure and promotion within transdisciplinary work, to addressing the changing face of land grant institutions. There were also facilitated discussions around emerging and evolving fields in arts and wellness, and creative ventures—both of which a2ru will be supporting in the year ahead. These many groundwork conversations will inform the next-phase work for the a2ru home office and our new research team.
We welcome Gabriel Harp to the a2ru staff as our incoming research director. We are now actively seeking a Mellon research fellow to complete our a2ru research team. We also heartily welcome Northeastern University as our 33rd a2ru partner!
A December highlight for me was seeing four of our a2ru students and recent alumni discussing their education and career paths as newly minted transdisciplinarians on a panel for a National Academy of Sciences convening in Washington, D.C.
Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday among friends and family. We look forward to seeing many of your students at the upcoming a2ru Emerging Creatives Student Summit, hosted by the University of Michigan on March 9-12, 2016. (The deadline for student nominations, by a2ru partner institutions, is January 19, 2016.)
Warm regards,
End Notes: The a2ru 2015 National Conference  
The a2ru 2015 National Conference convened on November 8-11, 2015, hosted by Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Partners and allies gathered to address the next generation of opportunities and challenges facing  transdisciplinary arts practice, peer review, infrastructures, and partnerships in research universities.
Some of the most dynamic energy centered around third space exemplars and peer review which were the focus of this year's working conference. In addition, Dr. Laurie Baefsky, executive director of a2ru, had a few surprises to reveal (click here to learn more if you weren't able to attend).
The next a2ru National Conference will take place the University of Colorado Denver November 2-5, 2016. More information and a request for proposals will be posted to the events page of the a2ru website soon. Save the date! 
Students from a2ru Partner Universities Join a2ru Leadership at NAS 
The Alliance  for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) went to Washington, D.C. on December 2nd as part of a working group for the Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW) at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).
The one-day workshop took place at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and explored the theme: Integrating Education in the Arts and Humanities in Science, Engineering, Technology and Medicine.
Four a2ru students and alumni served on a panel discussing how their university education prepared or did, not prepare them for their current career trajectories. Our a2ru student panelists included:
  • Jessica Bishop, Senior Undergraduate student in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Patrick Ford, Graduate Research Assistant, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Joshua Gigantino, Ph.D. student in Media Arts and Sciences, Arizona State University
  • Charles Wu, Research Assistant, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, St. Louis (graduate of Washington University in St. Louis)
Leadership representing over 15 a2ru partners was also in attendance. 
The goal of this workshop was to explore possible evidence for the value of incorporating curricula and experiences including history, literature, language, philosophy, religion, and the arts more integrally into college and university STEM education and workforce training programs. The workshop was funded through The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Funding Opportunity: NEA Creativity Connects
As part of the NEA’s 50th anniversary, the agency has launched the leadership initiative, Creativity Connects. This initiative will show how the arts contribute to the nation’s creative ecosystem, investigate the ways in which the support systems for the artists are changing, and explore how the arts can connect with other sectors that want and utilize creativity.
The pilot grant program will require a partnership between a nonprofit arts organization and an organization from a non-arts sector. Centers affiliated with higher education institutions are eligible to be nonprofit leads in partnerships for this funding opportunity.  Grants generally will range from $20,000 to $100,000. Grant application guidelines are now available. Click here for more information.
ABRS@Madison 2016 on April 28-29, 2016 
The Bolz Center for Arts Administration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will host the 2016 Arts Business Research Symposium (ABRS) in Madison, Wisconsin, on April 28-29, 2016. The PAVE Program for Arts Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University will serve as co-conveners and hosts. This year’s conference theme is “The Future of Creative Placemaking in Higher Education.”
Early bird registration will begin in January 2016. You can find out more about the event here. Information about registration and a conference agenda will be posted to the  Bolz Center for Arts Administration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in January 2016.
Mellon Review of Best Practices Available Online 
Surveying the Landscape: Arts Integration at Research Universities is a review of best practices and challenges for arts integration in higher education. This final report is the result of a comprehensive three-year study funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is authored by Dr. Bruce Mackh.
Surveying the Landscape: Arts Integration at Research Universities can be downloaded for free at the HathiTrust Digital Library. Print copies are available on Amazon at a cost of $25.00 per copy.  

a2ru Welcomes Gabriel Harp

The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) and the University of Michigan’s ArtsEngine welcome Gabriel A. Harp as incoming research director beginning January 4, 2016. Harp will oversee research initiatives for both organizations, and will lead the Mellon Foundation-funded SPARC Project: Supporting Practice in Arts, Research and Curricula, a three-year initiative to apply, support, and disseminate best practices in the integration of arts practice, research and curricula at research universities. To read the press release click here.

a2ru Emerging Creatives Student Summit Hosted by the University of Michigan

The a2ru 2016 Emerging Creatives Student Summit hosted by the University of Michigan is scheduled for March 9-12, 2016. The theme for this student conference is RISE: Forging Resilient Communities. Programming will take place in Ann Arbor and Detroit, Michigan.
In an effort to support a productive and intimate atmosphere at the summit, up to five students from each a2ru partner university are invited to attend. This summit is limited to a2ru partner universities only.
Students from a2ru partner universities may apply directly to a2ru by Friday, January 8, 2016. For those a2ru university partners who prefer to nominate their own students, you must notify a2ru with your selected students by Tuesday, January 19, 2016.
a2ru has also announced the 2016 Challenge Grant to help give transdisciplinary student teams seed monies to start or continue a collaborative project that addresses a social, community, or societal problem. Information is forthcoming and will be posted on our dedicated event page for RISE.   
Photo: "Sunrise in Detroit" by Mike Boening

Open Position: a2ru Research Fellow

ArtsEngine and a2ru invite applicants to apply for a two-year post-doctoral arts research fellowship, which is funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This position requires a strong background in qualitative research and analysis methods, data management, and strategic communication skills. The Mellon research fellow will assist in transcribing and transferring a large data set to an online archive for further study, and help facilitate the process of sensemaking and discovery around the role and value of the arts in research universities.
This is a two-year full-time + benefits position, housed at the University of Michigan, in the home office of ArtsEngine and a2ru. To apply submit your application online by clicking here. The position supporting the SPARC Project (Supporting Practice in the Arts, Research, and Curricula) closes December 31, 2015.

3 Million Stories Conference Examines the Art + Design Connection

3 Million Stories will bring together arts school deans, artists, administrators, faculty, community leaders, and students (among others) to examine the world of work among artists and designers. The conference takes place March 3-5, 2016. 
Three Million Stories builds on the insights from the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP), a survey of over 100,000 arts graduates from more than 300 institutions. The title comes from the roughly three million people with arts degrees from American educational institutions. For more information, including early bird registration on January 8th, click here.

Northeastern University Joins a2ru as its 33rd Partner University

Northeastern University joined the a2ru network in November as the organization’s 33rd partner, our third partner campus in the Boston area, in addition to MIT and Tufts University. Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a global, experiential, research university built on a tradition of engagement with the world, creating a distinctive approach to education and research. Welcome! 

Become an a2ru Partner

Currently composed of 33 top-tier institutions, the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) is committed to ensuring the greatest possible institutional support for the full spectrum of arts and arts-integrative research, curricula, programs, and creative practice for the benefit of all students and faculty at research universities and the communities they serve. 
Partnership in a2ru remains open. Information on how to become a partner can be found by clicking here. We invite you to review the new a2ru brochure outlining a2ru's key arts forward initiatives and partner benefits.
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