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a2ru 2021 National Conference

2021 a2ru National Conference
Sharing Stories: The Case for Art
November 3 – 5


As an a2ru member institution, UGA will cover registration costs for a limited number of a2ru conference participants.

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.

About the Conference

Over the last twelve months, we have seen a range of sources acknowledge the powerful importance of the arts, particularly in the Covid era. As arts practitioners and leaders, we embrace our role in this unprecedented moment, even as we continue to rethink our disciplines, how our methods have changed during this time, and what the future of the arts might look like.

a2ru will use this year’s online conference to meet this unique moment in a uniquely artful way. We will engage and explore how we can best deploy what we hope has not changed — our passion for the arts, for arts education, and for arts integration — through storytelling, rather than traditional conference presentations.

Pre-Conference Workshop
Tuesday, November 2

Part I: Foundations of Equity

Justice in arts research, practice, and pedagogy must start with close examination of the foundations upon which arts institutions have been built. In part one of a two-part workshop series, we’ll discuss reimagining arts spaces from the ground up; the contingency of justice-oriented practice; and building foundations for liberation in art making, arts research, and arts pedagogy.

Part II: Dismantling Critique

In part two of the two-part workshop, we interrogate how white supremacy and colonialism have shaped our systems for feedback and assessment, and build and share new strategies and tools for feedback and critique that are rooted in accountability, transparency, reciprocity, and justice.

4’33” Research in the Arts Competition

4’33” Research in the Arts Competition
Call for Submissions
Deadline: November 2

The 4’33” Research in the Arts Competition 2021 is open for submissions! The UGA Arts Council invites all UGA student scholars and artists to share their research and compete for a $433 cash prize in this exciting event! The competition has been streamlined this year. The competition will highlight scholarly research about any art form or combination of art forms, including (but not restricted to): visual art, music, theatre, dance, film, literature, media arts, or performance art. This is a great opportunity to share your work, and to practice communicating the goals and significance of your scholarly and artistic activities to a broad audience.

– To participate in the contest, simply submit a 3-minute video of yourself describing your research in the clearest and most compelling way possible. The video should contain no edits, and you’re encouraged to use the computer’s built-in webcam and microphone. Submissions will be judged entirely on the basis of how effectively you convey your intellectual goals and passion orally.

– Upload your video to YouTube or Google Drive and provide links. (Note that YouTube links can be unlisted.)

– You may include up to three images, which you should provide separately from the video presentation and refer to by number (e.g. “as you can see in figure 1”).

– You may include up to 3 supplementary video or audio clips, totaling no more than 30 seconds in all, to illustrate your arguments. The duration of these media clips will count toward the length of your presentation (i.e. if your presentation includes 30 seconds of media, your discussion can be no longer than 2 1/2 minutes long). In your talk, refer to media clips by number (e.g. “as you can see in video clip 1”).

– A panel of 5 judges (faculty, administrators, and students from different disciplines) will select 8 finalists to move up to the final round.

– The 8 finalists will present their 3-minute research summaries in the Georgia Museum of Art on November 16, 7:00 – 8:00 pm, for a panel of three judges and a live audience as part of the Spotlight on the Arts festival. After each 3-minute presentation, the presenter will respond to questions from the judges for 1 minute and 33 seconds (so that the talk and Q&A together total 4 minutes and 33 seconds).

– At the end of the live event, the judges will select the winner, who will receive a $433 prize.

Please email your submissions by November 2, 2021 with the following information:

– Name and major degree area
– Name of faculty advisor
– Your UGA MyID
– The title of your presentation
– A link to your presentation (either YouTube or Google Drive)
– OPTIONAL: a numbered list of up to three images along with links to the images.
– OPTIONAL: a numbered list of up to three media files (video or audio) with links to the cllps.

For a list of FAQs and past winners, see:
For any further questions, please contact David Saltz,

Thank you for your interest, we look forward to your submissions!

Idea Lab Mini Grants Call for Proposals

Idea Lab Mini Grants
Call for Proposals
No deadline

Idea Lab Mini Grants support creative interdisciplinary projects. Grant recipients are eligible to receive mentorship, feedback, and up to $500 in project funds. Collaborative teams may include participants from multiple communities and must include at least one student, faculty, or staff member from UGA. Proposals will be reviewed by an interdisciplinary selection committee in order of receipt, pending the availability of funds.

Proposal form:

Proposal requirements:

– brief description of project goals (up to 150 words)

– names and project roles of collaborators

The Idea Lab Mini Grant Program is supported by Ideas for Creative Exploration, an interdisciplinary initiative for advanced research in the arts at UGA. Ideas for Creative Exploration is supported in part by the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and the Graduate School.

Welcome Fall 2021

Welcome to a new semester at UGA! If you are new to Ideas for Creative Exploration, please take a few moments to explore the site and learn about some of the current and past projects and events. You may be interested in joining the ICE Announcements listserv, a newsletter with local events and opportunities in the arts.

Please also welcome our new recipients of Graduate Assistantships in Interdisciplinary Arts Research: Meredith Emery (Art) and Erica Parson (Theatre and Film Studies). These exceptional graduate students will develop creative research and collaborative work across disciplines with faculty, students, and community members.

Arts + Community podcast

Ideas for Creative Exploration Conversation Series
Podcast Episode 15: Arts + Community

Subscribe to ICE Conversation Series or download audio below to listen.

Download audio: MP3 (25.2 MB)

Read transcript

Audio highlights from a public conversation series on the theme of arts and community, edited from conversations that took place during fall 2020 and spring 2021 via remote video conferencing technology. We invited guests from a range of backgrounds to share their ideas about what artists and organizations should know about each other, and about how they can work together to support vibrant communities. This episode includes the voices of Stephanie Raines, Andrew Salinas, Montu Miller, Madeline Blankenship, Alden DiCamillo, Carmon Colangelo, and April Parker.

For more information about the speakers, visit:

Idea Lab Mini Grants Spring 2021

Botanical Garden Soundwalk

The Botanical Garden Soundwalk is a collection of soundscapes created by members of the UGA Student Composers Association in partnership with the UGA State Botanical Garden. Student and faculty composers engaged with Cora Keber, State Botanical Garden Director of Education, to learn about and respond to different environments within the Garden. Playback of soundscapes on the ECHOES app is prompted by the geolocation positioning of the listener within the grounds of the Garden. Visitors can craft their own interactive soundtrack by virtue of the duration and order of regions they encounter.

Project participants

Cora Keber, State Botanical Garden Director of Education
Andres Luz, Music graduate student
Bryan Wysocki, Music graduate student
Michael Flynn, Music graduate student
Daniel Karcher, Music graduate student
Samuel Hoyland, Music graduate student
Caitlin Santos, Music undergraduate student
Paul Dicicco, Music undergraduate student
Kenia Mendoza, Music undergraduate student
Emily Koh, Music faculty
Peter Van Zandt Lane, Music faculty
Thomas Hiel, Music faculty

Misery, Fantasy, Ecstasy

A project that adapts a series of three blazer jackets, exploring the related emotions of misery, fantasy, and ecstasy, into a short art film expanding upon these themes. Miranda Diaz will create the script using a collage cut-up technique with diary entries and perform with original blazers. Christee Imogen Henry will oversee cinematography, editing, and composition and performance of original music for the film. The work explores the relationship between interiority and the expression of interiority in a three-act structure. The project will filmed on location across north Georgia and on a sound stage through summer 2021.

Project participants

Christee Imogen Henry, Art undergraduate student
Miranda Diaz, Art undergraduate student

Language Learning and Community Building

The project considers how cooking classes can be used as tools for language learning and community building in Athens, Georgia. Participants will develop a curriculum to use common cooking terms and invite families to share and translate recipes in a bilingual cookbook site.

Project participants

Elizabeth Dubberly (Language and Literacy Education graduate student)
Valerie Oxford (Athens-Clarke County Schools ESOL teacher)

Mute Harmonics

Mute Harmonics is a collaborative series of two wearable, cooperative musical instruments by interdisciplinary artists Jeremy Diamond and Diana Rojas. The series serves as an investigation of sound, performance, and sculpture as intermediaries for spiritual and interpersonal experiences and a meditation on the inevitability of such intermediaries within those realms of experience. The series will consist of a string and percussion instrument; the effective use of these instruments will be reliant on a mutual obligation between performers. Most notably, playing the string instrument will require a concerted effort from both performers to maintain and adjust the tension of strings between their bodies to tune the instrument. When both performers are not engaged in the use of these instruments, they are rendered unplayable. The finished series will be performed live by students of the Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia at the University of North Texas and the University of Georgia.

Project participants

Jeremy Diamond (Art graduate student)
Diana Rojas (University of North Texas graduate student)


Eschaton is a music video that follows the life of Daniel Felser, an aspiring energy executive, from his childhood to his old age and eventual death. His journey is juxtaposed with the macrocosmic cycles of nature, from the changing of seasons to the forming of planets and solar systems. Eschaton combines the intimate with the epic to create a haunting portrait of human greed and environmental collapse. The project will raise awareness about climate change and its dialectical interconnectedness to issues of poverty, racism, capitalism and imperialism, and direct our audience members to ways they and we can help our local communities mobilize via mutual aid, labor unions, activist organizations, and non-profits.

Project participants

Meekah Howell (Music undergraduate student)
Caleb Moss (UGA alumnus)
Jacob Dannenfelser (Journalism and Mass Communication undergraduate student)
Daniel Mathis (Journalism and Mass Communication undergraduate student)
Mike Hussey (Theatre and Film Studies faculty)