Indiana University Bloomington launches new faculty funding programs for arts, humanities

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Members of the Epiphany Dance Collective, a professional African dance and percussion ensemble, perform during the inaugural First Thursdays Festival in 2016. Photo by James Brosher, IU Communications

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In an effort to foster Indiana University Bloomington's longstanding strengths in the arts and humanities and celebrate their public value, the IU Bloomington Arts and Humanities Council has announced an unprecedented suite of new internal funding programs designed to advance the work of faculty artists and scholars.

The new funding programs join diverse arts and humanities initiatives recently launched by the Arts and Humanities Council, including the popular First Thursdays Festival at IU Bloomington's Fine Arts Plaza and the annual Global Arts and Humanities Festival, which will focus on India in 2018.

Two of the new funding programs have a specific emphasis on public arts and humanities, a direction growing nationally over recent years. Public arts and humanities emphasize engagement and interaction with communities and individuals, focusing on creative placemaking projects as well as topics of relevance in contemporary America such as political polarization, the meaning of democracy, and ethical questions about war, food supply and biomedical technologies.

"The new programs are designed to support IU Bloomington faculty at their most adventurous and to affirm the public value and significance of their work," said Ed Comentale, associate vice provost for arts and humanities in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at IU Bloomington and director of the Arts and Humanities Council. "Projects will be selected based on their ability to strengthen ties between community and campus and to help advance the regional mission of IU Bloomington as a whole."

The faculty grant programs include:

  • The Public Humanities Project, supporting research projects that benefit Bloomington and other southern Indiana communities, funded by the IU Office of the Vice President for Research through IU's New Frontiers in Arts and Humanities program.
  • Public Arts Grants for projects such as art installations and performances that enrich the Bloomington community, offered by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research in collaboration with the City of Bloomington's Department of Economic and Sustainable Development.
  • New fellowships in the arts and humanities offered through IU Bloomington's Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities, an institute supported by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.
  • An Open Access Monograph Digital Publishing program for manuscripts in the humanities and social sciences, offered in collaboration with the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, the Office of the Provost at IU Bloomington, the IU Libraries and IU Press.

By making new research freely available online, digital open-access publication of monographs will increase the visibility of high-quality humanities and social science research, said Carolyn Walters, the Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries for Indiana University.

"This funding indicates a commitment by Indiana University to extend knowledge beyond traditional academic communities," Walters said. "Extended dissemination of humanities and social science scholarship broadens both the presence and impact of important work by our faculty."

The new and recent investments in campus arts and humanities are a key part of the IU Bloomington Strategic Plan and the university's Bicentennial Strategic Plan.

"The Bloomington campus has a long tradition of excellence in the arts and humanities thanks to the stellar scholarship and creative activity of our faculty," said Lauren Robel, IU Bloomington provost and executive vice president. "The new funding opportunities offered through the Arts and Humanities Council reflect our ongoing commitment to supporting research and creative endeavors that make IU Bloomington a beacon for the arts and humanities. I am certain that these programs will lead to exciting new work from faculty across diverse disciplines."

The programs add to the varied funding and support offered to Bloomington faculty through the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, said Vice Provost Rick Van Kooten.

"These new initiatives are an important part of ongoing investments OVPR is making in resources that preserve and advance our artistic and cultural heritage, such as our support for the Mathers Museum," he said. "OVPR is very pleased to join campus partners in supporting these new initiatives to further the success of IU Bloomington's artists and humanists."

For questions about any of the new grant programs, contact Comentale at ecomenta@indiana.edu.

Media Contact

Lauren Bryant

Office of the Vice Provost for Research

Phone: 812-855-4152

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