OVPR, Arts Initiative grants awarded to 14 research teams

The Arts Research: Incubation & Acceleration grant program and the Creativity Lab research development program have awarded their first round of funding to support innovative projects that center the arts in research and creative practice. Seven arts-centered research projects have been funded through ARIA and seven projects have been selected for development through C-lab.

ARIA and C-lab were formed and funded in a joint effort between the Office of the Vice President of Research and the Arts Initiative.

For more information, read the full article in the University Record.

Arts Research:
Incubation & Acceleration Grant Program

Too Much and Never Enough: Feminist Animations

Principal investigator: Heidi Kumao, professor of art and design, Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design.

Goal: This project examines the political climate around women’s bodies using a series of experimental stop-motion animations and fabric works.

Perpetual Sunshine & The Ghost Girls

Principal investigator: Lynne Shankel, Carole Caplan Lonner Professor of Musical Theatre Composition and clinical assistant professor of music, School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

Goal: This musical theater piece portrays the capitalist exploitation of workers’ rights in the face of a national public health crisis.

THE RISE: Chicano Cinema and the Mythologies of Change

Principal investigators: John Valadez, professor of film, television and media, LSA; and Colin Gunckel, associate professor of American culture, and of film, television and media, LSA.

Goal: This documentary film explores how 1970s and 1980s Chicano cinema advanced our national understanding of race, identity and what it means to be American.

St. John Street Memorial Park

Principal investigator: Benjamin Gaydos, associate professor of art and art history, UM-Flint.

Goal: This project creates an immersive experience engaging visitors with the St. John Street Neighborhood in Flint, illustrating how place-based monuments can be equitably reimagined in the 21st century.

Detroit at Play — Empowering Communities Through Collective Game Co-Creation

Principal investigator: Jose Sanchez, associate professor of architecture, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.

Goal: This project will design video games that foster community engagement, specifically targeting high school students in Detroit.

Variations of Sound

Principal investigator: Pedram Baldari, assistant professor of art and design, Stamps School.

Goal: This project presents a platform to facilitate a metamorphosis of violence into hopeful possibilities, using objects such as decommissioned weapons acquired from police to produce performances, sound installations, videos and music albums.


Principal investigator: Anne Mondro, associate professor of art and design, Stamps School.

Goal: This project will create a series of intricately woven wire sculptures that reflect on the complex and often conflicting emotions associated with being a caregiver and care recipient simultaneously. 

Creativity Lab (C-lab) fellows

Shadows: Puppetry in Performance

Principal investigators: Christianne Myers, Claribel Baird Halstead Collegiate Professor and professor of theater and drama, SMTD, and Jess Fialko, clinical assistant professor of music, SMTD.

How To Have More Fun

Principal investigator: Halena Kays, assistant professor of theater and drama, SMTD.

What was Promised? Speculative History of Landownership in the late 1800s of Formerly Enslaved Black Americans Following Special Field Orders No. 15

Principal investigator: Quinn Hunter, assistant professor of art and design, Stamps School.

Art, Agency and Decarceration

Principal investigator: Paul Draus, professor of sociology and anthropology, UM-Dearborn, and director of the Detroit Center.

Cultural Hybridity through Graphic Novels and Art Exhibits

Principal investigator: Wessam Elmeligi, assistant professor of language, culture, and the arts, UM-Dearborn.

Tension of Opposites: A Musical About Abortion

Principal investigator: Lisa Harris, F. Wallace and Janet Jeffries Collegiate Professor of Reproductive Health, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, Michigan Medicine; and professor of women’s and gender studies, LSA.

Invoking Coyolxauhqui: An Animated Source of Creativity for a Broken World

Principal investigator: William Calvo-Quiros, associate professor of American culture, LSA, and associate professor of art and design, Stamps School.