The Case for Arts Integration, produced by the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru), presents insights gathered from interviews with academic leaders, institutional officers, faculty, staff, and students at over 60 research universities. The publication features evidence of impacts, best practices, challenges, and exemplars of arts integration, including Applying Creative Inquiry to Enhance Imaginative and Collaborative Capacity in STEM, a new UGA project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The NSF Innovations in Graduate Education award supports a three-year project led by an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the arts, humanities, and sciences at UGA. The award will bring together a diverse group of graduate students from STEM and arts disciplines to address environmental issues using creativity-based training methods from the arts. If successful, widespread adoption of these methods will contribute to equipping STEM graduates across the country with communication and collaboration skills and ultimately increase creative and innovative solutions to complex global environmental challenges.
The project team formed through a series of activities developed by Ideas for Creative Exploration, an interdisciplinary initiative for advanced research in the arts at UGA, in partnership with the Willson Center, the Graduate School, the Center for Integrative Conservation Research, the Office of Sustainability, and Watershed UGA. Encouraged by the success of a 2017 pilot program, the team was further motivated by the publication of a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in collaboration with a2ru, The Integration of the Humanities and Arts with Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Higher Education: Branches from the Same Tree.
a2ru facilitated a series of town hall meetings across the country to share the report’s findings and recommendation for “funders to take leadership in supporting integration by prioritizing and dedicating funding for novel, experimental, and expanded efforts to integrate the arts, humanities, and STEMM disciplines and the evaluation of such efforts.” The UGA project will be among the first in the nation to share data about the effectiveness of arts integration with STEM graduate training that is supported by rigorous quantitative and qualitative assessment methods.
Inclusion in The Case for Arts Integration is a further sign of UGA’s emergence as a nexus for arts and environmental research after hosting the 2018 a2ru national conference Arts Environments. The NSF award and forthcoming study assures continued prominence for UGA as an a2ru partner institution and contributor to innovation in arts research.
Nathan Nibbelink (Center for Integrative Conservation Research/Forestry)
Lizzie King (Center for Integrative Conservation Research/Ecology/Forestry)
Mark Callahan (Ideas for Creative Exploration/Art)
Kathryn Roulston (Education)
Brian Haas (Psychology)
Chris Cuomo (Philosophy/Women’s Studies)
Laurie Fowler (Watershed UGA/Ecology)
Rebecca Gose (Dance)
Jenna Jambeck (Engineering)
Michael Marshall (Art)
Meredith Welch-Devine (Graduate School/Anthropology)