The purpose of a2ru’s research is to clarify, define, and highlight how the arts (including fine and performing arts and design) impact knowledge production and teaching in research universities for systematic public benefit. These means that we articulate, clarify, and prioritize key research questions, assemble evidence, apply dedicated and rigorous methods, synthesize insights from across nascent domains and practices, and organize participatory experiences as opportunities to engage with the results.
a2ru’s research methodology is primarily influenced by frameworks from the social sciences and methods from data science and participatory design. Insights and practices are drawn from many different and complementary disciplines, including the arts and design. a2ru's research aims to make experimentation and invention in the arts explicit, codified, and replicable for extension and use by others.
a2ru’s research efforts first began as an outcome of a 2011 “Michigan Meeting”. Its purpose, “The Role of Art-Making and the Arts in the Research University,” was to recognize and advance research university support for art-making and the arts. 150 presidents, provosts, deans, directors, and other faculty and administrative leaders from 41 Research 1 universities across the United States attended. Research, advocacy, curricular, and co-curricular task-forces then synthesized key questions, setting the stage for a2ru's research future.
In 2012, a2ru received a round of seed funding for its research from the The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, aimed at supporting the creation of the first comprehensive guide to best practices in the integration of the arts in U.S. research universities. The resulting collection of interviews surveys faculty, students, and administrators and explores definition, models, obstacles, implementation strategies, costs, and impacts of arts-integrative practices on research and teaching in higher education.
In 2015, additional support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation launched the SPARC Project: Supporting Practice in Arts, Research and Curricula, a three-year initiative that will allow a2ru to cross-pollinate and disseminate research insights across its network.
|Gabriel Harp, Research Director
|Veronica Dittman Stanich, Research Associate
|Mengdan Yuan, Research Assistant
|Jack Bowman, Research Assistant|
|Past Team Members, role (present position)|
|Edgar Cardenas, Post-Doctoral Fellow|
|Lu Zhang, Research Assistant (Grad Student, Columbia University, Dept. of Statistics)|
|Jonatan Contreras, UMSI Research Intern (Grad Student, University of Texas at El Paso, College of Business Administration)|
|Jaylyn Pruitt, UMSI Research Intern (Grad Student, University of South Florida, School of Information Science)|
|Noshin Kahn, ArtsEngine Research Assistant|
|Jazmyn Rivera, ArtsEngine Research Assistant|
|Max Hully, Research Assistant (Grad Student, University of Massachusetts, Department of Mathematics and Statistics)|
|Gunnar Moll, Research Assistant (Morningstar Development Program, Chicago)|
|Bella Nuce, UROP Research Assistant|
|Brooke White, UROP Research Assistant (Writer, Writing Workshops in Greece)|