blog posts Presidential Initiative: Expanding the Impact of the Arts and Humanities Dec 1, 2020 9:30 am by Barb Wilson, Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic AffairsDear Deans, Directors, and Department Heads: President Killeen and Executive Vice President Wilson are pleased to announce the second, system-wide funding opportunity aimed at amplifying the public good flowing from the arts and the humanities. The arts and the humanities enrich our lives and are essential to education, research, scholarship, and public engagement across the University of Illinois System. Instruction in these fields prepares students for a life of conscientious citizenship and creative contributions in every economic sector. Research and creative breakthroughs in these arenas help us imagine new approaches to today's social problems, drawing from deep historical experience, finely honed craft, and expertise in collaboration and improvisation. The challenges we face today underscore how crucial it is that we embrace work in these fields. The COVID-19 crisis cannot be tackled, for example, without confronting the historical lessons from previous pandemics as well as the ethical dimensions of health disparities. Enhancing social equity requires a deep understanding of how racism intersects with cultural norms and practices in our communities. And during times of upheaval, the arts and the humanities help nurture the human spirit by offering inspirational new experiences, renewed connection to records of the past, and frameworks for valuing difference and cultivating informed debate. This initiative, Expanding the Impact of the Arts and the Humanities, is consistent with the U of I System’s Strategic Framework, which was approved by the Board of Trustees in 2016. Both the President’s Office and the Executive Vice President’s Office will support this initiative, providing a total of up to $2 million in funding. The goal of the program is to promote the transformational impact of the arts and the humanities at our universities and beyond. Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria: Potential of the arts and/or humanities project to have a transformational and public impact within the U of I System and beyond Extent to which the project involves multiple university stakeholders, especially students Ability of the project to develop new partnerships with community and/or statewide organizations Interdisciplinary nature of the project Extent to which the project connects to ongoing initiatives at our universities such that there is sustainable impact Clear and compelling budget that highlights the need for system-level funds EligibilityProposals can come from faculty (tenure system and non-tenure system) at one university or across more than one of our three universities. Collaborative and/or linked proposals are encouraged, with a maximum of $200,000 awarded to any single proposal. Cost sharing is welcome but not required. Projects that received support from the first Presidential Initiative for the Arts and the Humanities are not eligible for this round of funding unless there is a significant new aspect to the original project. Deans from the relevant colleges involved in the proposed projects will be asked to provide a letter of support for proposal submissions. FundingFunds should be used to support the visibility and impact of the arts and/or humanities at any one of our universities or across our universities. Examples of eligible types of support include: purchase of a special collection or exhibition, honoraria for artistic performances or speakers, release-time for faculty to spearhead the endeavor, undergraduate or graduate research stipends, equipment or technology needed for the project, travel/outreach to partners, and small- and large-scale event costs. Support for an individual research project or creative work typically would not be considered through this program. Proposals will be due April 1, 2021 and can be submitted online. Please encourage faculty in your units to consider submitting a proposal. Feel free to contact the Office of the Executive Vice President with any questions you have. Contact Sonja Bean, firstname.lastname@example.org or 217.333.3077.