The University Record, May 8, 2000

13 receive Arts of Citizenship grants

From the Arts of Citizenship Program

The Arts of Citizenship Program (AoC) has announced the recipients of its second round of faculty grants for public and community-based scholarly work in the arts and humanities.

“I am excited by the range and creativity of the proposals we received,” says David Scobey, associate professor of architecture and AoC director. “There were 27 applications from faculty representing eight schools, colleges and other units on the Ann Arbor campus, as well as from U-M-Dearborn and U-M-Flint. Many faculty are pursuing research, teaching and creative projects in ways that seek to enrich civic and community life.”

The AoC grants are designed to foster projects that explore culture in publicly accessible ways or that encourage innovative teaching and research in collaboration with community partners. Funds for three annual rounds of grants have been provided by the Office of the Vice President for Research and LS&A. Additional funding for this year’s grants was provided by the Office of the Provost and the School of Art and Design.

“The diversity of disciplines and formats in these projects is astonishing,” Scobey notes. “We see social scientists including art education in their research, humanists using new media, artists reaching out to underserved constituencies. The end products of these grants will include exhibits, films, Web sites, school and university curricula, and collaborative research. Geographically, the work connects the University with communities all around the state, with particular emphasis on Detroit, which will be celebrating the 300th anniversary of its founding in 2001.”

The grant recipients are:

Michael Sevick, adjunct lecturer, visual arts, U-M-Flint, is organizing the painting of what may be the world’s longest mural, depicting Flint and Genesee County historical events on the wall of Flint’s Riverbank Park. U-M-Flint art students will sketch the outlines, which will be filled in by hundreds of community volunteers July 3–4.

Lorraine Gutiérrez, associate professor of social work and of psychology, is working with a southwest Detroit elementary school and community groups in Leadership Instructing Neighborhood Kids (LINKS). The project will develop an “Arts Ready to Go” manual integrating after-school arts activities into the curriculum.

Carina Yervasi, assistant professor of French, will collaborate with the Program in Film and Video Studies and the Ann Arbor Film Festival to offer area high school students a six-week hands-on workshop with a visiting filmmaker. The students’ own 16mm films will be screened for school and community audiences at the Michigan Theater.

Claude Jacobs, assistant professor of behavioral sciences, and William McNeece, adjunct lecturer in behavioral sciences, both from U-M-Dearborn, will help their students produce a written and photographic guide to world religions in Detroit, as part of the national Harvard Pluralism Project.

Edward West, associate professor of art, is organizing cross-disciplinary presentations and exhibitions to examine changing definitions of citizenship in post-apartheid South Africa through creative endeavors that include fine art photography, drawing, video and poetry.

Patricia S. Whitesell, curator, U-M Detroit Observatory; James J. Duderstadt, president emeritus and University Professor of Science and Engineering; and Amy J. Warner, associate professor of information, will construct a virtual museum Web site for the recently restored 1854 Observatory.

Sadashi Inuzuka, assistant professor of art, will introduce U-M students to methods of teaching art to the blind and the visually impaired, using the medium of clay. The project, which will involve children and adults in educational institutions around Michigan, will culminate with an exhibition.

Gregory B. Markus, professor of political science, is developing “Radical ART-iculation of People,” a workshop that will explore social and political issues through artistic expression in music, poetry, photography and other media. His team will work with high school students at Ann Arbor’s Neutral Zone.

Kathryn Brackett Luchs, adjunct lecturer in art, will work on a documentary video about experimental art and artists from Detroit’s Cass Corridor, drawing on interviews and footage that she initially shot during the 1970s and 1980s.

Barry Checkoway, professor of social work and of urban planning and director, Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning, is undertaking a social-history collaboration with the Southwest Detroit Business Association. U-M students will conduct oral history interviews and document historic places in southwest Detroit.

The mission of AoC is to build bridges between the University and the larger community in the arts and humanities. An outgrowth of the Year of Humanities and Arts, YoHA, 1997–98), AoC coordinates a variety of programs:

  • Community partnerships in which U-M faculty and students work with schools, cultural institutions, public agencies and citizen groups.

  • Forums and visits by distinguished artists, intellectuals and cultural advocates.

  • Experimental teaching that mixes rigorous study with practical projects.

  • Support of innovative research and creative work for both academic and public audiences.

    For more information, call (734) 615-0609, send e-mail to scobey@umich.edu or visit the Web at www.artsofcitizenship.umich.edu/.