Our Mission

The Arts Research Institute (ARI) frames artistic practice as research, encouraging intellectual inquiry in and through the creative fields. Specifically, we aim to:

Support faculty with research development, to refine original concepts, incorporate rigorous research design, identify fitting funding opportunities, and prepare compelling proposals to further their creative work and scholarship

Foster interdisciplinary collaboration, to explore new directions in creative practice and the unique contributions of art and design towards generating new knowledge in other fields, including health, education, and human and community development

Facilitate public dialogue by organizing and participating in local, national, and international discussions exploring the evolving role of artists and designers in society


Our Work

Technical Assistance

ARI offers a range of services to faculty, and when appropriate, individuals and entities beyond VCU. This includes but is not limited to the following:

Project design – assisting with basic planned activities to meet standards of excellence expected by a funding entity

Research design – assisting with research methodologies across media, as well as implementation, documentation and reporting

Partnership development – identifying, pursuing and engaging appropriate partners to support, implement or validate a project

Fiscal development – building complex project budgets and shepherding the internal review process for proposal submission

Dissemination and promotion – identifying appropriate venues and platforms for disseminating and promoting artists’ research and creative scholarship

Research consulting – conducting in-house, issues-based research to inform policy


ARI Research Fellowship – This fellowship provides selected VCUarts faculty with time to develop research projects through course releases for the academic year.  The fellowship offers personal research development planning and support to help further the faculty member’s creative work and scholarship.  Activation of the ARI gallery space as an experimental environment for their own research, collaborations, or for presenting new works-in-progress is encouraged.

VCU iCubed Racial Equity, Arts and Culture – The Racial Equity, Arts and Culture Transdisciplinary Core fosters critical dialogue about and develops mechanisms for advancing the fair treatment of people of all races in and through arts and culture.  The team’s work includes fairness in opportunities (e.g. educational, financial, professional, etc.) among artists and cultural producers and organizations, and fairness in opportunities for the public to engage in arts and cultural activities that they have reason to value and/or that has potential to create social change.

VCUarts at Tate Exchange – Tate Exchange (UK) is an annual experimental program and space to collaborate, test ideas and discover new perspectives on life through art.  With collaboration and engagement at its core, the program boasts a growing pool of international Associates that respond to changing themes through creative projects, each of which takes place over a one-week period between January and July.

VCUarts American Academy in Rome Affiliated Fellowship – This program includes research reassignment, travel costs, and residency and studio fees for 4-6 week residencies at the American Academy in Rome, for faculty whose research interests my benefit from concentrated work in association with Academy Fellows.


Our Partners