VCUarts awards more than $25,000 in grants for faculty research

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts Interim Dean Nancy Scott has awarded $25,500 in grant funding for faculty research in the 2019–20 academic year. This year, the program provides $7,500 for exploratory grants, and $18,000 for research grants.

The Dean’s Faculty Exploratory Grant supports research at the developmental stage, allowing faculty to conduct new research, explore new media, or collaborate in experimental ways. Exploratory grants assist faculty in developing research that could lead to successful applications to additional grants or external funding opportunities. Likewise, the Dean’s Faculty Research Grant program supports the final stages of research for which venues for dissemination have been determined. Research grants are awarded for specific activities that have been invited or endorsed by peer review.

Exploratory Grant Awardees

Courtnie Wolfgang, Art Education, Assistant Professor, $3,000
To develop ‘Queering the Narrative,’ an oral history project documenting the educational experiences of LGBTQIA+ artists and arts educators.

Jonathan Molina-Garcia, Photo + Film, Assistant Professor, $4,500
To digitally recreate state and national border sites as 3D virtual landscapes using thousands of images shot with a drone, photogrammetry software, and Hollywood AI crowd simulation software.

Research Grant Awardees

Paul Thulin, Photo + Film, Assistant Professor, $7,000
To develop “Isla de Las Palmas,” a “docu-literary” multimedia exhibition, book, and community event examining Puerto Rican identity and humanitarian crisis within the layered sociopolitical
dynamics and systemic pressures of colonialism.

Cara Benedetto, Painting + Printmaking, Assistant Professor, $5,000
To develop the December 2020 exhibition “Language holds the image harmful” at Night Gallery, a show that will consist of 100 lithographs depicting the moon paired with notes or wishes in the form of texts and performances by teenagers who identify as femme.

Sinclair Emoghene, Dance + Choreography, Assistant Professor, $5,000
To create “Kaleidoscope of Tuts,” which follows the journey of two young gay men seeking protection in the U.S. after they leave Israel and Nigeria—countries where homosexuality is a criminal offense.

John Henry Blatter, Dean’s Office, Assistant Professor, $1,000
To develop a collaborative virtual reality project that pairs the Embodied Empathy team—led by John Henry Blatter and Jill Ware of VCUarts—with Courtney Holmes in the Department of Rehabilitation Counseling, and focuses on empathy, counselor education and research design.

Image still from Embodied Empathy project led by John Henry Blatter and Jill Ware of VCUarts.