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Arts Research

student with sketchbook in hospital

We believe that the arts can foster conversations across lines of difference, create shared experiences that bring people to a place of mutual understanding, inspire empathy and compassion, and lead to innovative collaborations that benefit us all.

As an arts and design school that operates within a Research I university, we maintain a special commitment to collaboration, research, excellence and creating for the public good. We foster programs and discoveries that confront real-world challenges through interdisciplinary arts research, such as using dance to address systems of racial oppression, building empathy in health practitioners towards ALS patients using VR, or utilizing sculptors to design better breast reconstructions.

Our community of artists, designers, performers and scholars recognizes our ability to catalyze transformational knowledge and become a source of new contributions to the institution and the world.

Research Initiatives

artists wearing scupa gear at i c a

The Arts Research and Innovation Office (ARI)

The ARI provides guidance to faculty, departments, programs, centers and institutes, in their pursuit of external funding for research, sponsored projects, and interdisciplinary collaborations. Services include project and research design, proposal writing consultation, budget design, partnership development, and funding source identification. The ARI also serves as an incubator for interdisciplinary research themes and potential School-based research institutes and centers.

Visit the the Arts Research and Innovation Office

student with sketchbook in hospital room

Arts and Health

The Arts and Health initiative is a pioneering new collaboration that connects VCUarts to the VCU School of Medicine and VCU Health to solve some of the most complex challenges in health care. From using actors portraying sick patients to practice empathy and communication, to creative expression that builds resiliency and prevents physician burnout, to the appointment of our VCUarts Physician-Scientist in Residence, we are harnessing the arts to create a better experience for patients.

students looking at artwork in seigel center

Arts and Athletics

This initiative was launched as a collaborative course that encourages students to explore the relationship between creative expression, athletic performance, mindfulness and well-being. Students who also are athletes engage their latent creative skills, and understand the relationship between the rigorous practice regimen of a devoted athlete and that of an artist.