By Mary Moore
The University of Massachusetts on Wednesday announced $250,000 in grants to support nine arts and culture projects being led by UMass professors.
The initiatives range from a digital platform celebrating Massachusetts' natural beauty to the development of a business plan that would help boost the New Bedford Museum of Glass.
The grants come out of the President’s Creative Economy Initiatives Fund, which was created in 2007 and provides seed funding for faculty research and scholarship in the arts, humanities and social sciences, according to a press release issued by UMass. Since its inception, the fund has provided a total of $1.6 million in grants.
According to UMass, this year's winners are:
- Professor Paul Atwood - UMass Boston - The Tamziq Project seeks to bridge cultural divides and misperceptions through artistic expression - in painting, sculpture, literature, music and theater. Amount awarded: $28,500.
- Dean Philip DiSalvio - UMass Boston - During Chinese Culture Month, May 2013, UMass Boston's University College will be heavily involved in activities, including workshops in chinese calligraphy, traditional painting and dance, and the history of Boston's Chinatown. The events will culminate on June 1, 2013, when University College will partner with two schools in Chinatown to produce a day of performance and presentation. Amount awarded: $16,500.
- Professor Susan Gallagher - UMass Lowell - The Walden Climate-Change Collaborative will create a freely accessible digital platform that will provide location-based web pages on climate change that celebrate Massachusetts' natural beauty and its central place in environmental thought. Amount awarded: $28,000.
- Professor Michael Griffin and Matthew Roy - UMass Dartmouth - The Center for Civic Engagement and Charlton College of Business will strengthen and build the New Bedford Museum of Glass. Amount awarded: $29,100.
Ryan Harb - UMass Amherst; Professor Tara Rajaniemi - UMass Dartmouth - This grant will support local permaculture by providing educational workshops, hosting visiting groups, and creating demonstration permaculture gardens within their local communities and will help community groups establish their own working gardens with soil sample and plant selection services, plus follow-up advice on mature growth and harvesting strategies. Amount awarded: $45,000
- Professor David Lustick - UMass Lowell - The Cool Science Learning Campaign will use a multi-media platform to create a learning opportunity for the communities along two bus lines within the Lowell Regional Transit Authority. Amount awarded: $32,500.
- Professor Nicholas McBride - UMass Amherst - This project will bring students from Commerce High School in Springfield to UMass Amherst to learn reporting and writing from journalism faculty. Amount awarded: $25,000.
- Professors Thomas Stubblefield and Pamela Karimi - UMass Dartmouth - Through a three-pronged approach which integrates lectures, a public art exhibition, and a summary catalog, the project will illuminate the role of the creative sector in both the past glory and the future economic revitalization of Massachusetts gateway cities such as New Bedford. Amount awarded: $26,200.
- Professor John Wooding - UMass Lowell - Reinventing the City: Assessing Economic and Cultural Development Strategies in Lowell - this project will document how policies to promote the arts and culture were developed in Lowell, what institutions and actors played key roles in the adoption of this revitalization strategy, and how the dynamic of critical initiatives played out in the city's community and governance. Amount awarded: $28,500.