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Arts research consortium a2ru to hold 2018 conference at UGA

Athens, Ga. – The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru), a consortium of more than 40 research-intensive universities committed to advancing interdisciplinary, arts-oriented research, will hold its 2018 national conference at the University of Georgia Nov. 1-3. The conference theme is Arts Environments: Design, Resilience, and Sustainability. A call for proposals for conference presentations is open now through Apr. 6.

The call from a2ru is for panel, paper, performance, and working group proposals from “researchers, field leaders, and practitioners about arts-integrative research, practice, and curricula that explore the intersections, synergies, and interfaces between arts, environments, and their influence on design, resilience, and sustainability.” For full information on submissions, visit http://a2ru.org.

“The University of Georgia is looking forward to welcoming scholars and practitioners from across the nation for an exploration of the arts and their relationship with the environment,” said Russell Mumper, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and chair of the UGA Arts Council. “The conference coincides with our annual Spotlight on the Arts festival, which showcases the performing, literary and visual arts at UGA and provides yet another reason to visit Athens.” Spotlight on the Arts will be held Nov. 1-11.

UGA was selected to host the conference in part for its close integration with the city of Athens, an international destination for the arts and creative culture that is particularly renowned for its diverse and adventurous music and food scenes. A variety of resources for visitors to Athens is available at http://visitathensga.com.

“The University of Georgia is a natural fit and ideal backdrop for a2ru’s 2018 national meeting,” said Laurie Baefsky, executive director of a2ru. “Located in the heart of Athens, UGA’s long history is embedded in a shared and complicated civic and academically informed narrative. Athens – home to R.E.M, The B-52’s, and generations of other groundbreaking artists – is also one of the hippest music destinations in higher ed. We’re excited to be working closely with our partners at UGA to push the envelope on next-step conversations, practice, and civic scholarship towards sustainable and poetic ecologies and futures."

The conference theme “offers an opportunity to think broadly about the ecology of the arts and their environments, in terms of performance, design, and engineering,” according to a2ru.

"This is an extraordinary opportunity for faculty and students to come together and explore interdisciplinary approaches to complex topics and intractable problems,” said Isabelle Loring Wallace, associate professor of contemporary art in the Lamar Dodd School of Art and associate academic director for arts and a2ru at the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts. “This year’s conference will allow UGA to showcase the university’s ongoing research in sustainability and place making, while at the same time benefitting from conversations with faculty at other institutions who are similarly engaged.” 

A Willson Center Faculty Research Cluster serves as the university’s point of connection to a2ru. Along with the Willson Center, UGA’s membership is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Arts Council, the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, the Lamar Dodd School of Art, and the Office of Research.