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Grants and fellowships

Detail of New Bedford Mural 2021

The CVPA Office for Community Engagement Initiatives offers a number of CVPA-sponsored and collaborative fellowships and grants for students, faculty, and staff. These programs are administered in consultation with the CVPA Community-Engagement Initiatives Affinity Group and the Dean’s Office. Deadlines and details about these opportunities are announced to the CVPA community periodically throughout the academic year.

Social Justice Focused Artist in Residence with Labor Education Center

The UMass Dartmouth Labor Education Center (LEC) will host an Artist in Residence (AIR) for the Spring 2022 semester. The LEC, based in New Bedford a short walk from the Star Store, is currently accepting applications from CVPA students who are interested in labor struggles, social justice, and community-engaged art at the intersections of art and activism/organizing. The AIR will receive a stipend of $1000 for sustained engagement with a labor issue or community group. The AIR will meet regularly with an LEC mentor during the spring semester, developing an independent work plan with an artistic outcome.

The AIR residency is open to CVPA undergraduate and graduate student applicants. This is a terrific opportunity to learn more about how to work with community groups as a leader, and to use art and design for social good in a professional capacity. The LEC has a long history of working collaboratively with arts and culture producers. For more information about the Labor Education Center go to:

MFA Fellowship In Community Engagement

The Graduate Fellowship in Community Engagement is a year-long fellowship for a CVPA graduate student in their second year of study who has exhibited dedicated commitment to community-engaged activities and wishes to develop community-engaged art programs or other public practices of art. This competitive fellowship will be awarded to one student who will work under the supervision of the Director of Community Engagement Initiatives for a full academic year. The application should include a clear proposal for a community-engaged practice with a timeline, budget, and other information that demonstrates the feasibility of the proposed plan, including its benefit and desirability as a community-engaged project. The proposal can be related to thesis work in public practice. Students’ advisors should write letters of recommendation. The applications will be vetted by the Graduate Program Director, Director of Community Engagement Initiatives, and other staff and faculty with expertise in these areas.

Participatory art at the campus quad by the internationally celebrated guest artist Negar Farajiani. The project was funded by a generous grant from the Provost Office and CVPA's Art Education, Art History, and Media Studies  Department.

Participatory art at the campus quad by the internationally celebrated guest artist Negar Farajiani. The project was funded by a generous grant from the Provost Office and CVPA's Art Education, Art History, and Media Studies Department. 

Community-Engagement Curriculum Enhancement Microgrants

These funds are intended offset expenses of materials, labor, or other costs related to developing class sessions with community-engagement activities.

The first round of funding (fall 2021) was awarded to the following projects:

  • Lara Henderson, Graphic Design
    Proposal to support 2D Form and Surface in designing electrical boxes for downtown New Bedford. The fund will support materials related to project development. The project is being done with New Bedford Creative.
  • Rebecca Hutchinson, Ceramics
    Proposal to support AXD231 in producing bowls to be donated and auctioned in support of The Neediest Family Fund and in awareness-raising of local hunger. The funds will support materials and honoraria as needed for a speaker from the Neediest Family Fund project.
  • Pamela Karimi, Art History
    Proposal to support ARH357/IAD306 in offering architectural tours of New Bedford that are open to the campus community. The funds will support a tour led by the New Bedford Preservation Society, open to the public.

The second round of funding (spring 2022) was awarded to the following projects:

  • Rose Mary Botti-Salitsky’s microgrant supports IAD302 in a collaboration on evaluating and proposing solutions for restorative health with UMassD Community Nursing and Southcoast Hospital. The work will be displayed in a poster exhibition at South Coast Charlton Hospital during Nurses Week in May.
  • Gabo Camnitzer’s microgrant supports AXD217 in a collaboration on a program/series of events in April at FRMoCA in Fall River. These activities will be announced.
  • Stacy Savage’s microgrant supports AXD454 in its campus-community-facing Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition and related events. The class will create sculpture that brings “comfort and new perspective to our [campus] community” with colorful, interactive “nests” that can be entered by small groups. 

The Third round of funding (fall 2022) was awarded to the following projects:

  • William Riley’s microgrant supports the community-engaged music series that has run for over 20 years straight, with an outstanding roster of guest performers. Each Art Music concert happens on Thursdays from 12:30-1:45p. It's presented for an audience that includes all music majors and minors, and anyone in the university or local community that would like to attend. The series has been filmed for presentation on Dartmouth Access TV on several occasions. The series has also partnered with other departments and University Centers (Indic Studies, Center for Portuguese Studies, etc.) to present culturally diverse performances, in addition to more Western-centric Classical and Jazz performances.
  • Suzanne Schireson’s microgrant supports “Graduate Open Studios at Star Store.” Replacing what is traditionally referred to as Walk-Throughs, the Open Studios will enhance the visibility of the MFA program. This grant will allow our graduate program to create an inviting Open Studio event that is livelier and more informative. It will encourage networking and feedback for graduate students. With CEI’s support, engagement with downtown New Bedford will be amplified. The initiative will also invite the University community through marketing, on-site refreshments, and additional hands-on activities. 
  • Lara Henderson's microgrant supports a public art project in New Bedford. All foundations students taking FOU 120 will engage with the city of New Bedford and its history to create a public art project. Each student will propose a design project and a committee will select two winning designs to be delivered over the summer of 2023. The funds will be used for purchasing paint and other necessary equipment.

The Fourth round of funding (spring 2023) was awarded to the following projects:

  • Walker Downey’s microgrant supports a collaborative guest lecture by sound artists John Driscoll (b. 1947) and Phil Edelstein (b. 1950) in his Spring 2023 seminar Sound Recording and Audio Editing for Film, Media, and the Arts. Driscoll and Edelstein worked closely with the celebrated electronic musician David Tudor (1926–1996) during the last several decades of his life, collaborating with him on his groundbreaking sound installation Rainforest, now regarded as a pivotal early work of “sound art.” Driscoll and Edelstein are themselves both accomplished creators who have worked to develop a new artistic language for sound engaged with resonance and reverberation in architectural space. Driscoll and Edelstein will discuss their practices with Downey’s students and help them to understand how sound can be thought of as a physical material and rich artistic medium. These talks are envisioned to take place in conjunction with an exhibition of sound arts by Downey’s students at the New Bedford Art Museum.

  • Aleta Deyo’s microgrant supports her course Fashion Design, Sophomore Studio and its collaboration with Dartmouth Community Center. The Dartmouth Cultural Center has invited Deyo’s class to collaborate and present in their gallery on April 14, 2023. They have designed a project for the students where they will research the time period when the Center's building was built (1889) and create garments inspired by that research. Students in Deyo’s class will be setting up their research, illustrations & garments on April 13 and present at a reception on the 14th, with a raffle giveaway for 2 tickets to the CVPA fashion show. The DCC is in a historic building in Padanaram, South Dartmouth, which will attract a lot of new faces to the event, ultimately spreading awareness of CVPA’s new fashion design concentration.

  • Jess Z Worby’s microgrant supports his initiative, the Professional Illustration Speaker Series. Through the Illustration senior thesis course, Portfolio & the Profession, Worby invites professional illustrators and art directors to speak to the students about their work and how they navigate the industry. These presentations are open to all Illustration students as well as interested students and faculty in other programs. CVPA community partners will be also invited to join the presentations.    

Other Opportunities

An annual Art & Civic Engagement Award is run through CVPA and the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement. Applications are due in April of each year. More information

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