2009 CE Fund Awards

Professor Arthur Kinney, UMass Amherst. "Youth and Shakespeare: Reconstructing the Connection." This project will provide a five-week intensive summer school program for eighth- and ninth-grade students, the majority of whom are either English Language Learners or minorities in underserved areas of Springfield and Holyoke. The students learn how to work with Shakespearean text and acting techniques in the course of rehearsing sonnets and scenes for performance before their peers and for selected other audiences. A pilot program was successfully launched last summer in Holyoke; this coming summer it will be repeated in Holyoke and will expand into the Renaissance School in Springfield, with plans for further expansion in Springfield in the coming years. Amount awarded: $19,000.

Professor Henry Renski, UMass Amherst. "Place Attachment and Entrepreneurship in the Massachusetts Economy."  The proposed project will investigate how investments in the arts, cultural assets, and other place-based assets influence the start-up and location choices of entrepreneurs in the knowledge economy.  Because talent is a highly sought-after, yet relatively scarce, resource, innovative businesses are increasingly choosing locations that enable them to attract and retain talent. The super-creative class, in turn, prefers to live and work in places that are rich in arts and cultural opportunities. Yet, entrepreneurs differ from other elements of the super-creative class in that the decision to start a new business is often influenced by their strong desire to remain in place. Therefore, a key issue in building a favorable entrepreneurial climate is to understand what types of regional assets encourage nascent entrepreneurs to start their businesses in place, rather than move in search of paid employment elsewhere.  Amount awarded:  $32,000.

Professor Pacey Foster,  UMass Boston.  "Electronic Gaming in Massachusetts: Baseline Study and Industry Analysis." Electronic gaming represents a $9 billion global industry that has experienced rapid growth over the last few years.  Between 2006 and 2007 total revenues in the electronic gaming industry increased 28% compared with negative growth in the music industry and a modest 1.8% growth in motion pictures.  In Massachusetts, these growth trends have generated speculation that Boston could become a hub of future production in this rapidly growing industry.  Yet, relatively little is known about how big the Massachusetts video game industry is, how (and how fast) it has grown, how it is organized and what resources it needs to continue growing.  This research will conduct a baseline study of the Massachusetts electronic gaming industry to investigate these issues.  Amount awarded:  $40,000.

Professors Joan Becker, UMass Boston, Robert Peck, UMass Dartmouth,David Turcotte, UMass Lowell. "Developing Green Jobs and Career Paths."  Under this three-campus collaborative project, UMass Boston's sustainability program-UMBe Green-and UMB's Academic Support Services will focus on basic capacity building that is missing in the K-12 and pre-collegiate communities in order to keep pace with both the academic environmental collegiate offerings at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and the sweeping changes ushering in the green technology industrial and jobs sectors.  Building on its earlier successful collaborations with the Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board, Bristol Community College, and local employers, labor unions, and community groups, the UMass Dartmouth Office of Campus and Community Sustainability is developing a Green Certification Training 'Pipeline' that will provide a coordinated set of trainings in green jobs from high school through post-baccalaureate offerings.   UML will focus on the Clean Energy cluster, including renewable sources of energy; conservation; energy efficiency; energy audits; consulting, and research on energy technology.  The proposed project will build upon UML work done to date and the Clean Energy Workforce Development Forum to develop suggested career ladders and associated education and training for various aspects of the clean energy sector. Amount awarded:  $45,000.

Professor Christa Kelleher, UMass Boston. "The Massachusetts Midwifery Workforce Profile Project." As a growing component of the healthcare workforce in Massachusetts, community and hospital-based midwives provide care to women across the life course with a particular focus on women's reproductive health.  This interdisciplinary, survey-based study, which expands the concept of the "creative economy" to include analysis of a unique labor market, seeks to remedy a documented knowledge gap by providing a profile of the midwifery workforce to Massachusetts legislators and agency officials, health industry leaders and providers, and other key stakeholders who are currently grappling with a number of pressing healthcare policy challenges.   Amount awarded:  $31,000.

Professor Grant O'Reilly, UMass Dartmouth. "Weaving the Rainbow: Pathways to Sciences." The Physics Department at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and the University Observatory, working with the Ocean Explorium in New Bedford, will launch a series of astronomy-themed events that will engage the citizens of the SouthCoast region and result in a long-term collaboration between the Ocean Explorium and the Physics Department.  This program will also encourage young learners to pursue educational and career choices in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.  Amount awarded:  $39,000.

Professor Robert Forrant, UMass Lowell.  "Readings with Paintings on Movable Walls."  This project joins together faculty and students from UMass Lowell's Department of Regional Economic and Social Development and Art Department with the Teen Arts group at one of Lowell's most important arts institutions, the Revolving Museum (RM), and with the city of Lowell's cultural arm, the Cultural Organization of Lowell (COOL).  The partners will create a series of five murals depicting this rich history and host a series of dramatic readings based on the letters and collected stories of immigrants from the arrival of the Irish in the early nineteenth century through recent arrivals from Ghana, Kenya, Burma, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.  The project also builds on an earlier public mural movement in Lowell, dating from the 1970s, when a series of murals was produced on the walls of numerous downtown buildings.  Amount awarded:  $36,000.

Professor Kay George Roberts, UMass Lowell.  "Lowell Youth Orchestra and New Concert Series."  This project is a partnership between UMass Lowell music students, the UML String Project, the Lowell Youth Orchestra (LYO), the New England Orchestra (NEO) and Eliot Church to create a bridge between the UML campus and the Lowell community.    The Lowell Youth Orchestra (LYO) will build on the success of the UML String Project, providing an outlet for young musicians interested in acquiring ensemble and performance experience. The LYO will become a training program for high school student musicians in the greater Lowell area and a recruitment tool for UMASS Lowell. Together with the UML String Project, it is an engine for developing and nurturing talent at all levels. Amount awarded:  $33,000.