2015 CE Fund Awards

UMass Amherst

Max Page and Joseph Krupczynski, Department of Architecture, “Making Places Matter:  Arts, Culture and Community in Holyoke, Massachusetts.”  The goal of this project is to create public, “pop-up” art in three of the most important revitalization sites in Holyoke.  This proposal is strongly endorsed by a UMass internal review panel consisting of Associate Deans Jennifer Lundquist (SBS), Rex Wallace (HFA) and Rick Taupier (Research Development).  Amount awarded:  $27,500.

Tanya Fernando, English, Susan Jahoda, Art, and Gilbert McCauley, Theater, “The Arts and Politics Project”.  This initiative will develop workshops for two multi-disciplinary performance pieces that should engage Five College and community participants from Holyoke and Springfield in cultural dialogue about equality, diversity and race.  This project is also strongly endorsed by the UMass Associate Deans advisory committee which feels “it has significant long-term potential to link regional cultural institutions with community groups from two important cities in western Massachusetts.”  Amount awarded:  $24,000.

UMass Boston

Cedric Woods, Institute for New England Native American Studies, “Circles of Care and Native Crafts:  A Culturally Focused Intervention Addressing Violence Against Native American Women”.  Violence against Native American women is a pervasive national public health epidemic.  Through instruction in native crafts, counselling and referral and entrepreneurship training, this innovative project will use the arts to address a pressing problem for Native American communities in Massachusetts.  Amount awarded:  $35,000

Thomas T. Kane, Director, William Joiner Institute, “From Boston to Baghdad:  Healing the Wounds of War through Art, Theater, and Community Engagement”.    The Joiner Institute is dedicated to reconciliation and recovery for American and foreign combatants in recent American wars.  This project will bring Iraqi and American academics together in cross-cultural literary, musical and artistic initiatives to promote understanding, recovery and reconciliation.  Amount Awarded:  $ 14,500.

UMass Dartmouth

Dr. Caitlin Stover, College of Nursing, Professors Margaret Drew and Jason Potter Burda, College of Law, “Building Community Capacity for HIV-Positive Individuals in Southcoast, Massachusetts: A Pathway to an Interdisciplinary Academic-Community Partnership.”   The project goal is to build the community capacity of New Bedford and Fall River to address the culturally distinct needs of that community’s HIV-positive individuals.  Primary objectives of this project are to: (1) establish multi-disciplined community partnerships to reduce physical, social, healthcare, and legal barriers for HIV-positive individuals living in New Bedford and Fall River; and (2) contribute to the workforce development of Community Health Workers in the Southcoast region.  Amount awarded:  $32,000.

Rachel Kulick and Isabel Feo Rodriquez, Sociology, and colleagues from English, Political Science and the Charlton School of Business, “UMass Dartmouth Grows—South Coast Permaculture Incubator for Food Justice.”  Working with multiple established community partners, this project seeks to build and model a permaculture food system by revitalizing the UMass Dartmouth garden, reclaiming the rural and agricultural tradition of the University, and forging a stronger relationship between the University’s garden and the larger regional community in order to promote local production and distribution of affordable, healthy, organic food.   Amount awarded:  $38,750.

UMass Lowell

Robert Forrant, History Department, “Re-envisioning Lawrence, MA:  Youth Interpret Historic Sites and Create Community.”  The proposed project, based in Lawrence at the Lawrence History Center, is collaboration between UMass Lowell, the Lawrence History Center, and Andover Bread Loaf, an outreach program of Phillips Academy.   For a three week intensive period, 25-30 students in grades 5 - 7 from the Lawrence, MA schools will gather 5 days/week from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm to gain an introduction to the history of Lawrence and actively engage in writing workshops, hear guest speakers, and experience field trips to area cultural exhibits and institutions.  The primary focus will be on producing student writing that will enhance programming for the ‘Urban Waters Revolution in the Immigrant City’ project.  This project, and the one that follows immediately below by Sarah Kuhn et al are strongly endorsed by the UMass Lowell campus as being innovative, having high levels of engagement with community partners and situated to have strong community impact.  Amount awarded:  $20,000.

Sarah Kuhn, Psychology, and colleagues from Engineering, Mathematics, and UTeach, “Lowell Tex:  Embracing Lowell’s Cultural, Historical and Educational Assets to Create Pathways to STEM.”  This highly innovative project will use the fiber arts to teach STEM concepts.  Lowell Tex will benefit the greater Lowell community in several ways:  1) by creating opportunities for fiber artists to teach STEM concepts, opening up an additional source of income for those artists in a better-funded domain; 2) by enhancing the visibility and perceived value of the fiber arts; and 3) by examining a potential new approach to reducing math anxiety, prevalent among artists as well as the general public.  Lowell Tex will also raise public awareness about the potential importance of the arts in STEM, often called “STEM to STEAM” (for Arts integration in STEM).  Amount awarded:  $34,500.

Professor John Wooding, Political Science, and many others, with multiple community partners, “Lowell Earth Day Celebration 2016: Organizing a city-wide, month long celebration of the arts, nature and sustainability.”   This project seeks to build on efforts already underway in Lowell for Earth Day 2015 to create an April 2016 month-long calendar of events, support the planned Earth Day festival and parade, and serve as a model to other UMass campuses for cross-departmental as well as community engagement in promoting social and cultural events.  Project leaders seek to institutionalize this event as a large annual commitment to informing and educating the public around environmental issues and the problems and consequences of climate change.  Amount awarded:  $30,000.