PROVIDENCE — Providence College (PC) announced today that Eric Sung, Dr. Tuba Agartan, and Dr. Nicholas Longo are the recipients of the College’s first National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) research grant. The funding, in the amount of $15,000, is for the project titled Arts for Community Portals: Stories Re-Imagining the Future. The NEA requires matching funds, which were generously provided by the College’s School of Arts and Sciences.
The grant monies will be used to conduct an ethnographic study of arts and cultural responses during different stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also showcase interdisciplinary research collaboration across three departments and two schools.
This action research project focuses on stories of art and cultural response during the different stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. Specifically, the team of faculty, students, and community-based artists will capture “community portals” through photography, interviews, and storytelling. The project will culminate with community-based exhibitions, public dialogues, and a public report focused on: How can art and cultural work help us make sense of our experiences today and re-imagine the future? The team aims to utilize dialogical and creative methods in order to collaboratively develop artistic products and civic spaces that produce an ethnographic portrait that demonstrates the power and resiliency of community.
“The power of art and creativity are desperately needed for us more than ever before to heal and re-imagine the future,” said Eric Sung, Providence College professor of photography and lead on the project. “This is an urgent matter of sustainability, and I am grateful to have support from the National Endowment for the Arts for us to pursue our project. We aim that our work will create commons for people to express, articulate, reflect, and learn from one another.”
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support this project from Providence College, one of only 18 Research Grants in the Arts projects funded in this fiscal year,” said Director of Research & Analysis Sunil Iyengar. “As demonstrated by PC’s project and the other 17 awardees, the arts can be source of resilience, well-being, social connectedness, and experiential learning. These skills and attributes have become increasingly sought-after in our challenging times.”
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America.
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