The Mellon Research Project is currently in its third year of a three-year grant period. The project began in fall 2012, with the foundations for the program established in March 2011, when Theresa Reid, former Executive Director of ArtsEngine at The University of Michigan, convened the 2011 Michigan Meeting, a national task force of research university leaders to begin the investigation of partnerships between the arts and other academic disciplines.
From this grew the a2ru (Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities) consortium of now 31 RU/VH universities. The Mellon Research Project used the a2ru network as its main source for research participants. From this body of data, it will produce a guide for best practices in arts integration. It will identify models, obstacles, assessments, impacts, and methods of institutional valuation and support, as well as consider matters of funding, artistic practice, research, teaching, and student involvement in participating learning areas.
This report addresses topics of interest to the a2ru Curricular and Co-Curricular Committee based upon data collected during the first round (2012-2013) and the second round (2013-2014) of the project. The Mellon Research Project has identified exemplary instances of co-curricular programs that integrate arts engagement with students’ academic experience and provide meaningful contributions to students’ personal, academic, and social development through direct participation in and engagement with the arts.