2014 a2ru National Conference

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Edge Effects, the 2014 National Conference of the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities, was hosted at Iowa State University, November 5-8, 2014. The conference was an opportunity for faculty, deans, administrators, funders, leaders, and students from any discipline who engage in arts-integrative interdisciplinary efforts to convene and share ideas, best practices, research, creative work and networks. The a2ru annual conference provides space for the wide range of manifestations and points of view related to this work, and aims to coalesce our collective efforts to address the hard questions to which we are all subject:

  • How do we support breadth without sacrificing depth?


  • How do we successfully embed arts-integrative interdisciplinarity on the terms of the arts as they move from the periphery to the center?


  • What are the best sustainable models to build upon?


To address these and other pressing questions, Edge Effects featured breakout sessions, panels, and conversations led by colleagues at the forefront of this national movement, including:

Mariët Westermann, Vice President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Carlos Manjarrez, Director of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, IMLS
Sarah Bainter Cunningham, Executive Director of Research, School of the Arts, VCU
R. Benjamin Knapp, Director of the Institute for Creativity, Arts & Technology, Virginia Tech
JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, Director of the Allosphere Research Facility, California NanoSystems Institute, UCSB
Andy Schulz, Associate Dean for Research, College of Arts & Architecture, Penn State
Carmon Colangelo, Dean of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, WUSTL
Ian David Moss, Research Director of Fractured Atlas / Founder, Createquity
Dennie Palmer Wolf, Principal at WolfBrown, Community Arts Education
Erica Muhl, Dean of the Roski School of Art and Design, USC
Ben Cameron, Program Director for the Arts, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

The theme for the a2ru 2014 National Conference, Edge Effects, serves as an apt analogy for the great wealth of arts-integrative interdisciplinary research, curricula and creative practices in which a2ru partners engage. At these edges scholars and creators from the arts and other disciplines form unique relationships, make creative and scholarly adaptations and, in many cases, create new fields, knowledge and modes of creative expression.

The “edge effect” refers to the changes in population and diversity of species where habitats meet, compete and overlap. In these boundary spaces, or edges, ecologists often find greater numbers of species from both habitats, as well as greater biodiversity than found in either. The edge is where we find plants and animals from each habitat that form unique relationships, make adaptations and contribute to the emergence of new species.

Video recordings of select presentations from this conference are available at the Iowa State University digital repository.

View Repository