Research Synthesis Leadership Workshop
May 11 - 12, 2017
On May 11-12th, 2017, a2ru held a two-day research synthesis workshop to build the insights and next-steps needed to advance a national research agenda with arts and design at the core. The synthesis workshop focused on four important areas of concern for the a2ru alliance: describing and assessing the impacts of arts integrative activities, engaging and amplifying the work of a2ru alliance partners, describing and facilitating collaborative work, and defining and supporting creative placemaking efforts from within higher education. Participants from thirteen alliance partners joined a2ru staff on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to take on these concerns, share their insights, and plot next steps.
Among the many outcomes, one of the staff’s most important takeaways is that a2ru’s efforts at knowledge synthesis and dissemination are most successful when they stem from facilitated, process-and-outcomes-driven experiences for a2ru’s partners and participants. a2ru has sought to define our role in advancing research at the national level and supporting a2ru’s partners and the alliance.
What we’ve learned is that a2ru unifies arts-integrative efforts through:
- Researching best practices for arts-integrative research, curricula, and creative practice in research universities
- Providing venues for presentation, leadership and faculty networking, and dissemination of research and creative scholarship
- Advocating for and promoting arts and design practices as core sources of knowledge production applicable to all disciplines
Moreover, a2ru challenges institutional barriers to arts-integrative research, curricula and practice by:
- Conducting research to inform public conversation and influence relevant policy
- Supporting academic leadership at partner institutions through consultation on the structural and organizational dynamics required to launch and/or sustain innovative arts-integrative efforts, sharing of best practices, and connecting institutions across its national network
Towards that goal and over the course of the two-days, workshop participants reframed the issues, proposed approaches, and synthesized diverse concerns into a series of coherent next-steps that will advance the research agendas of the a2ru alliance and its constituent partners.