Taubman Faculty Team Awarded Arts Research Incubation & Acceleration Grant to Gamify Community Engagement

A team of Taubman College faculty members—Associate Professor of Architecture Jose Sanchez, Lecturers and ArcPrep Co-Directors Salam Rida and Torri Smith, and Lecturer and TVLab Manager Ishan Pal Singh—was awarded funding through the Arts Research: Incubation & Acceleration (ARIA) grant program in its first round of funding to support innovative projects that center the arts in research and creative practice.

The project, “Detroit at Play—Empowering Communities Through Collective Game Co-Creation,” involves designing video games that foster community engagement, specifically targeting Detroit high school students.

ARIA and the Creative Lab (C-lab) were formed and funded jointly between the Office of the Vice President for Research and the Arts Initiative.

“Detroit at Play” is among seven arts-centered research projects funded through ARIA from a competitive field of 29 submissions. C-lab selected seven projects for development.

The ARIA program awarded nearly $290,000 last month for the first round of its five-year initiative. The projects range in scope from Sanchez’s video game design, which fosters community engagement, to the construction of an art installation featuring wire sculptures that reflect on the complex emotions associated with caregiving.

The projects funded have planned exhibitions, performances, and community workshops in Berkeley, California; Detroit and Flint; Minneapolis, Minnesota; New York City; and Vancouver, British Columbia, among other sites.

“The unique partnership between the Arts Initiative and the Office of the Vice President for Research that produced ARIA underscores our strong commitment to advancing the profile of arts research and creative practice across our campuses,” said Geoffrey Thün, associate vice president for research-social sciences, humanities and the arts.

Read more in The University Record