In the past 10 years, the New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities program has awarded more than 750 grants to more than 450 faculty members.
The New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities program has awarded more than $9.4 million .
In the Bicentennial Strategic Plan for IU, IU President Michael McRobbie included a five-year, $5 million investment in the New Frontiers program. Along with the new investment, 25 new grants across five campuses were announced to IU faculty during 2014-15.
The New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities grants were given out during the winter of 2015 for faculty to use during the fall of 2015.
A recipient of one of the New Frontiers of Creativity and Scholarship grant was IU-Bloomington’s Heather Blair, associate professor of religious studies, for “The Gods Make You Giggle: Finding Religion in Japanese Picture Books.”
“It’s a new research trajectory for me, and it’s also an area in which there is really no other research being done,” Blair said. “So I thought that that would be an appropriate project for the program.”
The process of applying for the New Frontiers grants includes written proposals, proposed budgets and support by department chairs and two other scholars.
After that process, a reviewing committee looks at each proposal and then announces the recipients.
In her proposed budget, Blair included plans for a research trip to Tokyo during the summer of 2015.
“Because I got the grant, I was able to carry that out,” Blair said. “That was crucial to advancing my research project.”
Because the New Frontiers program is a seed-funding program, it provides faculty with grants to begin their research.
“As a researcher, that’s really important,” Blair said. “In general, it’s easier to get grant money at that stage, when you’re finishing. It’s harder to get grant funding when you’re just beginning. I think that’s really the important gap that the program fills.”
Another recipient of a 2014-15 New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities program grant was Andrew Hopson, associate professor in sound design, for “Using Motion Tracking to Control Audio Playback.”
His work includes using an Xbox Kinect to transmit movement into sound effects or music.
His current programming allows individuals to use different movements of their arms and legs to create sounds such as a drum set or a comedic performance.
Hopson said his end goal was to use this technology and combine it with performance so performers can cue their own sound effects or music.
Hopson has collaborated with numerous other artists, including the dance faculty at IU-Bloomington, to work on pairing his technology with actors and dancers on stage.
“(The grant) gives me a chance to work with some interesting artists, which is always a good time,” Hopson said.
Hopson said the New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities program is important for artists because it is specifically designed for artistic endeavors that are outside of a normal field of expertise, and artists constantly try to expand horizons.
“It’s a good way to keep arts in the public eye because the end result of all this work will be performances,” Hopson said.