The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange



Application deadline: Monday, November 15

The UC Institute for Research in the Arts, the UCSB Interdisciplinary Humanities Center and the UCSB Arts Research Initiative are pleased to announce a competition for research and educational projects that engage Isla Vista as a site of investigation and a laboratory for new research and teaching.

The Isla Vista Research and Teaching Initiative will support research projects and course proposals from UCSB faculty in the arts, humanities, and the humanistic social sciences. Joint proposals by two or more faculty members from different disciplines are welcome, as are proposals by UCSB lecturers. Graduate students may be included on a project team, but the lead PI on the project must be a UCSB faculty member.

Award amounts will range from $1,000 to $5,000 and must be used to support the proposed research or teaching initiative. Awards will be made for projects beginning as early as Spring 2011 and as late as Winter 2012.

We are particularly interested in receiving proposals for projects that:

* engage timely and relevant research questions
* address a community condition, need or problem
* provide new and important information that can promote new research opportunities or civic action
* make use of Isla Vista’s unique location and demographic
* foster new relationships or partnerships with Isla Vista organizations/agencies in innovative and productive ways that advance both university and community interests

Projects that involve local community partners in IV should have a letter of commitment and support from the partner included in the application materials.

Application Process:

Awards will be made for projects beginning as early as Spring 2011 and as late as Winter 2012.

Applications should consist of a two-page project description, a budget, cv of the principal investigator(s), and any supporting letters from community partners. Proposals for research projects should include a bibliography; course proposals should include a model syllabus.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Monday, November 15, 5:00 PM in the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, 6046 HSSB.

Potential Community Partners:

Applicants may want to contact organizations in the Isla Vista community for possible collaboration and consultation. Possible examples include:

* Isla Vista Community Network
* Isla Vista Elementary School
* Isla Vista Food Coop
* Isla Vista Project Area Committee
* Isla Vista Parks and Recreation Department
* Isla Vista Recreation Program
* Isla Vista Neighborhood Clinic
* Isla Vista Teen Center
* Isla Vista Youth Project
* Santa Barbara Student Housing Co-op
* Santa Barbara County Redevelopment Agency
* Santa Barbara County Sheriff / I.V. Foot Patrol
* St. Brigid Fellowship Homeless Outreach

Examples of Past Isla Vista-specific Research and Teaching Projects:

* A performance studies research project on IV Halloween as street theatre (2007)

* The Urban Planning Renewal Study: students in History of Art and Architecture conducted an urban planning study and set of recommendations for community development (2005)

* storefront renovation and community gallery: spatial arts students utilized their art and design skills to enhance a local business (2008)

* The IV Street Banner Project: a multi-disciplinary team of students designed a visual banner campaign for IV’s business corridor (2009)

* Community Mapping Project: Art and Geography students and community members are documenting and contributing their data to an open street map for on-line and off-line reference (2010-11)

* Public Street as Performance: faculty and students in Dance are developing hip-hop street choreography in collaboration with IV youth (2010-11)

Background: Isla Vista as a Setting for New Research and Teaching

UCSB’s significant role in shaping the 50-year development history of IV has been crucial to the town’s current identity. With a population of 20,000 living in a two square-mile space, IV is among the most densely-populated areas in the US west of the Mississippi. Its student-dominated population, with a median age of 21 years, contributes a youthful demographic twist to the community. Over time, Isla Vista has developed as a suburb with a public life that is equally as dynamic as most urban university towns.

Isla Vista’s non-owner rental base leaves the narrative of this town to be determined by its four-year transitory student population. IV’s unincorporated status and limited self-governance has made it vulnerable to the impact of UCSB’s expansion on housing, resources and livability, creating questions surrounding IV’s economic and social sustainability as an independent community. UCSB administration leaders, students, and local community members have worked in a variety of different ways to encourage IV’s development as an intellectual enclave and a healthy, productive environment for student life.

Most recently, faculty-student driven initiatives at UCSB have begun to engage Isla Vista as a new laboratory for teaching and research in order to explore and pilot opportunities for cultural programming that invest in Isla Vista’s development. These off-site community experiments have helped to transform the local setting into a fertile laboratory for hands-on research, serving as a unique environment for faculty and student engagement.

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