Campus News

Arts research consortium to hold conference at UGA

More than 300 scholars and students from more than 40 institutions will visit the University of Georgia campus Nov. 1-3 for the annual national conference of the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities, or a2ru, held in conjunction with the Spotlight on the Arts festival.

Registration for the conference, which explores the theme of Arts Environments: Design, Resilience, and Sustainability, is closed, but the conference’s three plenary sessions and a closing event are free and open to the public. The full schedule is available at

a2ru is a partnership of more than 40 institutions committed to transforming research universities in order to ensure the greatest possible institutional support for interdisciplinary research, curricula, programs and creative practice between the arts, sciences and other disciplines. UGA’s membership in a2ru is made possible by the UGA Arts Council, the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, the Lamar Dodd School of Art, and the Office of Research through the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts.

“The University of Georgia is a national leader in interdisciplinary collaboration and arts integration,” said William H. Sherman, Lawrence Lewis Jr., professor of architecture at the University of Virginia and chair of the a2ru executive committee. “UGA’s hosting of the a2ru network provides a rich array of presentations at the forefront of arts-integrated research from across the nation. We look forward to a record number of performances and exhibits reflecting the rich artistic landscape of Athens and the University of Georgia.”

Among the conference plenary speakers will be the artist Rebecca Rutstein, the Willson Center’s 2018 Delta Visiting Chair for Global Understanding. Rutstein will take part in a discussion on “Expeditions, Experiments and the Ocean: Arts and Sciences at Sea” with oceanographic researcher Samantha Joye, Athletic Association Professor of Arts and Sciences in the UGA marine sciences department, and will have work on exhibit in the Georgia Museum of Art and the Lamar Dodd School of Art. Rutstein and Joye’s conversation will take place Nov. 2 at 9 a.m. in Mahler Hall of the UGA Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel. For full information on the Nov. 1 and Nov. 3 plenary sessions, visit

“The University of Georgia believes that the arts and sciences combine to provide a more vibrant view of our world, and we look forward to exploring the relationship with colleagues from across the nation during the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities national meeting,” said Russell Mumper, vice provost for academic affairs and chair of the UGA Arts Council. “This event is a perfect fit for our annual Spotlight on the Arts festival, which highlights our offerings in the visual, literary and performing arts for our campus and community and this year, for a national audience.”

Spotlight on the Arts will be held Nov. 1-11, and the full slate of events and exhibitions can be found at

The conference closing event at the Georgia Theatre in downtown Athens is an evening of performance and art curated by Moogfest with the theme “Human and the Machine,” featuring technologically innovative music, installations, and demonstrations. Tickets are free but limited, and may be reserved at Priority admission will be offered to registered conference attendees.

An audio/visual work by R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe, originally created for Moogfest in 2017 and never before shown in Athens, will be featured in the event. The piece, “Jeremy Dance,” combines Stipe’s original music and video of the late Athens artist Jeremy Ayers.

Performances will include Author & Punisher, the one-man industrial metal project of mechanical engineer Tristan Shone; Deantoni Parks, an American new wave/avant-garde/experimental drummer, songwriter, film director, actor and record producer; Lauren Sarah Hayes, a Scottish musician and sound artist who builds and performs with hybrid analog/digital instruments; and more.

The complete schedule is available at or at