Campus News

UGA to host national a2ru meeting in November

The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities, or a2ru, a consortium of more than 40 research-intensive universities committed to advancing interdisciplinary, arts-oriented research, will hold its 2018 national conference at UGA  Nov. 1-3.

The conference theme is Arts Environments: Design, Resilience and Sustainability. A call for proposals for conference presentations is open now through April 6.

The call from a2ru is for panel, paper, performance and working group proposals from “researchers, field leaders and practitioners about arts-integrative research, practice and curricula that explore the intersections, synergies and interfaces between arts, environments and their influence on design, resilience and sustainability.” For information, visit

“The University of Georgia is looking forward to welcoming scholars and practitioners from across the nation for an exploration of the arts and their relationship with the environment,” said Russell Mumper, vice provost for academic affairs and chair of the UGA Arts Council. “The conference coincides with our annual Spotlight on the Arts festival, which showcases the performing, literary and visual arts at UGA and provides yet another reason to visit Athens.”

Spotlight on the Arts is Nov. 1-11.

UGA was selected to host the conference in part for its close integration with the city of Athens, an international destination for the arts and creative culture that is particularly renowned for its diverse and adventurous music and food scenes.

“The University of Georgia is a natural fit and ideal backdrop for a2ru’s 2018 national meeting,” said Laurie Baefsky, executive director of a2ru. “Located in the heart of Athens, UGA has a long history with the city that is embedded in a shared and complicated civic and ­academically informed narrative. Home to R.E.M, The B-52s and generations of other groundbreaking artists, Athens also is one of the hippest music destinations in higher ed.”

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for faculty and students to explore interdisciplinary approaches to complex topics and intractable problems,” said Isabelle Loring Wallace, associate professor of contemporary art in the Lamar Dodd School of Art and associate academic director for arts and a2ru at the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts. “This year’s conference will allow UGA to showcase the university’s ongoing research in sustainability and place making, while at the same time benefiting from conversations with faculty at other institutions who are similarly engaged.”

A Willson Center Faculty Research Cluster serves as the university’s point of connection to a2ru. Along with the Willson Center, UGA’s membership is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Arts Council, the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, the Lamar Dodd School of Art and the Office of Research.