Tuesday, June 16, 2020

by Mariane Gutierrez

In the 2019-2020 academic year, the Fine Arts Diversity Committee approved funding for several student projects as part of its Student Project Grants program. The FADC’s Student Project Grants provide funding for creative projects that support the inclusion and diversity goals of the college. While the committee approved funding for 10 projects, six of those projects were put on hold after UT transitioned to a remote learning model in the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2015 the FADC launched the Guest Artist Initiative, funded through dedicated funds from the Provost’s office, to encourage cross-college collaboration on diversity and inclusion through sponsorship of distinguished visitors to the UT campus and College of Fine Arts. In 2017, the committee expanded the program and opened funding up to student proposals as well.

Learn more about the student projects that received funding from the FADC this past year:

  • Kendra S. Wiley, a graduate student in the Department of Theatre and Dance, received funding for her project “ERROR 404: Gender Not Found.” The dance aimed to employ humor and narrative that was easy to understand for all individuals, including those outside of the non-binary dance communities. With the grant, Wiley was able to present the non-binary dance project to non-binary audiences within the UT community. 

Kendra S. Wiley's ERROR 404: Gender Not Found. Photo by Bill Rios

  • Jonathan Villela, a graduate student at the Butler School of Music, received funding for “Migration.” This project dealt with the topic of immigration and used examples from 19th-century North America and the present-day Southern Border of the U.S. to produce a performance at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center.

Jonathan Villela's Migration

  • Siri Gurudev (D.C. Hernandez), a Ph.D. candidate in the Performance as Public Practice program, received funding for their project “Bar Cybermestiz@.” The piece focused on rewriting famous reggaeton songs to become a dialogue for machismo and gender violence across cultures within Latin America. With this funding, Gurudev was able to emphasize performance art in the Americas. 

Siri Gurudev's Bar Cybermestiz@

  • Rebecca East, a Theatre Studies student in the Department of Theatre and Dance, received funding to direct a production of Patrick Shaw’s play Hamlettes

    Patrick Shaw’s play Hamlettes directed by Rebecca East

If you have any projects that need funding, faculty, staff, and students can reach out directly to Assistant Professor of Instruction in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities, Michael Avila at michael.avila@austin.utexas.edu for more information. 

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