Friday, July 22, 2022

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A graduate student sits next to a luthier, surrounded by sitar instruments.

Aruna Kharod, a graduate student in musicology/ethnomusicology in the Butler School of Music, received funding for her project to study American sitar makers work and expertise. Photo courtesy of Aruna Kharod

In the 2021-22 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.

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

  • Zachariah Ezer, a playwriting graduate student in the Department of Theatre and Dance, received funding to support a reading of his play, The Stones of Life. A legal drama, the play explores how a pōpolo (Black) defense attorney and his māhū (a Native Hawaiian non-binary group) client work together to try to overturn a transphobic city ordinance in Honolulu.
     
  • Melody Geiger, an Arts and Entertainment Technologies junior, received funding to create the short film A World We Can Call Our Home. In her proposal, Geiger described how the film would center around a teen’s journey as she struggles to accept her LGBTQ+ identity while living in a house with homophobic parents.
     
  • Aruna Kharod, a graduate student in musicology/ethnomusicology in the Butler School of Music, received funding for her project to study American sitar makers work and expertise. The funding helped support travel for fieldwork to interview sitar makers, and Kharod created a video about the process to share with the Music of Asian America class.
     
  • Collin Kemeny, a graduate student in composition in the Butler School of Music, and Kristen Osborn, a graduate student in Theatre, received funding for their project “A Recipe for Action: Courses Against Hunger.” For their project, they proposed an immersive, highly audience-participatory performance piece to combat the issue of food security at UT through knowledge, art, resources and a sense of community.
     
  • Tiffany Merritt-Brown, a graduate student in Dance, received funding for her project “Hydrated Moisturized & Minding My Business: A Black Women’s Journey of Embodied Prayer & Radical Self Care.” Brown proposed creating an immersive dance film that explored water as a spiritual agent of healing and sustainability through the body and community for Black women.
     
  • Alexis Riley, a graduate student in the Department of Theatre and Dance, received funding for her project kin • song: ode to disability ancestors. Across the United States, thousands of disabled people lay buried in asylum cemeteries, their graves unmarked and names unknown due to ableism and mental health stigma. kin • song was a virtual performance in December 2021 crafted in response to this injustice. Created by a team of disabled and nondisabled artists in The Department of Theatre and Dance, The Butler School of Music, and The Steve Hicks School of Social Work, the project not only sought to draw attention to harmful practices of isolation that permeate disability history, it also considered how performance might contribute to that isolation through inaccessible rehearsal and production practices.
     
  • Donato Loia, an Art History graduate student, received funding to support his curatorial fellowship project for the Bill Morrison: Cycles & Loops exhibition at the Visual Arts Center.

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A promotional poster for the play kin song: ode to disability ancestors, featuring an illustration of an ancient tree with autumnal colors.

Alexis Riley, a graduate student in the Department of Theatre and Dance, received funding for her project kin • song: ode to disability ancestors, which was staged in December 2021 in the department.

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