Judith Marcuse Projects and SFU Receive $2.5 Million Funding for Ground-Breaking Arts Research

Judith Marcuse Projects (JMP) and Simon Fraser University this week announced the launch of a five-year national research program in art for social change in Canada (ASC). ASC refers to the broad spectrum of ways in which the arts are used to engage people and encourage positive change.

The partnership between JMP and SFU will further advance the discipline with a $2.5 million Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) project grant. 

Art for Social Change: A Research Partnership in Teaching, Evaluation and Capacity-Building, is “the first large-scale, systemic project of its kind in Canada,” stated Judith Marcuse, the project’s lead researcher and the founder of JMP.

“The work we complete and the resources we create will benefit not only artist-researchers, but also individuals and organizations in diverse sectors who are already using arts-based practices in their work for positive change as well as those who are interested in adopting these approaches.”

Mario Pinto, SFU VP of Research, said, “This partnership aligns perfectly with SFU’s strategic vision to be Canada’s leading community-engaged university and with our strategic research plan’s focus on pedagogy.” 

“Judith and her team are creating a space for inquiry, dialogue, reflection and action on arts for social change that will further develop and promote sustainable, active and creative communities, both at home and abroad.”

Based at SFU, the initiative developed out of the seminal work of the International Centre of Art for Social Change (ICASC), a partnership formed by JMP and SFU in 2008. The team will map and develop teaching and learning in the field; explore approaches to evaluation; and develop ways to maintain sustainable collaboration between ASC artists and non-arts organizations.

The research program will involve the participation of community members, students and change makers from a wide variety of sectors, and case study projects involving arts-based dialogue, performing, visual arts and social circus, as well as the creation of a learning institute, will enrich research and resources to be created.

The project is part of a $167 million national funding announcement made last week in Victoria to support social sciences and humanities researchers across the country. For more details see: http://at.sfu.ca/yzdeVJ.

Judith Marcuse will be a presenter in the "Community Snapshots: Art for Social Change" component of the Arts Summit 2013 program later this month at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre. 

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