The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation has awarded $220,000 in funding to 26 successful applicants. Grants were awarded in the categories of Arts Course Development, Arts Integration, Independent Creative Production, Provosts Interdisciplinary, Student Arts Innovation, Student Engagement, Visiting Artists, and Extended Artist Engagement. Grant recipients represent Penn’s cultural and arts centers and 6 of Penn’s 12 schools. Grants ranged from $2,500 to $40,000 and were given for a broad scope of activities, including new classes, cross-school initiatives, exhibitions, performances, and special projects, 8 of which are student-led.
Funded Projects include:
- “Re-envisioning Penn’s Opera Curriculum,” an innovative partnership with the Music Department’s Artist in residence Meg Bragle, along with multiple Penn music and choral ensembles, who will produce a set of immersive opera classes and experiences for students, including a partnership with Opera Philadelphia and a final series of live public opera performances on campus.
- A student-driven documentary film that will demonstrate the institutional power structure that perpetuates the pervasive system of sexual assault on university campuses.
- A series of events to celebrate contemporary literary writing in indigenous languages of the Americas, with a special focus on the Quechua and Zapotec languages.
- A student-driven photovoice project, conducted with young trans women in Philadelphia to create new strategies for HIV prevention and treatment rooted in community priorities.
- An experimental eight-day performance intensive that offers graduate students from across the country, working in the context of visual art, sound, dance and theater, the opportunity to develop their practice in a structured, rigorous and collaborative environment.
The complete list of the 2019 grants can be found in the newly launched grants section of The Sachs Program’s website.
“The 2019 grant awards are representative of the diversity of strengths in the arts at Penn. The campus and its community has so much to offer, from it’s talented students, faculty, and staff, to its world-class presenting organizations. It’s a privilege and a joy to be supporting this work.”John McInerney, Executive Director
Applications for the 2019 grant cycle were evaluated under a two-stage process. Committees made up of former grantees, faculty, staff, and students gave their feedback on grant applications, and then The Sachs Program Advisory Board deliberated on and chose the final grantees.
The Sachs Program also provided additional funding for Ben Art Bucks, small, quick-response grants for students, and Freshman Seminars. Through the Ben Arts Bucks program, The Sachs Program awarded over 40 grants of up to $500 to undergraduate and graduate students and student groups, for a total of over $10,000. These small grants funded projects and activities such as visits to museums and live productions, portfolio development for medical school, art and wellness projects, participation in competitions and public performances, curatorial initiatives, recording music, and the making of art.
The Sach’s Program’s partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences also led to the support arts-driven pedagogy in Freshman Seminars. 9 courses in the disciplines of History, History of Art, Italian Studies, Music, Theatre, and Urban Studies that ran during the fall 2018 and spring 2019 semesters were funded.