BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — One of Indiana University’s most prominent efforts to strengthen its long-standing commitment to excellence in the arts and humanities has been the university’s New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities seed funding program. Initiated in 2004 with the generous support a Lilly Endowment Inc. grant to promote excellence in Indiana, and subsequently renewed by IU President Michael A. McRobbie, New Frontiers has provided over $9.4 million to artists and humanities scholars at IU’s eight campuses.
Now, IU’s Office of the Vice President for Research, which manages the New Frontiers program, and IU Communications in the Office of the Vice President for Engagement have created a multimedia retrospective that looks at the work of nearly 50 of those New Frontiers grant recipients, and at the broader, positive impacts of the program.
“New Frontiers both reflects and has contributed significantly to maintaining the vital role of the arts and humanities here at Indiana University,” said IU Vice President for Research Fred H. Cate.
“Over the past decade we at IU, throughout the state of Indiana and quite literally around the world have been the beneficiaries of the fruits of that commitment — from operas and gallery shows, to award-winning books and internationally recognized art installations,” Cate said. “This retrospective is an effort not just to summarize the New Frontiers program but also to highlight the extraordinary achievements of our artists and scholars.”
The New Frontiers program is designed to assist artists and humanities scholars in one of four ways:
Produce innovative works of scholarship and creative activities.
Provide the seed funding needed for them to venture into new trajectories of work.
Fund academic events hosting major distinguished thinkers.
Support national and international travel in pursuit of new, innovative projects.
The retrospective offers a variety of photographs, images and audio and video files, along with hyperlinks to numerous New Frontiers grant winners and their works. In total, more than 450 IU faculty members have been supported by New Frontiers funding; the retrospective identifies how those scholars and artists were able to better support students, earn additional external funding and successfully conduct community outreach while also producing innovative works of art and scholarship.
In December 2014, IU’s Board of Trustees adopted President Michael A. McRobbie’s Bicentennial Strategic Plan for Indiana University, which included a third five-year investment of $5 million for the New Frontiers seed funding program, allowing for grants to continue to be offered through 2019.