Under the auspices of ArtsEngine at the University of Michigan, the Mellon Research Project examines the increasingly prevalent integration of arts practice and study at research universities. ArtsEngine National’s initial mission to “transform the research university through the infusion of arts practice” in response to growing recognition of the value of arts integration practices across the landscape of higher education led to a $500,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This grant supported an initial investigation of present practices in arts integration at researchuniversities, encompassing a national network of faculty and administrators who embrace innovative methods in teaching, research, and co-curricular programming linking the arts to other disciplinary domains.
This study presents “best practices in the integration of arts practice in U.S. research universities . . . , fulfill[ing] the need for a document that articulates models, obstacles, implementation strategies, costs, and impact on students and faculty as well as on research, practice, and teaching in other knowledge areas” (ArtsEngine). Rather than providing a detailed set of instructions, this document maps the landscape of arts integration at 30 partner institutions in the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) and at 16 other institutions. It highlights aspirational models and presents an overall guide to current practices linking the arts to other learning areas.