Arts Integration Initiative

An initiative to support arts-centric research, incubate interdisciplinary projects and advance faculty-student mentorship. 

In the third round of the initiative's grant program, launched by the Hop and the Vice Provost for Research with funding from the Office of the Provost, approximately $100,000 was awarded to six faculty-led and six student-led projects following threads from sociology, wellness, architecture, linguistics, theater, artificial intelligence and the environment. 


2022/23 PROJECTS          2021/22 PROJECTS

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2023-24 Grant Recipients

Fighting Invisibility: Feminist Performance and Denouncement in Mexico

Analola Santana, Associate Professor, Department of Theater, Department of Latin American, Latino & Caribbean Studies
How can the performing arts act as integral spaces from which to make visible the violence visited upon the female body in Mexico? This project explores the links between artistic interventions and social actions in Mexico through the lens of "artivism," or using art to express political views and shape discourse. The focus is on the last 30 years when a more intense and forceful feminist movement is emerging from invisibility to actively dismantle a violent patriarchal system.

Integrating Theater and Language Pedagogy in a Time of War

Victoria Somoff, Associate Professor, Department of East European, Eurasian, and Russian Studies | Zhenia Dubrova '24 | Peter Webster, Director of Text and Dramatic Studies, Dartmouth Opera Lab
Ukrainian III accelerates student language acquisition via immersive engagement with the history and culture of Ukraine and, more urgently, with current Ukrainian wartime experiences. This is accomplished through the preparation of the first English language translations of two contemporary Ukrainian plays. The students will collaborate with the playwrights themselves and student peers in Ukraine. The course will culminate in a staged reading of the translated plays as part of the Worldwide Ukrainian Play Reading initiative.

44,000,000,000 Moments of Joy

John Bell, Lecturer, Film & Media Studies
This project repurposes the streaming timeline medium developed by platforms like Twitter and Facebook, which have been documented to have problematic psychological impacts, into an instrument of happiness using mixed reality. Using generative AI, this piece creates small moments of creative expression in the tradition of Fluxus and suggests them to users through wearable devices in anticipation of such interfaces becoming broadly available in the coming years.

Asian American and Pacific Islander built environments in New England

Sujin Eom, Assistant Professor, Department of Asian Societies, Cultures and Languages | Sunmin Kim, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology

This interdisciplinary project delves into underexplored built environments of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in New England, placing architecture at its core. The project aims to expand existing knowledge beyond the text-centered and West Coast-centric scope of Asian American historiography by emphasizing material environments and everyday landscapes in New England. The project will contribute research findings to an interactive map of US-built environments, thereby building a sustainable infrastructure of teaching materials centered on AAPI architectural heritage.

Portal Poesy

James Mahoney, Senior Lecturer, Department of Computer Science
A colorful mosaic rock signals the nearby presence of a virtual portal. With XR headsets on and an app running, a viewer can utter three words of their choosing and the portal will generate a unique world beyond, derived from those words. The viewer can then enter the portal and experience the magic and wonder of an original environmental poetry-scape.

Biomimicry Eco-Pavilion

Karolina Kawiaka, Senior Lecturer, Studio Art Department
Biomimetic forms in building design make beautiful and efficient use of nontoxic carbon-storing materials. They are economical yet sublime, resilient yet ethereal. In this project, Kawiaka will construct a biomimetic eco-pavilion formally inspired by nature that cools and heats depending on the season with a branching mechanical system powered by thermosiphoning, convection and conduction, using the ground as a battery, and making this temperature differential visible.

Choreographing Sound: Merging the creation of music and dance with the Magical Musical Mat

Rebecca Abraham GR | Albert Zhang GR
The Magical Musical Mat (MMM) is an interactive instrument that plays music by sensing physical touch. Players activate sound by standing on mats embedded with conductive sensors and touching each other. This project aims to make the MMM the centerpiece of a series of experimental dance performances. The team aims to enhance the instrument and develop an approach to performance using the MMM, culminating in a final live performance film and an academic research paper.

Generative Music for Calmness and Focus

Egemen Sahin GR This innovative project at the nexus of digital arts, psychology and music therapy, aims to create generative music soundscapes that enhance mental wellbeing and focus. As an interdisciplinary effort, it leverages research and AI to produce music in real time, potentially benefiting students and individuals seeking stress relief and improved concentration. The project promises to contribute significantly to the fields of music therapy, mental health and digital arts.


Himanshu Patil GR | Linda Zhang, Research Programmer, Geisel School of Medicine 
EvocativeVR is a Virtual Reality (VR) platform designed to support creative, emotionally therapeutic practices. It empowers users to dynamically externalize and process emotions within a psychologically safe and healing virtual environment. This project's research strives to develop this innovative platform equipped with tools for participants to express emotions in the immersive medium. The project will host an exhibition where participants can craft artwork releasing their sentiments, share it with the community and appreciate others' creations to build shared empathy.

Losing Steam: A Blues Retrospective on Dartmouth's Use of Fuel Oil No. 6

Jack Reilly '24
A merging of music, activism and environmental awareness spotlights Dartmouth's outdated reliance on Fuel Oil No. 6 for heating. Through music, the project explores the emotional and historical dimensions of the college's heating plant, encouraging deeper connections and reflections to the space. Losing Steam integrates original composition, performance and interviews with the people who run these facilities. The work will culminate in a film which seeks to prompt critical thought on energy transitions, space and responsibility in the face of climate change.

Painting the Lexical Gap: Translating the Untranslatable Through Artistic Expression

Jamie Liu '25
Can art serve as a means of expressing untranslatable words? By inviting people with different language backgrounds to undergo artistic expression of words that have no direct translation through mixed-media painting, the project aims to foster cross-cultural conversations through painting and explore if what is lost in translation could be found through visualization.

Ukrainian Dream: Recording nation-building through photography, short films, and AI

Tonia Zakorchemna '23
What do people dream of during war? This project will explore the stories, reflections and hopes about the future by film photographing and interviewing young Ukrainians from diverse paths of life, ages and hometowns, including defenders, civilians, students, activists and policymakers. Using individual responses, an AI model will weave a portrait and a story of the Ukrainian dream to be presented as an immersive art exhibit, aiming to record, question and share the moment of nation-building through personal experiences.

Dean Madden smiling outside against the backdrop of trees in summer

Arts at the Core

These awards represent Dartmouth at its interdisciplinary best. The breadth and creativity of the application were amazing and confirmed the transformative potential of this initiative. Dean Madden, Vice Provost for Research for Dartmouth College