Institute for Advanced Study Awards More than $50,000 Through Imagine Fund Special Events Grants to Promote Interdisciplinary Dialogue and Public Engagement


Five major event projects across the University awarded grants

The Institute for Advanced Study announces $53,762.45 in funding to support five new Special Event grant projects across the University of Minnesota focused on the arts, humanities, and design. 

The Special Events Grant Program is part of the Executive Vice President and Provost’s Imagine Fund initiative to support large, public events that promote profound understanding of the human condition, excellence, innovation, collaboration, interdisciplinary dialogue, and greater public engagement with the University.

Special Events grant recipients will also receive significant administrative and promotional support from the Institute for Advanced Study, which administers the award selection process and grant program.

Grantees for the Fall 2022 Imagine Fund Special Events Grant Call include:

Bridging the Fault Lines: Stories of Racism, Resistance, and Repair
Since the Mapping Prejudice visualization was first released in 2018, a constellation of organizations have formed to foster community awareness and reparative action to heal the harm done by racial covenants and other racist housing policies. This event series will celebrate the launch of a new documentary series from Twin Cities Public Television, Jim Crow of the North Stories, which explores how community members are grappling with the work of repair and healing. These digital shorts are the sequel to the 2019 award-winning documentary, Jim Crow of the North, which detailed how racist housing practices over the last century have fostered Minnesota’s large racial disparities. The films will be interspersed with artistic responses from Black creatives, including performance artist Hawona Sullivan Janzen, poet Taiyon Coleman, singer Mayyadda, poet Erin Sharkey, and jazz musician Oliver Lyle. Event partners will include Twin Cities Public Television, Just Deeds, the City of Golden Valley, and Free the Deeds/Longfellow Community Council. Kirsten Delegard: Director, Mapping Prejudice.

The first event will take place on February 6, 2023 in the Cargill auditorium at Breck School. Tickets can be reserved through Eventbrite.


Historic Artwork in a North Minneapolis Landmark; Or, How Zodiac Paintings in a Former Synagogue Bridged the Jewish and Black Communities
Focused on the architecture and social history of a historic building in North Minneapolis, the First Church of God in Christ (FCOGIC), erected in 1926 as Tifereth B’nai Jacob, this project will develop a public photographic exhibit highlighting the building’s rare interior paintings and a one-day symposium examining the Jewish and Black social histories associated with this building and the neighborhood. The extant interior is a rare example of immigrant synagogue painting based on Bessarabian Jewish practices. In 1957, the Black Pentecostal FCOGIC purchased the building and has preserved the interior paintings to this day. The intertwined histories of these groups, along with the artwork, will be presented by collaborators from the church, the synagogue, North Minneapolis, Religious Studies, Architecture, African American & African Studies, the Center for Jewish Studies, UROC, Art History, and the Upper Midwest Jewish Archives. Jeanne Kilde: Director, Religious Studies Program (College of Liberal Arts).


Queer and Trans* Ecologies Symposium
The Queer and Trans* Ecologies (QTE) Interdisciplinary Initiative is hosting a hybrid symposium at the University of Minnesota on March 23-25, 2023, that advances intersectional approaches to gender, sexuality, and the environment. More than two dozen established artists, activists, practitioners, and scholars from the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences will give presentations, participate in roundtable discussions, and engage in reflective conversations about the field of queer and trans* ecologies. Our thematic panels include food justice, animality and the more-than-human, water/life, toxicities, and creative world-building in climate crisis. The event will include workshops (printmaking, fermenting, creative writing), a Queer Ecology Hanky Project exhibition, and trips to learn about local environmental justice efforts. Our goal is to foster dynamic interdisciplinary exchanges that cross-pollinate environmental justice efforts led by marginalized people. Erin Durban: Assistant Professor, Anthropology (College of Liberal Arts).

Twin Cities Silent Film Project
This project brings archival silent film screenings to the Twin Cities, with an emphasis on programming rare, unseen, incomplete, and inaccessible works by marginalized makers whose creative productivity has long been excluded from the canon and thus written out of the history of cinema. Delayed in its initial launch by the COVID-19 pandemic, TCSFP burst onto the screen in 2021 with Filibus: The Mysterious Air Pirate (1915), an Italian adventure-thriller about a cross-dressing queer “air pirate,” followed by a program of feminist slapstick “Queens of Destruction,” and a special event themed on “Hysteria, Hypnosis, Hallucination.” All screenings are accompanied by original music (often live) and integrate film introductions, Q&As, roundtables, and other educational components. We work with a range of local venues and collaborative groups. Future offerings will include Alla Nazimova’s Salomé (1922), Zora Neale Hurston’s Fieldwork Footage (1928), a long-lost French-Indian co-production Béhula (1921), and the first Japanese-American film, The Oath of the Sword (1914), which has been newly restored. Maggie Hennefeld: Associate Professor, Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature (College of Liberal Arts).

World Expo: An Experimental Field of Better Urban Future (Exhibition)
In the context of Minnesota and the United States’ effort to land Expo 2027 (almost 40 years since the previous World Expo was held on US soil), there is no better moment to explore the World Expo both as a subject and object that is dedicated to making a better built environment for people, and to communicate this history to a wider audience through an exhibition about the World Expo—one of the most influential global megaevents. The exhibition will be hosted at the HGA Gallery and the Goldstein Museum of Design at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in Fall 2023, with a particular focus on two paradigms: first, as an experimental field of architecture and urbanism; and second, as an innovation terrain that contributes to social progress in lifestyle, equity, and wellness. Dingliang Yang: Assistant Professor, School of Architecture (College of Design).

Additional details about Imagine Fund Special Events Grants can be found here.


About the Imagine Fund
The Imagine Fund is an initiative of the Executive Vice President and Provost, established in 2007 through a generous gift from the McKnight Foundation to provide competitive financial support for research and scholarship in the arts, humanities, and design at the University of Minnesota. The Imagine Fund includes three award programs. Annual Faculty Research Grants are administered directly through participating arts, humanities, and design colleges and campuses, the Arts, Humanities, and Design Chair is administered by the Office of Faculty and Academic Affairs, and Special Events Grants are administered by the Institute for Advanced Study.


About the Institute for Advanced Study
As a systemwide interdisciplinary center, the Institute for Advanced Study serves as a resource and site of incubation for scholars, students, professionals, and community members who are engaged in a wide variety of study and practice. The IAS also serves as a bridge between the University and the wider community as a place where people meet and ideas are exchanged. Our programs and funding opportunities are focused around four priorities: advocating for racial justice, strengthening community engagement, expanding international partnerships, and creating pathways for institutional transformation.



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