The Imagine Fund Special Events Grant Program seeks to support new and ongoing activities across the University of Minnesota system that promote profound understanding of the human condition, excellence, innovation, collaboration, interdisciplinary dialogue, and greater public engagement with the University.
Special Events Grants are highly competitive. Proposals must relate to the areas of the arts, humanities, or design. Events should be open to the public and preference is given to events that prioritize public accessibility and engagement. Awards rarely will be granted for traditional academic symposia or conferences—these types of events must be innovative and include a significant public engagement component. It is recommended, but not required, that applicants seek collaboration and co-sponsors through the IAS or other centers and colleges.
Special Events Grants are administered by the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), a systemwide institute for advancing interdisciplinary collaborations, including the humanities, arts, and design.
- For events commencing late Fall 2023 through Fall 2024, please apply in Fall 2023. Deadline for Proposals: Monday, September 25, 2023
- For events commencing late Spring 2024 through Spring 2025, please apply in Spring 2024. Deadline for Proposals: Monday, January 29, 2024
Special Events Grants FAQ
Who is eligible to apply for an Imagine Fund Special Events Grant?
All tenured/tenure-track arts, humanities, and design faculty across the University of Minnesota system are eligible. Also eligible are tenured/tenure-track faculty whose research directions place them squarely within the arts and humanities or design. Faculty in arts, humanities, or design who hold full-time (100%) salaried continuous or fixed-term appointments may apply provided they are annually evaluated like tenured and tenure-track faculty (i.e., with substantially similar expectations for research accomplishments, independence, and ability to secure external funding).
Note that eligibility does not include: visiting faculty, those pursuing a Ph.D., those with non-salaried faculty appointment type W (e.g., yearly Medical School, usually without salary), or employees with T appointments (temporary) or A appointments (adjust from outside the University).
How may annual award funds be used?
The award may be used for research needs, books, supplies, or travel expenses not otherwise supported by University of Minnesota or external funds. The award may not be used to supplement salary, nor may it be used for course buyouts. The awards should be spent within a three-year period.
Are there restrictions on how annual Imagine Fund awards may be used?
Yes. It may not be used as salary or used towards course release, used to purchase computers, used to buy equipment already available for loan from the University, or used to support the editorial work of a journal.
How are award decisions made?
A committee of arts, humanities, and design faculty (the Imagine Fund Advisory Committee) will review the applications and make recommendations.
The committee will adhere to the following conflict-of-interest guidelines:
No committee member shall participate in any phase of the discussion or decision-making process for applications or proposals that they have submitted or for which they are co-investigators or would receive a direct financial benefit. In addition, a committee member will recuse themselves from discussion or decision making for any proposals or applications they believe represents a conflict of interest.
Can the annual award be banked?
Yes, but the award should be spent within three years.
Can faculty hold multiple awards (e.g. annual award and special events grant)?
After receiving an Imagine Fund grant, how should we credit it on our publicity materials and at the event?
All publicity and promotional material for your project must include the following credit line, which was indicated in your contract. The complete credit line must be clearly visible on all of your publicity materials and printed in an easy-to-read font size. The credit line should also be included in your event’s opening remarks along with any credit you give to additional co-sponsors.
This activity is supported by an Imagine Fund Special Events Grant, an initiative of the University of Minnesota Executive Vice President and Provost, established through a generous gift from the McKnight Foundation, and facilitated by the Institute for Advanced Study.
We do understand that, in some circumstances, there may not be space for the full credit line to appear on all print publicity or promotional materials. In these cases, you may substitute the credit line with: The University of Minnesota Imagine Fund.
Past Imagine Fund Special Events Grant Recipients
|LEAD APPLICANT||PROJECT TITLE||DEPARTMENT|
|Abimbola Asojo||Design in a Post-Pandemic World (DPPW) Series||Design, Housing and Apparel, School of Architecture|
|Jessica Lopez Lyman||Somos 50: Chicano and Latino Studies Anniversary Series||Chicano and Latino Studies|
|LEAD APPLICANT||PROJECT TITLE||DEPARTMENT|
|Terrion Williamson||The Black Midwest||African American and African Studies|
|Barbara Frey||Truth, Trials, and Memory: An Accounting of Transitional Justice in El Salvador and Guatemala||Institute for Global Studies|
|—||Futures Exhibition + Participatory Socially and Ecologically Engaged Art Event||—|
|Mark Collier||Expanding the UMM Midwest Philosophy Colloquium to include a Robust Public Outreach Component||Philosophy|
|Mandy Menke||Evolving Perspectives on Advancedness: A Symposium on Second Language Spanish||Spanish & Portuguese Studies|
|Laurie Ouellette||Critical Social Media Studies Colloquium Series||Communication Studies|
|Brook Miller||Prairie Gate Literary Festival||English|
|David Chang||Performance, Art, and Storytelling: Pacific Islander Community||History|
|Linsey Griffin||Engaging Alumni, Community, and Twin Cities Metro High School Students through an Alumni Retrospective and Apparel Studio Workshops||Design, Housing and Apparel|
|Aren Aizura||Critical Disability Studies Collaborative (CDSC) Colloquium Series||Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies|
|Ana Forcinito||Trauma at the Crossroads of Art and Science: Narrative Memory, Visual Representation, and Human Rights||Spanish & Portuguese Studies|
|Alice Lovejoy||Remapping European Media Cultures during the Cold War: A Symposium at the University of Minnesota, March 30 – April 1, 2017||Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature|
|Phyllis Moen||Life Course Center Policy Conference||Sociology|
|Paul Ranelli||Exploring medicines and the medication-taking experience through visual arts||Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences|
|LEAD APPLICANT||PROJECT TITLE||DEPARTMENT|
|Tracey Deutsch||Re-Imagining Food Systems||History, College of Liberal Arts|
|Ofelia Ferrán||Catalonia: Past, Present, Future||Spanish and Portuguese Studies, College of Liberal Arts|
|Zenzele Isoke||Black Life and the Pedagogies of Spatial Resistance in the Twin Cities||Gender, Women and Sexuality, College of Liberal Arts|
|Erika Lee||Immigrant America: A Year-Long Public Dialogue about Immigration in Contemporary America in Recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the 1965 Immigration Act||Immigration History Research Center, College of Liberal Arts|
|Jason McGrath||New Angles on Chinese Film History: Conference & Public Film Screenings||Asian Languages and Literatures, College of Liberal Arts|
|Stuart McLean||Cannibal Metaphysics: Engaging the Challenges of Indigenous Thought||Anthropology, College of Liberal Arts|
|Tamsie Ringler||River of Iron: Pouring the Mississippi||Art, College of Liberal Arts|
|Christina Schmid||Curating at a Crossroads||Art, College of Liberal Arts|
|Catherine Squires||Well-being and African American Voices||Communication Studies, College of Liberal Arts|
|Jennifer Webb||Guerrilla Girls Gig & Workshop||Art History, Department of Art and Design (Duluth)|
|LEAD APPLICANT||PROJECT TITLE||DEPARTMENT|
|Peter Campion||John Berryman at 100, A Celebration of the Life||English, Language, and Literature, College of Liberal Arts|
|Vichet Chhuon||Southeast Asians in the Diaspora||Curriculum & Instruction, College of Education and Human Development|
|Brad Hokanson||Design Cycles: A Bike Show||Design, Housing and Apparel, College of Design|
|Lynn Lukkas||The Audible Edge||Art, College of Design|
|Northern Spark at the New Northrop*||Phyllis Messenger||Institute for Advanced Study|
|Brook Miller||Prairie Gate Literary Festival||Division of Humanities (Morris)|
|Mark Pedelty||Sustaining Place, Making Music: A Campus Lecture and Performance||Communication Studies, College of Liberal Arts|
|Luis Ramos-Garcia||The State of Iberoamerican Studies Series: Human Rights and Theatre||Spanish & Portuguese Studies, College of Liberal Arts|
|Justin Rubin||Music of the World War II Generation||Theory and Composition, Department of Music (Duluth)|
|Ozayr Saloojee||The Duluth Homestretch: Creative City Making Meets Grandma’s Marathon||School of Architecture, College of Design|
|Christina Schmid||Outdoor Cinema at Northern Spark||Art, College of Liberal Arts|
|Mark Russell Smith||Mahler Resurrection Symphony Mentorship Project||Music, College of Liberal Arts|
|William Viestenz||Cultural Production and Human Rights: Iberia and Africa in the 21st Century||Spanish & Portuguese Studies, College of Liberal Arts|
*This project was submitted on behalf of the following Twin Cities-based faculty collaborators:
- Ananya Chatterjea, Department of Theatre Arts and Dance — College of Liberal Arts
- Juliette Cherbuliez, Department of French and Italian — College of Liberal Arts
- Rebecca Krinke, Department of Landscape Architecture — College of Design
- Richard Lee, Department of Psychology — College of Liberal Arts
- Serge Rudaz, Department of Physics — College of Science and Engineering and Director, University Honors Program
|EVENT TITLE||LEAD APPLICANT||DEPARTMENT|
|University of Minnesota Brass Symposium: Building Musical Bridges||Tom Ashworth||School of Music, College of Liberal Arts|
|Global Art and Peace Education Residency and Outreach||Alison Aune||Department of Art and Design (Duluth)|
|Arditti String Quartet recital||Michael Cherlin||School of Music, College of Liberal Arts|
|Watershed: Exploring a New Water Ethic||Vince deBritto||Department of Landscape Architecture, College of Design|
|"Ensemble: Périphérie": new music group residency at University of Minnesota Morris||Ann DuHamel||Keyboard Studies, Department of Music (Morris)|
|Hmong Across Borders Conference||Mai Na Lee||Department of History, College of Liberal Arts|
|John Luther Adams: The Light that Fills the World||Tracy Lipke-Perry||Collaborative Piano, Department of Music (Duluth)|
|Interrogating the Archive: How Knowledge of the Past is Preserved and Repressed||MJ Maynes||Department of History, College of Liberal Arts|
|Resilience and Sustainability: What are we learning from the Maya and other ancient cultures?||Ann Waltner||Department of History, College of Liberal Arts|
|Human Rights and Theater in Latin America and Spain||Luis Ramos-Garcia||Department of Spanish & Portuguese, College of Liberal Arts|
|The GLBT Community and Its Impact on Contemporary Art Music||Justin Rubin||Theory and Composition, Department of Music (Duluth)|
|Designed Duluth 2020 (Exhibition at Duluth City Hall + accompanying symposium + publication launch)||Ozayr Saloojee||School of Architecture, College of Design|
|PROJECT TITLE||LEAD APPLICANT||DEPARTMENT|
|Burning the Sea: Clandestine Migrations in the Age of Globalization||Hakim Abderrezak||Department of French and Italian, College of Liberal Arts|
|The Future of Ethnic Media: Hmong and Native Perspectives across North America||David Beard||Department of Writing Studies (Duluth)|
|A Miracle: A University/Community Collaboration||Lisa Channer||Department of Theatre Arts and Dance, College of Liberal Arts|
|The Betrayal of the Humanities: The University During the Third Reich||Bruno Chaouat & Bernard M. Levinson (Berman Family Chair of Jewish Studies and Hebrew Bible)||Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, College of Liberal Arts|
|A Visit from Sound Poet Jaap Blonk||Maria Damon||Department of English, College of Liberal Arts|
|A Dakota Place||Rebecca Krinke||Department of Landscape Architecture, College of Design|
|Envisioning the Future of Chicano Studies at the University of Minnesota||Louis Mendoza||Department of Chicano Studies, College of Liberal Arts|
|Bernice Johnson Reagon Keynote for Black Environmental Thought Conference||Phyllis Messenger on behalf of Rose Brewer||Institute for Advanced Study|
|Prairie Gate Literary Festival||Brook Miller||Department of English (Morris)|
|Forty Years of Latin American Collective and Political Theater||Luis Ramos-Garcia||Department of Spanish and Portuguese, College of Liberal Arts|
|Scent of Fresh Ink||Thomas Rose||Department of Art, College of Liberal Arts|
|Sacred Space, Contested Terrain (Exhibition at Katherine E. Nash Gallery, Department of Art, and related academic and symposium programming)||Ozayr Saloojee||School of Architecture, College of Design|
|Japanese Tea Ceremony Performance and Bamboo Carving Workshop||Polly Szatrowski||Institute of Linguistics, College of Liberal Arts|