Submissions for VU program to strengthen community partnership with NMAAM due Feb. 17

An internal funding program designed to spark faculty and staff collaborations with the National Museum of African American Music and that enhance innovative arts research is accepting applications through Feb. 17. 

The Arts, Discovery, and Innovation Fund is open to all full-time faculty across all disciplines and to all provost-reporting staff (e.g., academic affairs, residential colleges, student affairs, libraries) who would like to work with NMAAM on educational and research projects. 

“This program furthers the purpose of Discovery Vanderbilt by enabling Vanderbilt scholars to reach new heights in research and creative discovery, while also supporting their collaborations with Nashville’s vibrant and evolving arts community,” said C. Cybele Raver, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “These awards are designed to serve as catalysts for inclusive excellence across so many disciplines. Faculty, staff and students can collaborate with NMAAM to research topics ranging from musicology to theatrical performance, American history or policies related to intellectual property—to name just a few. I applaud Vice Provost Tracy Sharpley-Whiting for launching this great program.” 

To foster interdisciplinary and cross-school synergies, the collaborations must include at least two faculty or staff members from different colleges, schools or divisions/areas and a museum representative. Applicants should reach out to the museum at before applying. All proposals must include a strategy for student and community engagement. Proposals are welcome to explore collaboration with the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy. 

“We look forward to this continued partnership with NMAAM, where our faculty and their teams can discover new possibilities for collaboration and innovation,” said Sharpley-Whiting, vice provost for arts and libraries and the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies and of French. “The funding opportunity is open to all disciplines.” 

While one-time program proposals are eligible, thematic programming that continues throughout the semester or academic year is encouraged. The maximum award amount will be $10,000. Interested faculty and staff can submit applications online using InfoReady Review. The deadline for spring submissions is Feb. 17. 

The Arts, Discovery, and Innovation Fund is the latest in a series of initiatives undertaken since 2019, when Vanderbilt announced a long-term partnership with NMAAM. Email questions to  Claire Campbell.