In the Loop
Press Release : Nov 14, 2023

College of the Arts receives UF strategic funding awards to support interdisciplinary research and arts impact

November 14, 2023 — Two projects led by the College of the Arts received awards totaling just over $1 million in the latest round of strategic funding projects from the University of Florida President’s Office.  

The first project is an Arts Impact Engine, which is a research team-building initiative designed to help faculty and students write competitive proposals for external funding opportunities, advancing UF’s fast-growing and highly grant-funded arts program. The project received $1,005,790 over four years. 

“The College of the Arts is expanding tremendously, and the Arts Impact Engine will only fuel that growth,” UF President Ben Sasse said. “This initiative will undoubtedly lead to more opportunities to fund and showcase our amazing arts program at UF.”   

The second initiative is a Journal of Arts in Health, which received $79,500 over three years. As UF’s Center for Arts in Medicine creates the global field of Arts in Public Health, this project will launch a new open-access journal for the industry that will cement UF’s place as a leader in integrating arts and public health.  

“As the field of Arts in Public Health emerges, UF is leading the way,” Sasse said. “The Journal of Arts in Health will highlight the amazing work that the faculty and students in the College of the Arts are doing in this industry.” 

College of the Arts Dean Onye Ozuzu agreed. 

“Exponential growth in the College of the Arts’ sponsored research portfolio has placed us in a leading position in a rapidly changing landscape,” Ozuzu said. “President Sasse’s call for strategic innovation, along with the resources to support the strengths of our faculty and students, is a perfectly placed boost at the exact moment that the College of the Arts is ready for it. Our potential is brimming.” 
Aligning with Sasse’s strategic goals, the College of the Arts’ award-winning proposals will strengthen engagement in interdisciplinary research across UF, ranging from agricultural and climate sciences to AI and technological engineering. The projects will build opportunities for student scholarship, entrepreneurship, and career preparedness, as well as enrich Florida residents’ access to research-grounded practices for healthy aging and community wellness that connect to the field of Arts in Public Health.  
“The faculty’s art, design, and scholarship in the College of the Arts are redefining their disciplines. They are also redefining how you and your neighbors think about how art shows up in the lives of everyday people,” Ozuzu said. “UF artists and designers are creating new realities in partnership with emerging technologies across many fields – from establishing the field of Arts in Public Health and piloting the social prescription of art to treat patients to catalyzing entrepreneurship in communities and building immersive digital experiences that change the way we learn.”  
The College of the Arts has been successfully attracting support from organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the Mellon Foundation, Ozuzu said. 

“We are very focused on amplifying our message that COTA is open for business. Artists are vital collaborators, in terms of methodology and impacts – what they create and the skills they bring, as well as their subject expertise,” said College of the Arts Associate Dean for Research and Strategic Initiatives Sophia K. Acord. “Artists, scholars, and scientists in the College of the Arts work on climate change, STEM literacy, healthcare, food sovereignty, civil dialogue, entrepreneurship on the blockchain, and many other critical issues that face our world today. They are partners to any endeavor, and their partnership elevates UF research to new levels and global audiences.”