A meditation on aging and identity for a solo dancer. A hybrid online–in-person theater performance derived from an artist’s personal internet search archives. An attempt to “hear” the needs of endangered Joshua trees. A slightly whimsical digital media exploration of C-rated Los Angeles restaurants. UCLA’s first major Juneteenth celebration.

These are among the 10 wide-ranging faculty-led projects awarded seed funding this year through the UCLA Chancellor’s Arts Initiative grant program, which fosters the advancement of the arts and arts-related scholarship on campus.

Administered by the Chancellor’s Council on the Arts and the Office of Research and Creative Activities, the program provided $133,900 to this year’s cohort, with grants ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 for projects spanning the departments of African American studies; design media arts; English; film, television and digital media; information studies; musicology; theater; and world arts and cultures/dance.

“We are proud to continue our commitment to support the creative work happening across our campus and want to recognize the importance of the arts in our institution’s research ethos,” said Roger Wakimoto, UCLA’s vice chancellor for research and creative activities.

The 2024 projects run the gamut of creative practice, including innovative and experimental digital media, film and theater productions; personal explorations of life and memory; and collaborative curatorial and presentation works that will uplift the lives and voices of undersung musicians and authors. 

Since launching in 2021, the Chancellor’s Arts Initiative has granted more than $550,000 over four award cycles, supporting projects that range from high-profile documentary films and digital media works to new music and dance performances that have been presented across Los Angeles and around the country. Other past projects resulted in campus events designed to bring the UCLA community into deeper conversation with art and artists.

Read the full announcement, including descriptions of the 10 projects, on the UCLA GoArts website.