Upcoming Deadline(s) to Apply:                                                                     

11:59 pm ET Monday, April 8, 2024 for projects taking place during Fall 2024 through Winter 2025; Notification of Awardees: Week of April 22, 2024.


The Arts Initiative Project Support (AIPS) grant funding opportunity increases arts access and activity across campus and in the region. AIPS will facilitate and strengthen one or more of these areas: performances and exhibitions; staff and faculty ideas; collaboration; and arts learning for staff, faculty, students, and the public. The goal of this program is to support projects and ideas from staff and faculty that need additional funding in order to bring the concept to fruition. Priority will be given to projects that:

  • Strengthen and develop the university’s engagement with campus communities and the broader public 
  • Demonstrate a value for and support equity, justice, and civic engagement
  • Inspire conversation and dialogue engaging with the urgent issues of our time
  • Engage students actively with participatory and/or art making experiences and provide the campus community with creative learning opportunities
  • Leverage the power of the arts to make meaningful change
  • Build capacity for the arts on campus and in the region
  • Indicate a need for funding and show how additional support from the Arts Initiative will lead to greater impact

The Arts Initiative invites applications for arts programs and projects led/coordinated by U-M faculty and staff. Twice a year, in the Fall and Spring, awards will be distributed that reflect a diversity of artistic, intellectual, and expressive modes, as well as audiences. Examples of projects may include artmaking workshops, public performances, lectures, exhibitions, installations, filmmaking projects, symposia, etc. Projects may be new ideas or pre-existing and in need of additional funding. 

Program Focus for Fall 2024:

The Arts Initiative encourages project ideas that relate or respond to the fall 2024 election cycle for the April 8 deadline.  Examples might include projects that support creativity and artmaking  that focuses on: mental health, wellness, and expressing joy during challenging political times; the role of a public university during an election; how to strengthen civic engagement through art; and how to revitalize democracy and better reflect the diversity of the nation. Projects may also engage with the responsibilities of citizenship, such as voting, volunteerism, and running for office, as well as productive dialogue addressing the divisive issues in the public sphere today. Projects that are not explicitly related to the theme remain eligible for funding.

Application Process:

Applications will be reviewed and scored by a committee. Awardees will be notified approximately two weeks after the submission deadline. In order to apply, you will need to create an account on Slideroom and login.

Click here to apply

Award Amount:

Project Support Grants range from $2,000 to $15,000. Funding amount will vary depending on the number of applications and awardees and feasibility of the budget submitted. Awardees may not receive the total amount requested. We encourage applicants to apply only for what is needed. 


Applications will be accepted from all U-M Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint staff and faculty (tenured, tenure-track, research-, clinical- and practice- faculty, lecturers). Projects with at least 20-30% of budget support confirmed through other funding sources will be given priority. Those holding a current open project from any Arts Initiative program cannot apply.

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Substantive community, campus, and/or student participation / engagement;
  • Clarity, imagination, and quality of the proposed project;
  • Demonstrates and supports equity, justice, and/or cultural issues relevant to our time
  • Feasibility/efficiency of budget and timeline, including cost sharing 

If Awarded:

  • Awardees must receive clearance from their unit to conduct the work for this project within the scope of their position, or to work on the project outside of regular work hours.
  • The PI and their Business Office staff, as stewards of the funds transferred to the project lead’s unit, are responsible for any contracts or sole source justifications required for execution of the proposed project. 
  • Arts Initiative staff will not execute transactions on behalf of PIs (paying invoices, booking travel, etc). The project lead’s unit is responsible for stewarding awarded funds to achieve activities outlined in the grant proposal/budget.
  • The Arts Initiative may help promote projects and share information about related events, but will not provide any programmatic support for these projects.

Examples of past projects the Arts Initiative has funded that demonstrate this program:

For questions, contact Christopher Audain, Managing Director, at caudain@umich.edu.