Request for Proposals

Arts & the Curriculum is a University of Michigan Arts Initiative program that supports development of courses or curricular programs that bring the arts into student learning. A new round of proposals is now open for the '24-'25 academic year.

The Arts Initiative seeks proposals for curricular development projects and/or programs that train instructors that enhance the connection between learning and the arts at the University of Michigan. Projects should promote integration of arts thinking, hands-on art making experiences, or the use of arts methodologies or practices in student learning. Projects are typically classroom-based for the development of the applicant’s own courses, but they can explore wider understandings of arts-based learning for adoption across the curriculum or across campus.

Examples of the kinds of activity this program supports:

  • Developing new courses that incorporate arts learning.
  • Producing arts-integrative materials and strategies (concept guides, online shared resources)
  • Creating modules, or course components, for teaching through the arts in humanities, social sciences, or STEM
  • Facilitating methodologies for collaborative teaching around art practices
  • Data collection and analysis to inform impact of the arts on teaching and learning
  • Assessment and evaluation for arts learning  case-making
  • Testing models of arts-based classroom engagements or technologies that increase access to creative making or collaboration
  • Investigating and designing high-impact learning models through the arts (internships, travel learning, civically-engaged learning)
  • Offering training or workshops to a department-wide section of faculty or some other identified subset of instructors


Selected proposals from individuals awarded up to $10,000; for teams, up to $15,000. Teams composed of members from two or more units are encouraged.


The Arts & the Curriculum program supports and encourages wider access to arts-based learning across the U-M community. The first iteration of Arts & the Curriculum was also a platform for faculty and staff across units and all three campuses to connect and learn from each other’s approaches–this function is enhanced in the second call. Awardees will be part of a growing community of arts integrators, contributing to a resource bank of examples of arts-based teaching and learning, and offering support and mentoring for future applicants.

The goal of this program is to catalyze new collaborations and new attempts to bring the arts into a class or program while supporting instructors and programs that have been working in this area and have ideas about how to further enhance teaching and learning. The Arts Initiative seeks to increase the number of students who engage in the arts through their coursework at the University of Michigan. This can be through a direct faculty-to-student interaction in a class, or indirectly through faculty training sessions or evaluation projects that contribute to case-making in arts pedagogy.

Who Can Apply

  • Faculty: Tenure-track, lecturers, or clinical-, practice-, or research-track, at the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, or Flint campuses, who have ongoing teaching appointments
  • Librarians, curators, archivists, and other staff who work on professional development or training for faculty or curricular innovation
  • Mixed teams of faculty and staff

Other Guidelines

  • Funds can offset the cost of a teaching release, as negotiated by the applicant working with their department.
  • Cost share is not required, but encouraged.
  • Funds can be used for travel.
  • Funds can be used for a summer-ninth effort (summer ‘24) but subject to caps.
  • Funds can offset staff salary in proportion to project effort.
  • Funds can be used to pay student workers.
  • Proposals can incorporate methodologies related to arts and K-12 education, but for the benefit of learning in higher education.
  • The Arts & the Curriculum program is not intended as a supplement or duplicate of an existing program, or only buy tickets/ pay honoraria for class guests (see Arts at Michigan’s Course Connections for this kind of support), though payments for honoraria or tickets are allowed if part of a larger plan for new curricular development.

Timeline (Deadline Extended)

  • Applications open December 13, 2023 for AY '24-25 projects and courses.
  • Short concept submission: February 5, 2024.
  • Proposals workshop: Friday, February 23 10:00-1:00; notices by March 15
  • Awarded projects learning community half-day workshops: May 8 & October 18. Workshop for next round of applicants: February 7, 2025.
  • Projects completed by May 1, 2025; final reports and financial statement: June 15, 2025.

Application Process

First step: Applicants should submit a general overview of the proposed curricular project (500 words or less). It should include these as relevant: the community of students the project will reach including the department; collaborators and their roles; the nature of the arts engagement in a course, the community of instructors a training or workshop will serve. It should also include a broad overview of the type of support sought (ex: external collaborator stipend, supplies, technical production fees).

Selected proposals will be invited to an arts integration facilitated workshop to workshop their proposals, held Feb. 23. Participants will then submit a full proposal, detailed budget, and documentation plan.

2022-2023 awardees are invited to submit an expedited request to use unused funds from their projects, or requests for supplements to continue their course projects. New plans to share findings (conferences, publication costs, new media documentation) are encouraged. These will be reviewed as they are submitted, with preference for extension requests by January 15, 2024. Please indicate whether the request is for an extension of already-received funds, or for additional funds.

Previously awarded projects can request extensions here.

Review Questions:

Does the proposal promote arts-based teaching and learning or case-making about the impact of the arts on learning in a higher education setting?

Does the proposal expand access to arts-based teaching and learning for students not majoring in the arts or promote wider disciplinary reach and understanding of arts pedagogy?

Does the proposal have potential for sustained impact beyond the course or proposed activity?

First round announcement (Spring 2022)

2023 Symposium Recap

Questions about Arts & the Curriculum contact Alison Rivett