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The UCLA Chancellor's Arts Initiative

Applications due January 29, 2024 (UPDATED)

2023 Chancellor’s Arts Initiative Grant Recipients

Fifteen Chancellor’s Arts Initiative Grants were awarded to support projects that advance the arts and arts-related scholarship at UCLA.

Program Guidelines



The purpose of Arts Initiative funding is to support UCLA faculty’s arts-based research, recognizing and supporting the value of creative activities in the arts for the university, Los Angeles communities, and beyond. Any arts-related focus is acceptable, and proposals that present a detailed vision of meaningful collaboration interdepartmentally, with colleagues across campus, or with diverse local community partners and beyond are appreciated, but not required.

For this cycle of the program, preparers are encouraged to propose projects that will animate new UCLA properties such as the downtown Trust Building or help connect communities and contextualize the city’s relationship to the 2028 Olympics. 

Recipients of Arts Initiative funding will continue to be featured on the Go Arts Portal, a digital platform designed to bring together the university’s arts organizations with the goal of articulating and amplifying the power of the arts to elevate and enrich lives. Through storytelling, programming, and advocacy, Go Arts deepens connections both across campus and with local and global communities. 

The 2023-24 Chancellor's Arts Initiative will be administered through a partnership between the Chancellor’s Council on the Arts (CCoA) and the UCLA Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Activities (ORCA). Funding for the 2023-24 Chancellor’s Arts Initiative has been generously provided by:

  • UCLA Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Activities (ORCA)
  • UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television
  • UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music
  • UCLA School of Arts and Architecture
  • UCLA College Division of Humanities
  • UCLA College Division of Social Sciences


The Arts Initiative was established in 2006 as an annual program designed to foster the advancement of the arts and arts-related scholarship at UCLA. To date, more than one hundred projects across the arts and humanities have been supported by Arts Initiative funding. In 2020, the Chancellor's Council on the Arts was established to connect and mobilize UCLA' s diverse artistic communities, drawing upon their strengths in areas such as visual and performing arts, theater, film and television, creative writing, digital arts and media, architecture and urban design, dance, music, humanistic research on the arts, public arts curation and presentation, K-12 arts education, community arts, and international programs in the arts and arts policy.

The mission of the Chancellor’s Council on the Arts is to center the arts in the heart of UCLA’s identity and purpose, knowing that the arts enable human connections, motivate and celebrate creativity and curiosity as they nourish communities and foster a more just, equitable and sustainable society.

Information about previous recipients can be found on the Go Arts Portal. 

View 2023 Recipients

View 2022 Recipients

View 2021 Recipients


    Award Amount

    A total of approximately $130K in funding is available.

    Arts Initiative grants are between $5-15K (maximum award amount), with most awards made in the amount of $10K.

    Reviewers may elect to provide partial funding to a project.

    Period of Performance 

    Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by Spring Quarter 2024.  

    Awardees should plan for all funds to be used by June 30, 2025. The award period will run through September 30, 2025 to accommodate unexpected delays. After this date, any unused project funds must be returned unless an extension has been granted.  

    Award Disbursement

    Award funds will be transferred to a UCLA account for the awardee,

    Award funds are to be used in accordance with the submitted budget. 

    Award funds must be used in compliance with all university policies and procedures.

    Extension Requests

    No-cost extensions to the grant period will be considered on a case-by-case basis and should include a clear explanation for why the work could not be completed during the initial grant period.

    Any request for a no-cost extension should be submitted as far as possible in advance of the end of the award period.

    Awardee Requirements

    A final report and project documentation must be submitted after the completion of the grant. Program staff will provide awardees with additional information regarding reporting requirements and documentation at the completion of the grant period.

    The grantee will make themselves available to the Go Arts Strategic Communications team to develop a story for the Go Arts Portal and support any other relevant promotional and/or media relations opportunities.


    PI Eligibility

    Each application must have a single Principal Investigator (PI) who personally participates in the project to a significant degree and has primary responsibility for the execution and administration of the project.

    The PI must have a ladder-rank faculty affiliation with one of the units affiliated with the Chancellor’s Council on the Arts (CCoA)

    • Ladder rank faculty are faculty holding tenured titles or non-tenured titles in a series in which tenure may be conferred. For this program, ladder-rank faculty refers to those appointed in the Professor series.
    • The units affiliated with the Chancellor's Council on the Arts are:
      • Herb Alpert School of Music
      • School of the Arts and Architecture
      • School of Theater, Film and Television
      • College Division of Humanities
      • College Division of Social Sciences
      • International Institute
      • Institute of American Cultures

    Contributors to the project who are not eligible to serve as the PI (including, but not limited to, lecturers, adjuncts, other non-senate faculty (including academic administrators), visiting faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and individuals without UCLA appointments) may serve as Co-PIs or team members.

    Previous Awardee Eligibility

    Arts Initiative Awardees

    Preference will be given to proposals from faculty not previously funded through this program.

    Prior recipients of funding through the Chancellor’s Arts Initiative may apply for funding for a different project, provided they do not have an active award through the program (i.e. a project for which the grant period has not ended).

    Awardees of Other ORCA Funding

    PIs or co-PIs currently funded by other ORCA seed funding mechanisms (i.e. a project for which the grant period has not ended), including the ORCA Acceleration Grants (OAG), Racial and Social Justice Seed Grants (RSJ), and Latinx Studies Seed Grants (LSS), may not apply for additional funding for the same project, but may apply for funding for a different project.

    Eligibility Questions?

    If you have questions about eligibility, please contact prior to submitting an application.


    Applications must be submitted by Monday, January 29, 2024 at 11:59 pm (UPDATED).

    Submission Portal

    All proposals must be submitted through the Arts Initiative application portal . Applicants should access the application using the “UCLA Login” option, which will prompt the user to login using their single sign-on credentials.

    Access Application Portal

    Application Requirements

    Note: The information below has been updated to more accurately reflect the layout of the application submission form. The required information and materials for the application have not changed [1/8/2024].

    The application form is divided into the following sections and will request the information listed below.

    PI Information

    • Biographical information (Name, email, school/division, department)
    • Eligibility confirmation (see eligibility criteria above)
    • Previous Arts Initiative funding - Provide the project title, award year, and approximate amount awarded for any Arts Initiative funding from the past five years.

    Co-PI Information (Optional)

    • Biographical Information (Name, email, school/division, department)
    • An application may have up to four Co-PIs. Individuals listed should include those who will personally participate in the project to a significant degree. In certain instances, a Co-PI may also have some responsibility for the execution and/or administration of the project.

    Application Information

    • Project title (15 words maximum / Suitable for use in award announcement)
    • Requested funding amount
    • Abstract (150 words max / Suitable for use in award announcement)


    Project Description/Proposal - In a single pdf document, please include the following information (with section headings):

    • Working Project Title
    • Project Description (500 words max)
    • Project Impact (150 words max)
    • Activities and Timeline (500 words max) - Provide a brief description of the proposed activities with a timeline. (NOTE: Awardees should plan for all project activities to be completed and funds to be used by June 30, 2025.
    • Alignment with UCLA Priorities (500 words max): Provide a brief description of how the proposed activities align with the program’s interest in projects that advance excellent and original work, promoting the university’s commitment to generating new knowledge and new understanding. In addition, describe how the proposed project contributes to one or more of the university’s larger commitments to sustainability, anti-racism, equity, diversity, inclusion, engagement in Los Angeles or globally, and other university initiatives. 
    • Key Participants and Partners: List the names/affiliations of any key participants/partners who are not listed as Co-PIs 

    CVs/Biosketches/Other Equivalents (combined in a single pdf)

    • There are no formatting requirements, as practices may vary across disciplines. In general, this document should make it evident to reviewers that the PI and any Co-PIs possess the qualifications to carry out the proposed project. 
    • Provide a version of this document for the PI and any Co-PIs. 
    • This document is not required for other key collaborators, but may be included if the information would be important for the reviewers to have.
    • If multiple CVs/Biosketches/Other equivalents are to be included, they should be combined into a single pdf for upload.


    • NOTE: The budget section of the application has been updated. Applicants will enter budget information directly into the application form (instead of uploading a completed budget template form). The required information and budget categories have not changed.
    • For each budget category in which there are costs, applicants should provide the requested amount, a breakdown/description of the costs, and a justification for why the costs are necessary to complete the proposed project. The budget categories available on the application form are:
      • Staff/Student Personnel
      • Travel
      • Research / Creative Activity Expenses
      • Other Expenses
    • When preparing the budget, keep in mind the following:
      • Details about allowable expenses are included below.
      • Arts Initiative grants will be in the $5-15K range, with most awards made in the amount of $10K.
      • Reviewers may elect to provide partial funding to a project. Clear budget information and justifications can help reviewers to determine possible partial funding amounts.


    Use of Funds

    Funds must be used for direct research and/or creative activity costs such as materials, supplies, personnel (including staff and student salaries), and travel to the extent that such expenses are directly related to the proposed project.

    The following are allowable expenses:

    • Materials and supplies directly related to the project
    • Travel, accommodations, and honoraria for campus visitors/project collaborators
    • Research assistants (undergraduate and/or graduate students)
    • Event-related expenses (e.g. venue and equipment rental, receptions, staffing, technology, office supplies)
    • Expenses related to community outreach, documentation, and empowerment (publicity, structured feedback, surveys, oral histories, documentation of community arts practices, archiving of event/project outcomes, compensation of community partners)

    Proposals may involve compensating non-UCLA affiliated personnel, especially members of the local community. An explanation of how community expertise or service is critical for the success of the project should be included in the project narrative.

    Funds may not be used for UCLA-based faculty/investigator salaries or support including teaching buy-outs or summer ninths, or departmental overhead costs (indirect costs).

    Proposed activities and expenditures must comply with all applicable university policies and procedures.


    Initial Screening

    Program staff will conduct an initial screen of applications to confirm eligibility and completeness. Applicants will be contacted if there are any questions.

    Review Criteria

    The review committee will use the following criteria to evaluate all proposals. Each criterion will be weighted as indicated by the percentage in the parentheses.

    Contribution to UCLA's Priorities (30%)

    • Does the proposed project advance excellent and original work, promoting the university’s commitment to generating new knowledge and new understanding?
    • Does the proposed project contribute to one or more of the university’s larger commitments to sustainability, anti-racism, equity, diversity, inclusion, engagement in Los Angeles or globally, and other university initiatives? 

    Reach/Impact (20%)

    • Does the proposed project have relevance and impact within (and potentially outside) its given field? 
    • Do the PI, Co-PI(s), or Co-Investigators have plans for publication, exhibition, or other avenues of knowledge transfer to the public? 

    Community Engagement/Partnership (10%)

    • Does the proposed project present a detailed vision of meaningful collaboration with diverse community partners or interdepartmentally with cross-campus colleagues? 

    Public Awareness/Promoting Arts at UCLA (10%)

    • Does the proposed project increase public awareness of the arts at UCLA in a way that is consistent with its scope? 
    • Does the project have outreach, marketing, or communication plans to bring awareness to art and the project's success and efforts? 
    • How will the project help to effectively highlight arts at UCLA? 

    Leadership Qualifications (10%)

    • Do the PI and any Co-PIs/Co-Investigators possess the qualifications to carry out the proposed activities collaboratively with equity, diversity and inclusion in mind? 

    Project Feasibility (10%)

    • Are the project activities, scope, budget, timeline in alignment with the  project description and outcomes?

    Budget (10%)

    • Does the proposal have adequate justification for funding for the requested items?
    • Is there clear and accurate documentation and itemization for the expenses?
    • Has other funding been secured (or sought)?  (NOTE: Additional internal/external funding in addition to the Arts Initiative grant is not required. However, if Arts Initiative funding would not be sufficient to complete the project, there should be an indication of potential sources for the additional funding.)

    For questions about the UCLA Chancellor's Arts Initiative, please email