The UCLA Chancellor's Arts Initiative

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Important Dates

  • Program Announced: January 2021
  • Application Due Date: March 1, 2021 by 11:59 pm
  • Announcement of Grants: End of March 2021
  • Project Funding Period: Project funds must be used between April 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022.


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 newly re-envisioned 2021 Chancellor's Arts Initiative will be administered through a partnership between the Chancellor’s Council on the Arts (CCoA) and the UCLA Office for Research and Creative Activities (ORCA). With a streamlined application process, funding will be available to directly support faculty research and creative activities in the arts. 

Recipients of Arts Initiative funding will 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 will deepen connections both across campus and with local and global communities. The Go Arts portal focuses the existing strengths of the arts and cultures at UCLA by building upon their accessibility, expanding their audiences, and extending their impact. 

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, both for the university and for communities beyond academia. 
  • A total of just under $100K in grants is available. Arts Initiative grants will normally be in the $5-15K range. 
  • The deadline for Arts Initiative funding requests is March 1, 2021. Grant awards will be announced around end of March, 2021. Project funds must be used between April 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022.  Extensions to this grant period will not be allowed.
  • A final report and project documentation must be submitted by June 30, 2022. The grantee will also 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.
  • Any arts-related focus is acceptable, but for the 21-22 funding cycle, priority will be given to proposals that contribute to the university’s larger commitments to sustainability, anti-racism, equity, diversity, and inclusion.


This funding opportunity is open to all academic senate faculty, lecturers, adjuncts, and other non-senate faculty, including academic administrators. Visiting faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and individuals without UCLA appointments are not eligible to serve as the PI, although they may serve as co-investigators or team members.  

Budget and Allowable Expenses

Arts Initiative grants will normally be in the $5-15K range. 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 archiving of event/project outcomes

Funds must be used for direct research 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. 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. If proposals involve compensating non-UCLA affiliated personnel, then an explanation of why this expertise or service is critical for the success of the project must be included in the project narrative.

Submission Process

Applications must be submitted by March 1, 2021 at 11:59 pm.

All proposals must be submitted through the Arts Initiative application portal and include the following elements:

To be entered in the appropriate fields:

  • Name
  • UCLA email address
  • Appointment
  • Academic unit
  • Working project title (Suitable for web announcement - 15 words max)

To be uploaded as a single PDF (with headings for each section):

  • Name and working project title 
  • Project description (suitable for web announcement - 500 words max)
  • Project impact (150 words max)
  • Brief description of activities with timeline (500 words max)
  • Key participants and partners
  • Optional brief description of how activities further the university’s commitment to sustainability, anti-racism, equity, diversity, and inclusion (150 words max)
  • Request for funding (Provide outline of how money will be spent/simple budget narrative - 150 words max)

Selection Process

A panel composed of senate faculty and members of the CCoA will review applications and make recommendations for funding.

Meritorious proposals will address the following criteria :

  • Advances an ongoing and/or emerging arts-related research agenda. 
  • Advances excellent and original work. 
  • Advances the university’s stated goals of sustainability, anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion. 
  • Is timely and relevant. 
  • Increases public awareness of the arts at UCLA. 


If you have questions about submitting an application, please email [email protected]