CO+RE Grants Program
The projects below have been selected to receive a second round of funding from the CO+RE Program.
Examining the Effects of a Youth-Based Sport for Development Program on Socio-Emotional Learning and Academic Efficacy
Developing a novel sport for development program to help youth in the Champaign/Urbana area develop socially and academically.
The purpose of this collaborative project (Youth Olympians Program) is to jointly develop a novel sport for development (SFD) program to help youth in the Champaign/Urbana area develop socially and academically. The project will be designed and led by UIUC students and faculty in close collaboration with staff at the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club (DMBGC) in Champaign. The research component will examine the effects of the program on youth participants’ socio-emotional learning (SEL) and academic efficacy. Additional aims of the project are to ascertain which program components evince specific outcomes, and to explore how being involved in the program influences adult leaders’ socialization and career preparation. The main issue addressed is helping youth in Champaign and Urbana develop socially and academically, needs which have been identified by the community partner and the local school districts. Youth (ages 5-16) will take part in this 8-month program designed to utilize sport, physical activity, the cultural arts, and educational workshops to address the stated outcomes.
This project is an equal collaborative effort between faculty in the Departments of Recreation, Sport and Tourism (RST) and Kinesiology and Community Health (KCH) as well as staff from the DMBGC. The DMBGC has a need to provide high quality programming for youth, particularly to those who come from communities affected by poverty and struggle in school. The DMBGC wants to expand its programming to include evidence-based pedagogies, and to develop a robust evaluation scheme. The proposed program directly addresses the ongoing needs of the community partner by enabling faculty and students at UIUC, who have the latest knowledge and training in sport and physical activity pedagogy, to work alongside DMBGC staff in designing, implementing, and evaluating the Young Olympians Program.
The proposed project furthers UIUC’s mission of discovery, engagement, and innovative learning in several ways. First, it provides a direct avenue for public engagement for students and faculty to design and evaluate a program aimed at addressing community needs. Second, the project establishes an innovative learning environment for UIUC student leaders as they work collaboratively with DMBGC staff, directly applying knowledge gained in the classroom to practice. Finally, the project allows all partners to discover design components that are linked to outcomes. The project will directly benefit both UIUC researchers and the community partner. It will enable researchers from RST and KCH to collect longitudinal data that will be publishable in top tier journals and which can be leveraged for external funding. The DMBGC will benefit by having a theory-driven, pedagogically sound program delivered and evaluated to help it achieve its mission of enabling all young people, especially those residing in communities affected by poverty, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
- Jon Welty-Peachey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Charles Burton, Jr., Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club
- K. Andrew R. Richards, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Julian Woolf, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Illinois Maya Initiative
Developing a collaborative hub connecting researchers, community social service professionals, and indigenous Latin American (primarily Maya) immigrants and refugees in east-central Illinois.
The Maya Illinois Initiative aims to develop a collaborative hub connecting researchers, community social service professionals, and indigenous Latin American (primarily Maya) immigrants and refugees in east-central Illinois. We seek funding to develop this initiative in pursuit of four primary goals:
- To establish models of best practices, consistent with ethical guidelines, state-of-the-art examples of collaborative research, and recognized standards of indigenous community rights, that will serve as a resource for members of the university community seeking research or engagement connections with the Maya community. Because the practical and ethical challenges of work with this community differ significantly from more conventional research, extension, and engagement work across our campus, we see this not only as a resource for prospective researchers and engagement specialists but also for campus oversight boards such as the IRB.
- To serve as a clearinghouse helping to connect and align research and engagement efforts from across our campus, to minimize duplication, and to more effectively leverage existing skills, experiences, and outcomes from previous and ongoing work.
- To develop a sustainable campus-community platform that will facilitate the development of collaborative research and outreach work generated by community members, regional institutional stakeholders, and campus researchers and extension agents.
- To make this project a model for other sorts of campus-community collaborative infrastructures at the University of Illinois and comparable work with indigenous Latin American and other vulnerable communities elsewhere.
The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies serves students, faculty, and scholars from across the University of Illinois campus, along with communities from across Illinois and the Midwest, by promoting innovative research, specialist teaching, and public awareness of the Latin American region and its complex connections to the United States and other parts of the world. Community engagement is core to the Center’s mission and is evidenced by a robust set of activities serving K-14 educators and their students, business and professional groups, local social service agencies, and the general public. This proposal builds on the Center’s longstanding engagement with service providers who work with Latinx migrant communities in the CU area so that they can offer more culturally and linguistically sensitive and effective support to the indigenous (primarily Maya) migrant communities in Champaign County.
- Katherine Szremski, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Julia Albarracín, Western Illinois University
- Andrew Orta, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Ryan Shosted, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Alejandra Seufferheld, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Margarita De L Teran-Garcia, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
MOVE MS and Beyond: Fostering Group Exercise for Individuals with MS and Other Disabilities Through Research-Supported Community Programs
Designing, developing, implementing, and sustaining an MS-specific physical activity program.
Engagement in physical activity (PA) and exercise yields important benefits for those with chronic disease and disabilities. Although many barriers contribute to low participation (e.g. distance, cost, scarcity, inaccessibility, isolation), people with chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS) desire and would benefit from PA and exercise programs that are inclusive, appropriate, evidence-based and convenient. Further, adults with chronic conditions and disabilities often feel alienated in exercise spaces and desire condition-specific exercise programming in their local community. The present study aims to design, develop, implement and sustain an MS-specific PA program. Our research team has been involved in the implementation of the community program MOVE MS for the last 2.5 years in central Illinois. We have identified challenges that can be addressed with the current proposal to ensure successful continued collaboration.
- Brynn Adamson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Chung-Yi Chiu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Ashley Dennis, Urbana Park District
- Kay Hankins, National Multiple Sclerosis Society
- Elsie Hedgspeth, Urbana Park District
- Stacy Kirkpatrick, teacher in Bloomington/Normal
- Toni Liechty, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Laura Rice, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
STEAM TRAIN (Transdisciplinary Research Across Institutional Near-Peers)
Providing educational enrichment across grades and institutions.
Franklin STEAM Academy (Franklin) hosts a culturally diverse student body, in search of enrichment opportunities to both captivate their interests and push the boundaries of their creativity. University of Illinois Laboratory High School (Uni) seeks resources to provide students with a passion for mentoring to pursue their community-oriented goals. The Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) is a collaborative research institute focused on grand societal challenges, with a robust outreach program embodying their motto, “Where science meets society.” To this end, we provide both educational activities for students of all ages and build relationships with community groups. Together, Franklin, Uni, and the IGB envision a community research partnership program to achieve the goals of all three groups. The STEAM TRAIN will be a student-led effort to tackle life science grand challenges of their own choosing, with the benefit of multi-generational mentorship teams. These teams will feature near-peer Uni High students, aided by University of Illinois graduate and undergraduate students and IGB outreach staff. This program will foster collaboration across disciplines while empowering younger students to explore their own ideas for the future of science and a better tomorrow.
- Daniel Urban, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Zanne Newman, Franklin STEAM Academy
- Christopher Brunson, Franklin STEAM Academy
- David Bergandine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Laboratory HS
- Courtney Fenlon, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Gene Robinson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Arts CO+RE Grant Program
CETACEAN (The Whale): The 6th Performance in the Unreliable Bestiary
A multi-year communal process culminating in a public performance centered around a full-scale blue whale skeleton—an enormous marionette suspended and “swimming” through the air of the University of Illinois Stock Pavilion.
This project is a multi-year communal process culminating in a public performance centered around a full-scale blue whale skeleton, an enormous marionette suspended and “swimming” through the air of the University of Illinois Stock Pavilion. Using collected, recycled plastic, each of the 221 bones of the 110-foot-long skeleton will be built by area students and student-led organizations—a haunting, crowd-sourced ghost whale.
The work will feature performers in old-fashioned deep-sea diving costumes, large-scale video projection, a live chorus, music, and the story of the Pioneer Inland Whaling Association that toured a rotting whale carcass across the Midwest in 1881 on the flatbed of a train. Blue whales are thought to be the largest animal to ever inhabit our planet. The creature’s vast size might represent our need, our hope, and our difficult ecological moment. CETACEAN will create an emotional communal event while serving as an educational platform built to discuss environmental systems, climate change, and resilience, and embody collaborative processes, sustainability, and interdisciplinary storytelling.
- David “Deke” Weaver, Professor of New Media
- Jennifer Allen, Choreographer, Performer
- Susan Becker, Costume Design
- John Boesche, Video Projections Design
- Terri Ciofalo, Production/Technical Consultant
- Jamie Jones, Research Consultant
- James Lo, Composer/Sound Design
- Jorge Lucero, Social–Practice/Art-Education Consultant, Performer
- Andy Warfel, Production Design
- Jayne Wenger, Dramaturg
- Aimy Wissa, Bio-Design/Engineer Consultant
Disability Aware Cities
This multidisciplinary community-based arts program and public art project—incorporates public art, oral history, and storytelling—supports collaborative and interdependent creative teams composed of members of the local community who are disabled and Applied Health Science students. The program will engage and spotlight members of the arts and disability communities and will foster innovative learning experiences for students, faculty, and members of the community through new, equitable and creative approaches to access and the disabled experience.
This multidisciplinary community-based arts program and public art project—incorporating public art, oral history, storytelling, writing, visual arts, access, and subjective, nonnormative experience—supports engagement with local members of the arts and disability communities, innovative learning experiences for students, and new discoveries in intersectional arts access. With support from this grant we will pilot a public art project that exposes pre-health professional students to the lived experience and embodied understanding of disability, which will support and promote artists and individuals with disabilities living in Champaign-Urbana. Through this work, we will foster sustainable and meaningful relationships with community members who have disabilities as well as the organizations who work with them, while identifying and addressing barriers between campus and the greater community by focusing on access and inclusion. Collectively we have conceived of a program to benefit both PACE consumers and undergraduate students, while strengthening the relationship between our campus and the C-U disability community.
This project furthers the university’s mission of discovery, engagement, and innovative learning by prioritizing learning through first-hand experience in sustainable and equitable partnerships. Issues concerning disability—from innovative medical research, lectures, and laboratories to courses geared toward learning about disability culture—often fail to prioritize and collaborate with actual individuals with disabilities. Interactions often take place in laboratory settings, which sustains hierarchies between normal/non-normal and care-giver/patient and reinforces campus/community divides. AHS prepares students for careers in the health sciences where they will interact with people, patients, and clients of diverse abilities. These students, particularly those enrolled in AHS’s undergraduate disability studies minor, will have the opportunity to collaborate with differently abled community members through co-creating a public art project meant to spotlight the experience of individuals with disabilities on our campus and in our community. PACE consumers will be supported in sharing their experience as people with diverse disabilities, and they will ultimately be contributing to awareness and change around access and inclusion on both campus and in the region. Engaging with these complex and intersectional issues through creative practice has the potential to offer transformative, reciprocal experiences for both students and PACE consumers. The final work of art will not only be the result of, but will also be dependent upon, interdependent creative explorations of our campus and the city of Urbana which will result in a public art project in both places.
- Liza Sylvestre, Curator of Academic Programs at Krannert Art Museum
- Rachel Storm, Program Director of the Urbana Arts and Cultural Program
- John Kosciulek, Professor of Kinesiology and Community Health
- Sherry Longcor, Program Director at PACE, Inc
Champaign-Urbana Virtual Performance Commons
This project seeks to take advantage of this moment to assist artists in presenting their work digitally and train those who desire to learn to use these tools themselves.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the shuttering of performance spaces at the university and in the community for arts practice and research. The means of connecting to audiences shifted to digital spaces and the once familiar ways in which performing arts had been presented were no longer accessible. This left artists largely on their own to learn to navigate new technologies, find ways to connect to their audiences and experiment in mediums and formats they never previously employed. As the effects of the pandemic fade, there is an opportunity to build on the work done by performing artists and continue their exploration of digital mediums. Our project seeks to take advantage of this moment to assist artists in presenting their work digitally and train those who desire to learn to use these tools themselves. The project will provide artists with space where they have access to professional video and audio equipment and the expertise of a team of creative partners who will work with them to explore the possibilities and limitations that accompany adapting their work to a digital medium. Further, it will enable artists to investigate and attempt new types of performance afforded by the use of technology otherwise unavailable to them.
The need for this project is clear for both the community and the University. Nearly every stakeholder involved in this project has sought to present their work virtually during the pandemic and continue the practice and development of their craft. This has led to exploration, much experimentation, and also revealed the limitations of equipment and the importance of expertise and know-how in adapting the performance to a digital medium. This virtual commons will provide access to technology, expertise, a performance space, and a production studio that will allow artists to capture performances, broadcast their work, learn new skills, and develop new concepts and approaches to their craft.
The benefits of this program go beyond just the needs of artists and extend into the audiences and communities that they are trying to reach. The creation and distribution of digital content opens access to these performances to those who may not be able to attend performances in person. It will help bring the performances to the disabled, those in isolation due to the pandemic, former community members and alumni who live elsewhere, prospective students, individuals with personal, work, and family commitments that limit their ability to attend a live performance, and those around the globe who have an interest in the arts generally. The involvement of various stakeholders from the university and community in a consolidated virtual space will help to increase awareness of the arts for each other locally, with the goal of increasing engagement for all parties.
Further, the project will provide completed high-quality recordings for the performers, public broadcast of the works (online and on local television), and public online access to the performances thereafter. This aspect of the project will serve the stakeholders in several ways. Having copies of high-quality representations of their work may help some artists access future professional and creative opportunities. Public broadcast will expand the reach of their artistic performance and increase engagement with the community. Long term public access to these recordings will give artists a place to direct interested audiences and collaborators while also bringing diverse audiences to a single space to access these performances.
- Jake Metz, Media Commons Technology Specialist, University Library
- Charles Harris, Multi-Instrumentalist, Producer, Songwriter, Sound Engineer, Entertainment Curator, and Music Venue Owner
- Marten Stromberg, Rose Bowl Tavern Owner