SAIC Shapiro Center EAGER Grant

About the Program

The SAIC Shapiro Center Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) grant is designed for SAIC faculty to initiate preliminary work with clearly articulated plans for securing additional resources in the immediate future for continued project support. Plans for soliciting continued support may include broader project impact, new partnerships with external organizations and individuals, and strategies for acquiring additional funding support from local, state, and federal agencies as well as industry and private foundations.

For example, the SAIC Shapiro Center EAGER could be used to:

The SAIC Shapiro Center EAGER grant may be used to support exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, interdisciplinary research ideas or approaches in projects that span the Shapiro Center research clusters: Civic Engagement, Learning in the Arts, and New Forms and Materials. Exploratory projects supported by the SAIC Shapiro Center EAGER grant may be considered especially "high risk-high payoff" in the sense that it may involve radically different approaches, apply new expertise, or engage novel disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspectives.

2012 SAIC Shapiro Center EAGER Grant Review Panel

2012 SAIC Shapiro Center EAGER Grant Recipients and Project Descriptions

Raspberry Pi: Micro Computing for Artists and Designer
Christopher Baker, Assistant Professor, Art and Technology Studies

Ali Momeni (CMU); Diane Willow, University of Minnesota; Piotr Szyhalski, Minneapolis College of Art and Design; David Lakatos, MIT Media Lab; Christopher Coleman, University of Colorado,

The Raspberry Pi:
Micro Computing for Artists and Designers project will explore the possibilities of Raspberry Pi, a new and inexpensive creative computing platform and teaching tool, by creating open-source code, open hardware schematics, online tutorials, examples, and exploratory projects.

The Rhizome Alliance
Deborah Boardman, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Painting and Drawing and Arts Administration and Policy

Kevin Kaempf (Contemporary Practices and Sculpture), Eric May (Contemporary Practices), and Rodger Cooley, INUAg

SAIC faculty involved in the Rhizome Alliance will collaborate with the International Network of Urban Agriculture and artists in the United States and India to create a prototype for artists to connect with rural and urban farmers, designers, and nongovernmental organizations. This project seeks to create links to preserve traditional rural village farming and increase the presence of urban agriculture.

On Synchronics
Claudia Hart, Associate Professor, Film, Video, New Media, and Animation

Nina Colosi, Streaming Museum, New York City

On Synchronics project will produce a prototype for a virtual performance that will bring together diverse media works representing a single digital body, that will be simultaneously streamed on 55 globally located Jumbotron screens.

Lipstick Dreams: Images of Femininities Circulating among China, South Korea, and the U.S.
Maud Lavin, Professor, Visual and Critical Studies; Art History, Theory, and Criticism

Soojin Lee; Fang-Tze Hsu

The Lipstick Dreams:
Images of Femininities Circulating among China, South Korea, and the U.S. is a book development project that examines women looking at women through cultural filters in China, South Korea, and the United States. The work sets its focus on mass media fantasies about femininity represented in TV dramas, music videos, and other media produced in cultures not their own and yet regularly circulated on the Internet.

Sensory Mode: A Laboratory of Fashion
Anke Loh, Assistant Professor, Fashion Design

Fraunhofer Institute, Berlin; Rogers Research Group, University of Illinois

Prototypes for embedding new technologies and flexible circuits into crinkled, soft, and supple surfaces will be developed to demonstrate new potentials in wearable technologies.

The Passion of Mariam: A New Ta'ziyeh Opera
Ruth Margraff, Associate Professor, Writing

San Jose Stage Company, Chicago Dramatists; Mohammad Ghaffari; Richard Marriott; and Irena Kruzhilina; Mohammadreeza Farzad

The Passion of Mariam will be a new Ta'ziyeh opera and trans-disciplinary project, exploring new areas of research in the fields of theater, music, and opera. The opera will involve experimental and non-Western traditional practices the goal to unite people across divides of religion, culture, politics, economics, and age.


Networked Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth and Civic Engagement: Exploring Safe School Advocacy through Social Media (declined)
Therese Quinn, Associate Professor, Art Education

Dr. Erica Meiners, Professor Northeastern Illinois University

This research will explore how LGBTQ youth, through their use of networked digital media and the Internet, expand ideas of what counts as civics, such as participating in established organizations and traditional forms of political organizing.


The Plug-In Studio: An Autonomous, Self-Contained, Portable Art and Technology Classroom
Kerry Richardson, Assistant Professor, Film, Video, New Media, and Animation and Contemporary Practices

Steven Ciampaglia; Northern Illinois University

The Plug-In Studio is an autonomous, self-contained, and entirely portable Art and Technology classroom that will be designed to bring technology-based artmaking to underserved children and teens in community learning sites. The Plug-In Studio serves as a bridge between art education and STEM education, between physical and online learning sites, between traditional K–12 art education and community arts practice, and between SAIC and the communities of Chicago.


Youth Reframing the Landscape of Sexual Health Education: A Pilot Study of a Local School District
Karyn Sandlos, Assistant Professor, Art Education

Maura Minsky and Ernestine Heldring, Scenarios USA and Ira Rounsaville, HIV Education Unit, Chicago Public Schools.

The purpose of the Youth Reframing the Landscape of Sexual Health Education:
A Pilot Study of a Local School District is to identify the challenges of implementing an arts-based sexual health curriculum in a large urban school district. The research questions include: How do local concerns and contexts shape adolescent sexuality and learning? What can we learn from the experiences of teachers who use this curriculum in culturally and socioeconomically diverse Chicago classrooms? How can the curriculum be replicated within individual schools, and across the CPS school district?


Investigating Individual and Social Significance of Work: A Community Art Studio Model
Savneet Talwar, Associate Professor, Art Therapy

Cathy Moon & Melissa Raman Molitor, Adjunct Assistant Professors, Art Therapy, SAIC

The Investigating Individual and Social Significance of Work:
A Community Art Studio Model project will take place in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago and uses a Participatory Action Research model to evaluate residents' quality of life in relation to work. The goals of the project are to develop methods from art therapy that will foster more just, equitable, and satisfying work in the lives of community members.