Encountering the Unseen: artist-actualized lectures on topics in STEM fields

Encountering the Unseen is an academic symposium as work of experimental live theater. Our project is to pair artists, choreographers, performers, and musicians from both UCLA and the greater Los Angeles area with professors working in STEM fields at UCLA. The project consists of three workshops, leading up to a fourth and final performance event - an evening symposium of five brief but stimulatin lectures on topics as wide ranging as ecology and evolution, mechanical engineering, astrophysics, and more.

Wadada Leo Smith

Trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and improviser Wadada Leo Smith is one of the most boldly original and influential artists of his time. Transcending the bounds of genre or idiom, he distinctly defines his music, tirelessly inventive in both sound and approach, as "Creative Music."

For the last five decades, Smith has been a member of the legendary AACM collective, pivotal in its wide-open perspectives on music and art in general. He has carried those all-embracing concepts into his own work, expanding upon them in myriad ways.

Disability as Spectacle

The award provides funding to host Rosemarie Garland-Thomson and Karen Nakamura as part of UCLA Disability Studies' conference on Disability as Spectacle. This interdisciplinary conference aims to stimulate a discussion around how society constructs, reacts, and embraces or rejects visible and invisible disabilities in the public sphere. As visibility continues to increase in popular culture, scholars will need to confront a changing landscape in which (some) disabilities are de-stigmatized while others are prevented from participating in the new visibility. 

Anthem: Remixing Race and Nation

A public symposium taking a critical view of 2016 through a controversial song that announced a cultural turn toward a Trump presidency: “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Featured guests will include NFL quarterback and activist Colin Kaepernick, whose refusal to stand during the playing of the national anthem caused a national firestorm of debate, as well as Rene Marie, a jazz vocalist whose 2008 performance of the anthem in advance of the Democratic National Convention combined the tune of “The Star-Spangled Banner” with the lyrics of the Negro National Anthem “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.” Event

Latin American Institute

The UCLA Latin American Institute is a vital regional, national, and international resource on Latin America. Since its founding in 1959, the LAI has equipped generations of leaders, professionals, and students with the information and skills required for understanding the vast and complex region of Latin America. The LAI supports research by funding grants and foreign-language instruction, and disseminates recent scholarship through conferences, workshops, public programs, teacher training, and publications.