Texas Tech University

Faculty Research and Creativity Activity Awards

Rationale and Objectives

The J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts (TCVPA) is committed to fostering excellence in all aspects of scholarly, creative, and artistic endeavors. From groundbreaking research to trendsetting excellence in performance and exhibition, our faculty are recognized pacesetters throughout the global arts community. To support our faculty members' pursuit of excellence in their scholarly, creative, and artistic agendas, we have established the TCVPA Faculty Research and Creative Activity Awards—a broad internal funding opportunity that will provide financial support to the college's faculty as they continue high-level work in their fields of practice and study.


All full-time faculty members in the TCVPA, including professors of practice, lecturers, and tenure-track/tenured faculty members, are invited to apply. In all cases, applications must articulate how the project for which funding is requested aligns with the faculty member's position at TTU.


Two categories will be used to allocate funding. The first tier, the Research and Creative Activity Award—Red (RCAA—Red), consists of awards up to $5,000. The second category, Research and Creative Activity Awards—Black (RCAA—Black), consists of awards above $5,000.  Total funding available for each annual cycle will vary from $50,000 to $100,000.

In both cases, these awards serve as internal funding opportunities whose goals will be to support creative- and research-related activities, as well as to catalyze collaborations, external awards, and a more visible presence of Texas Tech's faculty on regional, state, national, and international platforms.

Funding may be used to support creative practice and research projects including (but not limited to) the following: quantitative and qualitative research activities; performances; exhibitions; installations; readings; workshops; panel discussions; and travel for performances, site or archival visits, conference presentations, collaborative meetings, or other travel directly pertinent to an ongoing project. Awardees will complete a brief report to the Associate Dean for Faculty, Research and Creative Activity at the conclusion of the grant lifecycle summarizing the activities undertaken, the goals to which they aspired, and the degree of success they enjoyed in reaching those goals within the award period.

For RCAA—Black awardees, at least one application to an appropriate external funding source* for support of the awarded project or activity must be made within six months after the conclusion of the RCAA—Black award period. Formal notification of this submission— including a copy of the external proposal—should be provided to the Associate Dean for Faculty, Research, and Creative Activities within the timeline specified. These awardees will also participate in a colloquium to be held each academic year that includes a discussion and reception to celebrate each year's RCAA—Black awardees. The college will publish a booklet featuring abstracts and researcher biosketches following each annual colloquium.

*Any agencies included in the OVPRI's list of targeted external awards qualify as appropriate. Additionally, recognizing that federal funding is not necessarily germane to many projects, other external funding sources are also appropriate, excluding those with an application process managed for Texas Tech faculty by Institutional Advancement, such as the CH and Helen Jones Foundations.


  • “Principal Investigator” and “Co-Investigator” refer to the project lead and other key personnel, respectively. The Principal Investigator is responsible for directing and administering the project or activity, while Co-Investigators play significant roles in its design, execution, and/or evaluation. All projects should include Principal Investigators drawn from the TCVPA, though Co-Investigators may be from other units or external to Texas Tech.
  • Each project's proposed scope of work should include a clear benchmark event (e.g., a culminating creative event such as a performance; an article or other publication; or another appropriate product/benchmark) at the conclusion of (or within an approved date) of the award.
  • Faculty may serve as project lead on one application and as personnel on two further applications per annual application cycle. However, faculty may serve as project lead on only one RCAA—Black award at any given time.

Submission and Review

The application cycle for both awards opens each Fall term on November 1 and closes on February 1 suring the subsequent Spring term. Applicants will complete a submission form online via InfoReady. The following components will be required as part of a completed application:

  • Project Abstract (≤500 words)
  • Project Narrative (≤2,500 words): What are the proposed activities, why are they significant, and what impact is expected? How, when, and where will the proposed activities take place, and how will they support the faculty member's goal? How does the project align with the faculty member's appointment at TTU? This section may take the form of an annotated timeline. Applicants should also detail the importance of the proposed expenditures to the activities undertaken.
  • Budget: Applicants will submit an itemized budget detailing the elements proposed and amount needed for funding. Itemize any equipment proposed for purchase to individual items/groups of like items.
  • Biosketch: no more than 250 words.

The Associate Dean for Faculty, Research, and Creative Activities will appoint a committee with representatives from all three schools to review all applications using criteria articulated in a standardized and published rubric. Reviewing rubrics will be provided to submitting faculty, with additional feedback provided to those applications declined for funding. The reviewing committee either accepts or rejects individual applications in toto, and will not attempt to improve applications by editing or exercising a line-item veto, e.g. The reviewing committee will notify applicants by March 1 or as otherwise specified should additional time for a thorough review be necessary. Committee reviews will be conducted in a double-blind manner, with the identities of both the proposing and reviewing individuals concealed from each other.


The relevant School-based business office will administer all awards. Faculty receiving RCAA—Red awards will have one calendar year from the date of disbursement to expend their award, while RCAA—Black awardees will have two calendar years from the date of disbursement. For both awards, disbursement will occur on January 15. Unexpended monies at the end of the award period will be returned to the funding pool for future awards. In extenuating circumstances, faculty may appeal to the Associate Dean for Faculty, Research, and Creative Activities to request an extension of their award period. Such extensions are discouraged.


With these Research and Creative Activity Awards, the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts affirms its commitment to supporting our faculty in the excellent work they undertake each day as artists, teachers, and researchers. Beyond welcoming faculty applications to this revitalized internal funding framework, we also actively solicit feedback and suggestions from the faculty for improving its structure. These awards are part of an evolving process to develop award mechanisms and opportunities that meet the multiplicity of faculty needs across the college.

Standard Timeline

Late Summer – Award guidelines and timeline updated as needed

November 1 – Application portal opens (InfoReady)

February 1 – Application deadline

March 1 – Decisions from committee to applicants

March 15 – Award period begins

Subsequent March 15 – RCAA—Red award period ends for previous year's awardees; RCAA-Black award period ends for awardees from two years prior.

Subsequent late Spring semester – RCAA—Black awardees colloquium

Subsequent August 15 – Copy of external funding application due to Assoc. Dean for Research from RCAA—Black awardees

Special Timeline for 2020-2021 application cycle

This timeline will apply to academic year 2020-2021, given the timing of the program's release in late Fall 2020.

Late Fall 2020 – Award guidelines, rubrics, and timeline distributed to TCVPA faculty

December 20, 2020 – Application portal opens (InfoReady)

February 15, 2021 – Application deadline

March 12, 2021* – Decisions from committee to applicants

*** Notification delayed until March 18 ***

March 22, 2021 – award period begins

March 11, 2022 – initial RCAA—Red award period ends

January 15, 2023 – initial RCAA—Black award period ends (NB: extended to March 15, 2023)

February/March, 2023 – RCAA—Black awardees colloquium

July 15, 2023 – Copy of external funding application due to the Associate Dean for Faculty, Research, and Creative Activities from RCAA—Black awardees

Evaluation Rubrics

The points for evaluation listed in the rubrics below indicate important considerations when scoring each category; they are not intended to be comprehensive. Further, a proposal need not generate a strongly affirmative answer to all points in a given category to be funded. For example, collaboration is a positive, but its absence is not necessarily a negative. Reviewers are encouraged to develop their own definition of activity that represents these three categories, and apply it consistently across all proposals.


Scope of Work: Evaluation of the proposed scope of work (weight = 70)

  • Does the proposed project hold artistic and/or scholarly merit?
  • Does the proposed work expand our understanding of the arts or of artists?
  • Is the proposed project innovative?
  • Does the proposed project develop the faculty member's professional, scholarly, intellectual, and/or artistic skills?
  • Does the project present new or strengthen preexisting collaborations within/beyond the faculty member's immediate?

Logistics: Evaluation of the feasibility of the scope of work given resources, as well as the appropriateness of the project's use of resources (weight = 10)

  • Does the project's budget adequately and realistically meet the needs of the work?
  • Does the project represent a sound investment of college funding?
  • Is the project's budget proportional to the results/end product expected at the award's conclusion?

Impact: Evaluation of the potential impacts of the project beyond the conclusion of the award period. (weight = 20)

  • How will the knowledge, benefits, and/or purchases acquired during the project positively impact the awardee, their students/peers, and their profession?
  • Will the project result in a product, such as a performance, a publication, or other form of deliverable?
  • What potential exists for the project to catalyze further research and/or creative activities?
  • Could we include a line about the number of people, organizations,communities, geographic areas, etc. impacted by the proposed project?


Scope of Work: Evaluation of the proposed scope of work (weight = 60)

  • Does the proposed project hold artistic and/or scholarly merit?
  • Does the proposed work expand our understanding of the arts or of artists?
  • Is the proposed project innovative?
  • Does the proposed project develop the faculty member's professional scholarly, intellectual, or artistic skills?
  • Does the project present new or strengthen preexisting collaborations within/beyond the faculty member's immediate sphere?
  • Is the project interdisciplinary, either within or beyond the college?
  • Does the project contain an appropriately proportional deliverable?

Logistics: Evaluation of the feasibility of the scope of work given resources, as well as the appropriateness of the project's use of resources (weight = 10)

  • Does the project's budget adequately meet the needs as outlined in the scope of work?
  • Does the project represent a sound investment of college funding?
  • Is the project's budget proportional to the results/end product expected at the award's conclusion?
  • For equipment or other purchases, does the project draw on existing resources or other sources for those needs?

Impact: Evaluation of the potential impacts of the project beyond the conclusion of the award period. (weight = 30)

  • How will the knowledge, benefits, and/or purchases acquired during the project positively impact the awardee, their students/peers, and their profession?
  • Will the project result in a product, such as a performance, a publication, or other form of deliverable?
  • What potential exists for the project to catalyze further research and/or creative activities?
  • Does the proposed project's impact extend to a regional, national, or international level?
  • What is the project's potential for catalyzing larger-scale funding—preferably from federal or other non-local sources—in the future?

Current Application Link

Abstracts of Funded Projects


RCAA—Red Awardees (up to $5000) 

Project Name: Performance in Outdoor Venues: The TTU Public Art Project 
Project PI: Annie Chalex-Boyle 
Project Abstract: Students of TTU music composition faculty Peter Fischer, Jennifer Jolley, and Hideki Isoda will compose new pieces for Durations Trio (Annie Chalex Boyle, Kevin Wass, and Susan Wass), with each being inspired by an artwork in the TTU Public Art Program. Durations Trio will perform each composition on-site at the artwork that inspired it. This project presents a significant opportunity to draw attention to our composition program, the Public Art collection, and our faculty performers. We have reached out to Director of Public Art Emily Wilkinson and she is supportive of our project moving forward. 
     This project was proposed to the Texas Tech University Scholarship Catalyst Program for FY 2021. We were awarded $3500 of a requested $5000. Since our initial SCP proposal, we have discovered additional equipment needs for our outdoor performances and are submitting this request to make up the $1500 gap in our initial funding as well as allow further necessary equipment purchases. 
Project Name: Saxophone Symbols 
Project PI: David Dees 
Project Abstract: The TTU Saxophone Studio is fortunate to have had two recent Gold Medalists in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. The Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition is the largest and most prestigious chamber music competition in the world. Mirasol was the Gold Medal recipient in 2015 and Aruna was the Gold Medal and Grand Prize recipient in 2019. This CD (tentatively titled Saxophone Symbols) will showcase Dees, Aruna and Mirasol in performances of landmark works for saxophone soloist and saxophone quartet: William Albright's Sonata for Saxophone and Piano (22:00), J.S. Bach's Chaconne from the Violin Partita in D Minor (arranged for saxophone quartet) (12:00) and William Albright's Fantasy Etudes for Saxophone Quartet (27:00).

Project Name: Examination of the Tension between Land and Water, Human and Nature, and the Photographs that Lie in the Middle 
Project PI: Robin Germany 
Project Abstract: My intention with this grant is to expand my current project, photographing the Texas Gulf coast, to the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts, to observe and reflect on the current state of the land and water while seeking an answer to the question “what is the relationship between humans and nature.” I will look at two particular sites, one in Louisiana and one in Mississippi, where artists and environmentalists have found ways to co-exist with the gulf environment and engage with nature in a reciprocal manner. Human incursions, from salt mining to corporate fishing to petroleum refining, have transformed what was once a wild and lush marsh into a vacation destination for presidents and celebrities and later, a quasi-industrial zone. In the early 20th century, developers advertised in cities on the east coast and the Midwest to promote an image of the gulf coast as a resort area, but they scoured the coastline of many of the attributes that made it desirable in order to provide more housing and to create more coastline for sale. The redesigning of the coast, for industry, for greater resort potential, and for the convenience of larger cities has provoked great changes to the land and the water pathways that have altered the habitats there for humans, birds, and aquatic life. I plan to make photographs that investigate these changes, and that ask questions about the relationship between the human population and the natural environment. I will examine local archives to look at photographs and newspaper accounts from different eras of the cities and regions that I visit, so I can compare the representations of the present with the past. Perhaps I can begin to identify the beginning of the cycle that has led us to manipulate the land to suit our own immediate needs and disregard what is needed for the land to thrive. To accomplish this work, I am requesting support in purchasing a mirrorless Nikon Z7II camera and a Canon Prograf Pro printer. These tools provide the greatest of agility for a photographer to make images in a wide range of conditions and produce photographs of high quality and definition. 
Project Name: Invocation—French Melodies with text by Victor Hugo set to music by Charles Marie Widor 
Project PI: Rebecca Hays 
Project Abstract: Dr. Hays will continue her collaboration with pianist, Dr. Jeffrey Peterson 
(Baylor University) in this dynamic new album of music by French composer, Charles Marie 
Widor. It is anticipated that the final cost of the project will be $7000, and will be recorded in 
June of 2021 in Lubbock, Texas. The album has a tentative release date of December, 2021, 
pending funding. 
Project Name: The Language of Afro-Cuban Drum Set 
Project PI: Michael Mixtacki 
Project Abstract: There is significant need for an Afro-Cuban method book with accompanying 
digital audio in the drum set education community that highlights concepts for building facility 
and independence within different Afro-Cuban genres. My current work on a method book 
entitled The Language of Afro-Cuban Drum Set seeks to fill this space by providing readers with 
a methodical approach to learning fluidity within several commonly used Afro-Cuban drum set 
patterns. The book will be accompanied by digital audio materials essential for thorough 
understanding by the reader.

Project Name: Stockhausen In Freundshaft Documentary 
Project PI: Kim Walker 
Project Abstract: In 1982 I was invited to spend 3 days with Karlheinz Stockhausen and at his 
family home in Germany, during which time we worked together while he approved and 
created the bassoon version of his score In Freundshaft. I performed the premiere in London at 
the Wigmore Hall May 12, 1982 after which time he invited me on several occasions to work 
with him. Since the death of Karlheinz many players have written to me asking for more 
information about the work, the creative process used and especially the choreography he 
stipulated as well as the costume. During my stay, I created several new multiphonic fingerings 
and worked with him to ensure the then cutting-edge techniques were detailed in the score for 
other players once he chose his preferred sounds. We spent two more days while he 
choreographed the movements and designed a costume. I have the only score with his personal 
notes, and letters that would be of interest to other performers of the work on all instruments, 
especially the bassoon. To share his vision, I should record the work in costume using the 
choreography as he originally envisioned this work. I shall include an analysis just as he took me 
through the work from his point of view to leave a documentary in his honor for this 15-minute 
work. There are versions for many other instruments including the clarinet version from which 
this was derived. I am asking for $5000 to commission a new costume, record and publish a 
video documentary of this major work.

Project Name: The Kingdom of This World, Reimagined 
Project PI: Lesley Wolff 
Project Abstract: This proposal centers on the development of a comprehensive website 
dedicated to the traveling exhibition, The Kingdom of This World, Reimagined, curated by Dr. 
Lesley A. Wolff. The exhibition debuted at the Little Haiti Cultural Center in Miami, Florida, in 
December 2019, during Art Basel Miami Beach and Art Week Miami, and will run from 
September 2021 to January 2022 at the Pensacola Museum of Art (PMA) with future venues 
currently under consideration. The exhibition showcases dynamic new works by eleven 
internationally renowned contemporary artists, each with ties to the Caribbean. These artists 
respond across various media to Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier's famous twentieth-century 
novel, The Kingdom of This World (1949), which fictionalizes the volatile period of the Haitian 
Revolution (c. 1791-1804). Using Carpentier's literary framework of lo real maravilloso [lit. the 
marvelous real; also known as Magical Realism], these artists reflect on the contemporary 
ripples and resonances of nineteenth-century Haitian revolutionary heritage, asking how 
struggles for Black sovereignty across the African Diaspora have given shape to the multifaceted 
identities of Black and Latinx communities today. At a moment when the U.S., and TTU 
specifically, are critically reflecting on racial justice, this exhibition considers how and to what 
extent images have been historically complicit in systemic racism and how artists today can 
divest from Eurocentric conventions by visually nurturing counter-histories. 

RCAA—Black Awardees ($5000 and up)

Project Name: Evolution of Gaia 
Project PI: Peter Fischer 
Project Abstract: Evolution of Gaia will integrate original music, choreography, and film in the 
development and production of a new, evening-length work centered on themes of 
womanhood and motherhood as they relate to the Earth's endless cycle of birth and death, 
destruction and regeneration. The project will break new ground, tightly interweaving the 
artistic evolution of the collaboration between music and dance, with technology and film, to 
create a robust immersive multimedia experience. As a way of supporting underserved areas of 
our community, we will invite local students to be active participants in our interdisciplinary 
creative process through workshops and at planned events designed specifically for this 

Project Name: The use of animation making for the support and assistance of youth involved in the juvenile justice system 
Project PI: Jorgelina Orfila 
Project Abstract: The Animation-Making Workshops (AMW) at TTU (coordinated by Drs. 
Jorgelina Orfila and Francisco Ortega) in collaboration with Dr. Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo, 
Associate Chair, C.R. Hutcheson Professor at the Human Development and Family Sciences, 
TTU, will partner up with the Lubbock County Domestic Relations Office (Texas Dispute 
Resolution System) to develop a pilot program aimed at better understanding and addressing 
the experiences undergone by local youth (Lubbock, Texas) in the care of the Supervised 
Visitation services. The pilot program will apply the method being developed by the AMW to 
gather information on the potentially transformational effect of the animation-making process 
in this population at a critical developmental stage. More specifically, the research will probe 
the potential of the process to support the participants' resilience and development of positive 
adjustment skills. Working in partnership with the Lubbock Domestic Relations Office, the 
researchers (Drs. Orfila, Ortega, and Trejos-Castillo) will gain access to the targeted population 
served by the Domestic Relations Office and offer them to participate in the Animation-Making 
Workshops. These consist of 12 weekly sessions where participants create a short animation 
based on their life experiences. Subsequently, these participants will be invited to join focus 
groups and/or individual interview session lead by Dr. Trejos-Castillo to elaborate on the 
animated stories created during the workshops, and the connections with the participant's life 
experiences. The participants will also be invited to showcase their animations as well as the 
preparatory material they created during the workshop in an exhibition organized by the 
researchers. The researchers' goal is to coordinate one or more groups of no more than 15 
participants between 10 and 16 years old in the Summer/ Fall of 2021. This pilot program will 
hopefully be only the first stage of a prolonged collaboration with both Dr. Trejos-Castillo (Dpt. 
of Human Development and Family Sciences at TTU), and Dr. Gene Valentini and his staff at the 
Office Lubbock Domestic Relations Office.

Project Name: A Certain Trumpet: Building Inclusivity through Composition and Performance 
Project PI: Andy Stetson 
Project Abstract: Diversity within the arts is one of the pressing issues facing musician 
communities today. Through this project's scope of work, we will accomplish a series of goals to 
address diversity and increase inclusion within the trumpet community while laying the 
groundwork for a future federal grant submission. We will partner with a recognized 
organization committed to these same goals, develop a broad repertoire of new music from 
composers drawn from underrepresented communities, record and disseminate these new 
works, and ultimately seek NEA support for the establishment of a diversity-centric center that 
will apply these same methods and goals throughout the global community of musicians.

Project Name: The Art of Subversive Mimicry: Reclaiming the Language of Manipulation in the 
Post-Truth Era 
Project PI: Maia Toteva 
Project Abstract: In periods of ideological crises, writers, artists, and performers often turn to 
creating insurgent mirror images of political manipulation. In the past decades, artistic groups 
and alliances such as Chto Delat in Russia, NSK in Slovenia, Orange Alternative in Poland, The 
Yes Men in the United States, and numerous others have responded to political oppression and 
ideology not by direct opposition, but rather by coopting and speaking the language of power 
to communicate their own counterpoints and truths. Embracing mimicry rather than opposition 
as a subversive political strategy, such tactics appropriate both the spectacle and the 
stereotypes of socio-political domination and, by doing so, expose its animus, contradictions, 
and will to power. Even though these modes of artistic engagement have strong associations 
with the ideological regimes of late socialism, this kind of “walking with the enemy” has 
become a key artistic response to our own era of ideological confusion and authoritarian 
  Together with a team of two co-investigators, Gediminas Gasparavičius (University of Akron) and Tom Williams (Belmont University), I plan to publish an edited volume and series of 
podcasts that would present—for the first time in the history of the subject—an in-depth 
transcultural analysis of insurgent mirror practices. Titled Walking with the Enemy: Reclaiming 
the Language of Power and Manipulation in the Post-Truth Era, our volume and podcast series 
will describe this transnational artistic approach as “subversive mimicry.” We describe 
“subversive mimicry” as a poignant global strategy in which artists and cultural figures imitate 
the language, symbolism, and structures of domination by adopting its rationalizations of 
power, including propaganda, ideology, stereotypes, and other mechanisms that sustain 
the status quo.

Project Name: Life Science Drawing, Illustration, and Printed Forms 
Project PI: Sangmi Yoo 
Project Abstract: The proposed work for my project will focus on Life Science Drawing, 
Illustration and Printed Forms. This idea is based on iconic images that are created through 
personal memory and today's everyday environment, simulating the perception and memory 
from a collective experience. The funding received from TCVPA will support my current creative 
project, advancement of my artistic practice, curriculum development of illustration program in 
the School of Art and my NEH grant application in Humanities Initiatives at Hispanic-Serving 

Peter Martens
Associate Dean for Faculty, Research and Creative Activity

Kelsie Jackson, Ph.D.