Spencer Museum of Art receives $3 million gift to make artists a bigger part of university research

photo by: Chris Conde

The Spencer Museum of Art is pictured on the campus of the University of Kansas, Sept. 13, 2018.

The Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas has received a $3 million gift to help further integrate artists into the broader research projects at the university.

Kansas City-based donor Margaret H. Silva, a longtime arts advocate, has given the $3 million gift to endow the museum’s Arts Research Integration initiative. In addition to the $3 million gift, Silva also has agreed to support a $1 million challenge grant to further support the ARI initiative.

The ARI project, which has been in place at Spencer since 2016, aims to embed artists into high-level research projects that are happening in other departments on the KU campus. The project contends that having artists be part of research projects helps break down barriers and promotes better public understanding of complex topics.

Recently, the project teamed artist Janet Biggs with KU mathematician Agnieszka Międlar and KU physicist Daniel Tapia Takaki, which led to a video and a performance based on their work researching high-energy physics and the math techniques that are applied to that field.


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