Superheroes + Other Misfits Visiting Artist Program 

Superheroes + Other Misfits Visiting Artist Program 


The Arts Research Institute is pleased to announce a new program designed to bring Visiting Artists to campus for both short- and longer-term events, from classroom visits to week-long residency opportunities. The Superheroes and Other Misfits program is intended to engage artists and scholars whose work explores critical issues related to freedom of expression, censorship, race and representation, and which promotes critical examinations of justice, equity and diversity through the arts. 


Applicants must be UCSC faculty, staff, or student organizations whose research and teaching interests are in the arts. Projects generated by student organizations must have a faculty sponsor. Funding is available in two categories: Awards of up to $500 are available for applicants wishing to bring an artist to address a single course. Awards of up to $5,000 are available to facilitate longer-term residencies that will engage the visiting artist with three or more courses across campus. Such residencies can be for a period ranging from one week to one month, and should include a public presentation component. 

Selection Criteria: 

The committee will evaluate applications according to the following criteria:

  • The artistic significance of the proposed visit, and fit with the Art and Oppression theme: Is the project of high quality? Does it address important issues related to the Art and Oppression theme? Are the activities planned for the visit/residency clearly articulated in the proposal?

  • Opportunity for collaboration and critical exchange: Does the visit/residency provide students and faculty with opportunities to participate in critical discourse with artists of national and international origin, and/or to develop meaningful ongoing collaborations? Does the visit/residency provide opportunities to think in interdisciplinary and culturally inclusive ways? 

  • Integration and interaction with students and faculty: How deeply can students and faculty observe, learn about, and engage with the visiting artist(s)? What is the teaching component of the visit/residency and how are UCSC courses integrated with the stay? How will the visit/residency enrich UCSC’s curriculum? 

  • Impact on the broader community outside UCSC. How can the broader community engage with the artist’s work? Is there a public presentation component?

  • Opportunities for collaboration / creation of new artwork. (This is applicable primarily in longer-term residencies). How does the residency provide a service to the artistic discipline beyond simply the presentation of work created prior to the residency?

  • Sponsoring unit’s capacity to manage the visit/residency? Please include a letter of support from the chair/dept manager indicating support if significant resources or support with logistics (housing, payment of honoraria and other expenses) is required.

Note: Successful applications need not address all criteria equally, but will have particular strengths in at least two criteria. We welcome applications that reflect the sponsorship and financial contributions of multiple departments/programs.   

Allocations will generally fall in the $250-500 range for a short-term/single course visit; and up to $5,000 for a longer-term/multi-course residency, depending on the length of stay and the national reputation of the proposed Visiting Artist. ARI can assist with project design and publicity; the applicant/applicant’s home department must assume responsibility for all arrangements relating to the residency including housing and additional expenses.  

All applications should include:  

  • A detailed description of proposed activities (1-2 pages single-spaced), detailing the proposed activities the visitor will engage in and the projected outcomes of the visit.

  • If the project features a crucial collaborative component with another campus department, please submit a supporting letter(s) from key collaborators (required for longer-term residencies).

  • A résumé of the proposed artist or group. 

  • A budget incorporating travel, accommodation and honorarium.

  • A host venue agreement form if resources beyond normal teaching and lecture spaces are required. (this form is available on the CARS application system)


Deadline for applications:
Annually in May


To apply: click here

For further information, please contact Holly Unruh (