Collections Engagement Grant 2021

vintage black and whit images of a factory or industrial building with 8 smoke stacks emitting smoke, the building is reflected in a body of water before it
P0790 Shipler Studio Photograph Collection, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library.


The Utah Museum of Fine Arts and the J. Willard Marriott Library are pleased to announce the Collections Engagement Grants for Fall 2021. This award provides University faculty at any level of their career with funding for innovative, interdisciplinary scholarship and creative projects using primary source materials from the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and the J. Willard Marriott Library’s Special Collections, following the theme of “Landscape, Land art, and the American West.”

Award Cycle

  • Open workshop period is from February 1–April 1, 2021.
  • Application deadline for proposals is April 7, 2021. 
  • Awards will be announced May 1, 2021. 
  • Project execution period is from June 1 -  December 15, 2021. 
  • Grant funding must be expended in full by October 31, 2021. 

Awardees will receive $5000 for the award cycle. Research funding is to be used for supplies, equipment, software, computing, research assistants, etc. Grant funds cannot be used for faculty salaries (summer or academic year); travel that is not directly related to project research (e.g., conferences cannot be supported by this grant), funding to purchase society/group memberships, consultants, or office equipment unless specifically justified. Any equipment purchased is property of the University of Utah; the awardee(s) home department shall manage ownership of the equipment after the project period is over according to University regulations. Awardees must agree to the conditions of acceptance.

The Steering Committee strongly encourages applicants to consult with Alana Wolf, collections research curator, UMFA about their project prior to submitting a proposal.


University of Utah faculty at any level of their career are eligible to apply.

Required project criteria:

  • Must utilize original artwork and primary resource collections from both the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and the J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections and/or Fine Arts Library
  • Expand upon, enlarge, and/or innovatively interpret the Mellon grant’s theme of “Landscape, Land Art, and the American West”

Preferred project criteria:

  • Strongest consideration will be given to projects that demonstrate commitment to equity, access, and inclusion through diverse composition of teams and selection of projects that address themes of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. 
  • Involve University of Utah students and/or staff in planning, research, and/or execution of the project.
  • Are the product of interdisciplinary or interdepartmental collaboration.
  • Outline clear project documentation and expected outcomes.
  • Are feasible and likely to be completed within the award period.
  • See previously funded projects from 2019-2020 and Spring 2021.

Submission packet must include:

  • Cover page with project name or title; name and contact information of project lead or principal investigator; names and roles of project participants
  • In-depth proposal (500 words maximum)
  • Budget
  • List of potential UMFA objects relevant to project 
  • List of potential Marriott Library resources relevant to project
  • Timeline (1 page maximum)
  • Curriculum vitae or résumé (4 pages maximum)

Send application as a single .pdf to Alana Wolf ( Submissions will be accepted until April 7, 2021. Please contact Alana Wolf if you do not receive acknowledgment of receipt.


Collections Engagement Grants Steering Committee

Co-Chairs and Principal Investigators

  • Gretchen Dietrich, executive director, Utah Museum of Fine Arts
  • Alberta Comer, Dean, J. Willard Marriott Library, university librarian. 

Ex Officio

  • Whitney Tassie, senior curator, UMFA
  • Todd Samuelson, assistant director, Special Collections, Marriott Library
  • Jessica Breiman, art and archives metadata librarian, Marriott Library
  • Alana Wolf, collections research curator, UMFA

University of Utah Advisory Committee

  • Dr. Hōkūlani K. Aikau, PHD, Associate Professor, Gender Studies and Ethnic Studies/Director, Pacific Islands Studies
  • Bryn Dentinger, Curator of Mycology & Associate Professor of Biology, Natural History Museum of Utah (NHMU)
  • Michael Mejia, Associate Professor, Department of English

Relevant Resources for Applicants

Marriott Library Special Collections

UMFA Collections

Marriott Library Special Collections Photograph, Audio Visual, and Manuscript Finding Aids

Marriott Library Special Collections University Archives Finding Aids

Marriott Library catalog (Fine Arts, Rare Books, Special Collections Print and Journal resources)

Marriott Library Fine Arts Library

Marriott Library Digital Library