Each year, Duke Performances partners with more than 30 faculty across a range of departments and academic units to coordinate 120 distinct residency events, reaching over 2,000 Duke students. We bring world-class artists to Duke classrooms and public forums in ways that directly enrich campus and community life. As an organization, we believe strongly that engagement with the arts, and the dynamics of live performance, creates context for learning and inquiry, facilitating collisions between ideas and animating course material.

For the 2017/18 academic year, Duke Performances solicits proposals for three competitive grants: two in the amount of $1,500, and a third in partnership with the Duke Language, Arts & Media Program (LAMP) in the amount of $3,000. Awards will support the development of new courses or enhancements to existing courses that engage: 1) the theme or practice of artistic performance, and 2) the work of at least two of the artists or ensembles that Duke Performances will present during the 2017/18 academic year.

Grants will be awarded in the form of stipends payable in research funds for participating instructors. Prospective applicants should contact Brian Valentyn (brian.valentyn@duke.edu) for an advance copy of Duke Performances’ seasonal schedule, which will not be publicly available until June. We welcome your inquiries, and are available to offer feedback on the details of all proposals prior to submission.

About the Organization

Duke Performances presents willfully eclectic, forward-thinking programming at a dozen venues on campus and in Durham. Through superb performances, outstanding visiting artist residencies, and the commissioning and development of exciting new work, the organization takes a leading role in the cultural life of the nation and encourages meaningful engagement with the Duke campus and Durham community. Duke Performances offers a robust season of 70-80 presentations spanning classical, new music, jazz, American vernacular music, international music, theater, and dance, while coordinating over 120 residency events, including class visits, workshops, and public conversations with over 40 campus partners annually.


All regular and non-regular rank Duke faculty, including graduate instructors, are eligible to apply. We welcome proposals from those working in all departments and units across Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Pratt School of Engineering, and Duke’s graduate and professional schools, and affiliated institutes. Courses should be offered during the 2017/18 academic year.

Grant support will be awarded for:

  • Stipends payable in research funds (but not course release) for participating instructors
  • Graduate assistant support; undergraduate student work support
  • Travel and meeting costs
  • Costs of outside speakers/consultants

All grant recipients will submit a brief closing reflection (500 words maximum) detailing their experience teaching the course and the extent to which desired learning outcomes were achieved.


Proposals for Duke Performances awards should be submitted electronically by 5 PM on Friday, June 30, 2017 to Brian Valentyn (brian.valentyn@duke.edu) and should include as a single pdf document:

  • A 1,000-word (maximum) narrative that describes: (1) the course to be developed or adapted, and the semester it will be offered; (2) the specific performances or artist residencies with which it seeks to engage; and (3) anticipated learning outcomes for students.
  • Syllabus or full list of reading materials.
  • A brief letter of endorsement from the department chair, Director of Undergraduate Studies, or Director of Graduate Studies.
  • A CV for each participating instructor

**Applicants who wish to be considered for the joint Duke Performances / LAMP award should submit their materials to both Brian Valentyn (brian.valentyn@duke.edu) and Kristen Neuschel (kneusche@duke.edu). Please note that proposals for the joint award must address at least one of the following LAMP goals as well as the Duke Performances goals articulated above. LAMP goals include:

  • Research as critical evaluation across media. Includes teaching students to make informed decisions about different types of sources and the critical consumption of media, such as print, video, audio, images, live performances, and social media.
  • Composing across media. Includes teaching students how to create and communicate knowledge across media, including oral presentations, alphabetic text (written essay), audio (podcast), image (photo essay), and video (digital story). LAMP encourages students to learn how to communicate within multiple media forms in order to reflect our 21st century engagements.
  • Public engagement. Includes helping students understand and gain practice in participatory citizenship through creating and sharing knowledge with publics beyond the classroom.


Applications will be evaluated according the following criteria:

  • Engagement with the theme or practice of artistic performance.
  • Integration with Duke Performances’ seasonal programming. (How many visiting artists does the course engage? In what level of detail? Over what period of time?)
  • Potential impact on Duke campus and community.

Awards will be announced by Monday, July 31, 2017.


For questions and advance copies of Duke Performances’ 2017/18 schedule, please contact Brian Valentyn (brian.valentyn@duke.edu).