Humanities Institute

2017-2018 Community Sabbatical Grantees


Heather BarfieldHeather Barfield, PhD

The VORTEX Repertory Theatre

Heather Barfield currently serves as the Development Director & Associate Artistic Director for VORTEX Repertory Theater. Heather has worked steadily in the nonprofit arts management sector as Chief Finance Officer/Business Director for Austin Creative Alliance. She oversees the financial and budgetary aspects of over seventy sponsored project organizations and works as a team with staff on grant writing, marketing, event planning and production. She contributes as a freelance arts critic for the local newspaper, the Austin Chronicle. Heather works as an artist, professor and an arts administrator, with the understanding that helping students learn theater and business skills as entrepreneurs in their field can complement their education efforts.

Heather used her Community Sabbatical Research Leave to engage in the topic "30 Years of Truth and Thunder: An Archival History of Austin's Premier Alternative Theatre," a sustainability project that revolved around honoring and remembering the work of our agin community of artists and creators. She led an initiative in collaboration with UT faculty to assess, digitize, and preserve theatrical productions in a manor that complies with best practices in archival methodology in hopes to uplift theatre as a humanity and revitalize support for a flagship arts organization in Austin.

Faculty Consultant(s): Dr. Charlotte CanningDr. Eric Colleary


Lilia RosasLilia Rosas, PhD

Red Salmon Arts

Dr. Rosas is the Executive Director of Red Salmon Arts, a 501(c)3 grassroots cultural arts organization, with a thirty-year history of working with the indigenous neighborhoods of Austin. RSA is dedicated to the development of emerging writers and the promotion of Chican@/Latin@/Native American literature, providing outlets and mechanisms for cultural exchange, and sharing in the retrieval of a people’s cultural heritage with a commitment to social justice.

During her Community Sabbatical Research Leave, Lilia researched the physical and digital implementation and academic ramifications of community-based libraries with the objective of advancing the much-needed support required to further the development and conceptualization of The People's Library of Resistance/ Biblioteca del pueblo de Resistencia (PLR). The PLR is a multimedia library and repository featuring materials that highlight the formation of distinct cultural and social movements of the late twentieth centruy and revolutionary art inspired by these noted movements led and organized by prisoners, Native Americans, Chicanx/Latinxs, African Americans, working class, and queer folk of Austin and across the Southwest.

Faculty Consultant(s): Dr. Cary Cordova, Dr. Loriene Roy