Humanities Institute

Grantees and Projects

Current Grantees and Projects


Heather Barfield

The Vortex

Heather Barfield currently serves as the Associate Artistic Director and Board President 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 steadily 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 will use 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 revolves around honoring and remembering the work of our agin community of artists and creators. She will lead 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 Canning, Dr. Eric Colleary


Lilia Rosas

Red Salmon Arts

Red Salmon Arts is 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 will research the physical and digital implementation and academic ramifications of community based libraries. She hopes that by the end of her Leave, her organization will be provided with 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 will be 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

Past Grantees and Projects

2016-2017 Community Sabbatical Grantees

Sera Bonds, Circle of Health International
"Researching Survivor of Human Trafficking Needs in Central Texas"

Cameron Allen, The SEED Adult and Family Learning Community
"Humanistic Assessment in the Adult English Language Classroom"

2015-2016 Community Sabbatical Grantees

Justin DeBrosse, Literacy Coalition of Central Texas
"Evaluating the Efficacy of English Forward"

Charlie Lockwood, Texas Folklife
"Texas and Regional Music Recording: Circulation, Impact, and Sustainability"

Max Rayneard, The Telling Project
"'And That's the Story I Want Told': Performing Veteran Identity and the Telling Project"

2013-2015 Community Sabbatical Grantees

Julia Cuba, GENAustin
"Creating Sustainable Earned-Income for GENAustin"

Michael Gatto, Austin Community Design and Development Center
"Sustainable Urban Housing Design and Support"

Erin Spalding, The Christi Center
"Determining Grief and Bereavement Needs of Austin's Disenfranchised Populations"

2011-2013 Community Sabbatical Grantees

Eugenio del Bosque, Cine Las Americas
"Cine Las Americas Membership Program"

Andrea Marsh, Texas Fair Defense Project
"Developing Models for Providing Holistic Criminal Defense Representation in Texas"

Rene Valdez, Red Salmon Arts
"Save Our Youth Curricula and Pedagogical Development"

Rocio Villalobos, Grassroots Leadership - Hutto Visitation Program
"Oral History and Writing Workshops"

2009-2011 Community Sabbatical Grantees

Linda Brucker, A Legacy of Giving
"Expanding A Legacy of Giving Through Collaborative Partnerships"

Mike Evans, Urban Roots
"Food Justice Workshops for High School Students"

Deliana Garcia, Migrant Clinicians Network
"Transborder Patient Navigation: An Economic Argument"

Tim Staley, Austin Public Library Friends Foundation
"The New Central Library in America"

2008-2009 Community Sabbatical Grantees

Jennifer Peters, Capital IDEA
"Best Practices in Community College Remedial Educational Programs"

Catherine Lee Doar, Austin Habitat for Humanity
"Integrating Durable Low-Cost Shading Strategies into Austin Habitat for Humanity Homes"

Rebecca Jones, Austin's Children Museum
"Best Practices for Cognition and Inquiry-Based Learning"


2007-2008 Community Sabbatical Grantees

Robin Bradford, Foundation Communities
The River is Wide: Keeping the Faith in Disastrous Times"

Stephanie Jarvis, French Legation Museum
"Researching the African-American Presence on Robertson Hill"

Brian Radley, Breakthrough Austin
"Overcoming Silent Barriers: Building a Path to College for Undocumented Breakthrough Students"


2006-2007 Community Sabbatical Grantees

Julian Huerta, Foundation Communities
"Strategies to Improve and Expand Supportive Housing Opportunities for Homeless Families with Children"

Lana Lesley, Rude Mechanicals Theatre Company
"Researching Naturalistic Acting Techniques"

Gail Rice, SafePlace
"Applying Restorative Justice Principles to Countering Domestic Violence in Travis County"


2005-2006 Community Sabbatical Grantees

Steve Bartels, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
"Developing Foreign Language Training in Law School Curricula"

Victoria Camp, Texas Association Against Sexual Assault
"Financial Costs of Sexual Assault in Texas and Prevention Programming"

Anna Land, Heart House
Heart House in a Box: Creating Guidelines for Expansion to New Neighborhoods"

Rachel McInturff, Armstrong Community Music School of Austin Lyric Opera
"Integrating Upgraded Music Technology into Music School Curriculum"

Harold McMillan, DiverseArts Production Group
"Restoration and Preservation of Blues Family Tree Project Archive"

Karen Paup, Texas Low Income Housing Information Service
"Researching Housing Policy in Low-Income and Minority Communities"