For the next five years, UCSB will house the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA), which means more money for local students to express themselves.

The institute, an arts program that moves between campuses in the UC system, provides around two dozen grants per year – ranging from $500 to $25,000 – to fund University faculty and student art projects. The institute, previously housed at UC Irvine and UCLA, will move into the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center (IHC) at UCSB on July 1. David Marshall, dean of the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, said hosting UCIRA will benefit the university.

“The [institute] will help our campus in several ways: It will raise the profile of this campus, attract faculties, host conferences, benefit our curriculum and tie us more to other campuses,” he said. “It will add to the reputation of the place as cutting edge of the arts.”

The institute, previously known as the Intercampus Arts Program, was named as a “research” program six years ago to promote art as a legitimate field of research. The program’s policy board, composed of UC faculty, meets once a year to allot grants. Previous projects include “Ayo’s Journey,” directed by Ellen K. Anderson of the UCSB Dept. of Dramatic Art, as well as “Extra/ordinary Bodies: Dance Beyond Disability” by Catherine Cole, a UCSB Dramatic Art professor.

UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang said he felt the campus could provide the “bolder vision” that the UC Office of the President called for when it sought a new home for the institute.

“The institute will help to raise the profile of the arts on the UCSB campus, and stimulate collaborations among the Arts & Lectures and the [University] Art Museum, as well as art institutions in the Santa Barbara area,” Yang said. “It is likely that more visiting artists will come to campus and that the campus will host systemwide conferences, workshops, performances and exhibitions.”

The Office of the President, which annually allocates $170,000 to UCIRA, issued a request in November for proposals, seeking to find a new UC campus to house the institute.

Marshall said in a press release that the UCIRA selection committee chose UCSB because its campus interdisciplinary programs best accommodated the new direction of the institute. Marshall, Art professor Kim Yasuda and Film Studies professor Dick Hebdige, director of the IHC, submitted UCSB’s bid.

“The UCSB proposal has the strongest evidence of community support, from arts and art-supportive programs on and off campus,” Marshall stated in the press release April 8.

Yasuda said UCSB proposes to develop relationships internationally through the Education Abroad Program, promote geographic on-site specific research and encourage collaboration among artists from different UC campuses. She said UCIRA serves a practical purpose as well as an artistic one.

“[The institute] serves as a link and conduit between research and applied applications, preserving creative enterprises, [promoting] problem solving projects integrated in education,” Yasuda said.

After the five-year period ends, Marshall said the UC will review UCSB’s handling of the institute to determine if the campus will continue to house the research organization.