2014-15 Mini Grants


Idea Lab is pleased to announce 2014-15 Idea Lab Mini Grant project recipients. The awards reflect student-driven projects in the arts, creativity studies, and interactive technology. Projects were selected based on their creative merit, extent of collaborative and interdisciplinary activity, and feasibility. The selected projects have been assigned a mentor, will receive regular feedback from Idea Lab members, and will be featured during the ICE Conversation Series. The Idea Lab Mini Grant projects are sponsored by Ideas for Creative Exploration (ICE).

Athens Puppetry SLAMateur Hour

The Athens Puppetry SLAMateur Hour is a new project from the Athens Puppetry Group. A puppetry slam, similar to a poetry slam, is an evening of curated works by different artists in a variety of styles and subjects linked by the shared medium of puppetry or object theatre. These performances are generally short form (under thirty minutes) and are directed specifically at adult audiences. Working within this format allows the audience to experience pieces which vary widely in both subject matter and mode of execution.


Emily Silva, undergraduate, Art
Nathanael Caskey, undergraduate, Linguistics
Madison Silva, undergraduate, Theatre and Film Studies, Sociology
Zachary Noah, undergraduate, Geographic Information Systems
Julia Reeves, UGA alumna, Health & Environmental Sciences
Dena Zilber
Michael Stephens
William Kennedy
Stacy Crowe
Dain Marx
Hugh Schlesinger

21st Century Digital Music Stand

While we have all seen great advancements in our daily lives through the development of technology, the concert hall and instrumental rehearsal room have remained virtually untouched for hundreds of years. Tyler Ehrlich, conducting graduate student in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, hopes to revise this. Working alongside Professor of Conducting Cynthia Johnston Turner and undergraduate researcher Caleb Adams, Ehrlich is developing an over-sized gesture-enabled music stand for conductors. The device, which consists of side-by-side touch screen displays powered by a microcomputer, will allow conductors to view and annotate their scores digitally while in a rehearsal setting.


Tyler Ehrlich, graduate student, Music
Caleb Adams, undergraduate, Astrophysics, Computer Science
Craig Butler, undergraduate, Computer Systems Engineering
Joffre Rivera, undergraduate, Computer Systems Engineering


TOM BOY/TOM CAT is a collaboration of writers, photographers, and artists from the UGA community and beyond. The magazine will feature articles on fashion, art, music, and lifestyle and examine digital culture as it relates to popular culture and the avant-garde. The magazine will be featured both online and in paper format.


Abigail Lambert, undergraduate, Mass Media Arts, Sociology
Connor Hamm, undergraduate, Art History
Collette Fahey, undergraduate, Geography
Joseph Morris, undergraduate, Public Health
Andrew Robinson, undergraduate, Marketing
Nicholas Glickman, undergraduate, Public Relations
Rebecca Bennett, undergraduate, Mass Media Arts, Political Science
David Taylor Kyles, undergraduate, German, Mass Media Arts

The Last Five Years: Our Way of Leaving a Smaller Carbon Footprint

Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years is an Off-Broadway musical production illustrating the relationship between a rising novelist and a struggling actress. The minimal cast of two brings Voice Performance majors Stephanie Bacastow and Christopher Sapp along with a so-called orchestra of two (two multi-instrumentalists). The project intends to engage environmentally friendly practices. Katherine Black (Voice Performance/Certificate in Business) will work in purely non-paper public relations and advertising, and Caleb Adams (Computer Science Major) will be designing QR codes that will be used to generate digital programs viewed on phones, rather than physical paper programs. In addition, SmartMusic, an interactive music reading and editing program will eliminate paper for the singers and musicians during rehearsal and performance. Reaching out across campus, the project will be connected with Department of Theatre and Film Studies (student director) and the Department of Dance for assistance with choreography.


Christopher Sapp, undergraduate, Voice Performance
Stephanie Bacastow, undergraduate,Voice Performance
Katherine Black, undergraduate, Voice Performance, Music Business
Caleb Adams, undergraduate, Computer Science

Little Bits As a Tool for Fostering Interdisciplinary Projects

The Little Bits Interdisciplinary is part of the Science Library Makerspace. The project is designed to make it easy for anyone to prototype with electronics regardless of their experience. With the electronic module system that snaps together, called “Little Bits,” new gadgets can be made without soldering, wires or programming. They are cost-efficient and reusable and the newly acquired kits include buttons, leds and motors as well as light, motion, sound, and pressure sensors. Workshops include reinventing the game experience or making your city more interactive. These workshops will give students the opportunity to gain a basic understanding of the modules, construct new ideas, and work towards a finished project on a team. Project outcomes include three (3) interdisciplinary design challenge workshops and the creation of a space for general student use during the term. It is anticipated that participation in the project and workshop activities will encourage students to make use of the space for their own projects and ignite the possibilities of what students can create.


Gregory Wilson, PhD student, Learning, Design, and Technology
Elizabeth Holdsworth, Science Librarian, University Libraries

Glengarry Glen Ross

Presented by The Thalian Blackfriars and directed by Economics major Tano Toussaint, Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet provides audiences with a window into the cutthroat world of 1980s real estate salesmanship. Originally written to be performed by an all-male cast, this version seeks to subvert traditional casting as well as traditional staging. Featuring an interdisciplinary cast and crew, Glengarry Glen Ross focuses on issues of gender, capitalism, and social order in an increasingly economically stratified country.


Tano Toussaint, undergraduate, Economics, Theatre and Film Studies
Giselle Fernandez, undergraduate, Theatre and Film Studies
Isaac B. Hopkins, undergraduate, English, Theatre and Film Studies
Hannah Robbins, undergraduate, English, Gender Studies