Turner Theatrical and Performance Design Fund

Rhode Island School of Design’s most recent strategic plan, “Critical Thinking/Critical Making”, acknowledges the importance of an immersive and discipline-based approach to art and design education. At the same time, the current landscape of art and design education increasingly calls for collaboration and fluency across disciplines. Recognizing our students and graduates face a world marked by new fields of creative and integrative practice, the strategic plan calls for RISD to “offer students options for more flexibility and access to a broader range of learning opportunities, including opportunities for interdisciplinary, collaborative and engaged work.”

Design for the theatrical and performing arts embodies this combination of disciplinary immersion and interdisciplinary collaboration. Exceptional theatrical and performance design happens when experts firmly rooted in their individual fields, including but by no means limited to apparel design, interior architecture, furniture, painting, textiles, illustration, graphic design, industrial design, photography, film/video, ceramics, glass, jewelry, and the liberal arts, come together and combine their knowledge and artistry into a physical creation that communicates in a wholly new way.

The Robert Turner Theatrical and Performance Design Project at RISD was established to support the teaching of interdisciplinary courses that integrate various elements of theatrical and performance design. This project may fund two courses per year.


• Only new courses (not offered previously) will be considered.

• Preference will be given to courses open to students at all levels, regardless of major.

• The course must involve at least two RISD departments and may also include an external collaborator(s).

Departments may be within the same division, but preference will be given to cross-divisional collaborations.

• The fund will support two faculty members per course. The opportunity is open to all full-time faculty and part-time faculty with at least two years of service.

• Additional funding may come from divisional funds if the course is taught by more than two faculty members.

Course proposals must include the following. Please submit a Notification of Intent to Submit a Proposal form.

• A narrative description, not to exceed 750 words

• A syllabus

• A budget and budget justification

• A completed Course Proposal form, routed by the Department Head and Dean and submitted by the Division Office

• Identification of the space(s) in which the course will be conducted

• A letter of support from the external collaborator(s), if appropriate

DEADLINE: Proposals are due the first Wednesday in November each year

REVIEWED BY: Deans’ Council

Patricia Barbeito
Acting Dean of Faculty