Arts Research Center

The Arts Research Center is a think tank for the arts. It acts as a hub and a meeting place, a space for reflection where artists, scholars, curators, and civic arts leaders from a variety of disciplines can gather and learn from one another.

ARC advances but also challenges the “cross-disciplinary” ethos in contemporary art practice by bringing innovators in the fields of visual art, creative writing, dance, theatre, music, architecture, film, public art, photography, and social practice into dialogue and debate. Participants share different histories, test perceptions of skill and innovation, and analyze the economic circuits and support systems that constrain and enable cross-disciplinary art practice.

LAND ACKNOWEDGMENT: The Arts Research Center acknowledges that UC Berkeley sits on the territory of Huichin, the ancestral and unceded land of the Chochenyo speaking Ohlone peoples, specifically the confederated villages of Lisjan. Every member of the UC Berkeley community has historically, and continues, to benefit from the use and occupation of this land. We acknowledge that the Lisjan Ohlone peoples are alive and flourishing members of the Berkeley and broader Bay Area communities today. Moving beyond words, we encourage everyone who lives on stolen territory to pay make material contributions that support Indigenous stewardship of this land. The Arts Research Center materially and intellectually supports Indigenous arts and language revitalization. Please visit Berkeley’s Native American Student Development site here.


If you require an accommodation for effective communication (ASL interpreting/CART captioning, alternative media formats, etc.) to fully participate in any of the ARC events, please contact Indira Allegra at with as much advance notice as possible and at least two weeks in advance of the event.


The Arts Research Center has moved! We are now located in Hearst Field Annex, D23, on the campus of UC Berkeley. A map can be found here. HFA is a set of four metal buildings located between Sproul Hall, the Social Sciences building, and Hearst Gym.


Monday – Thursday: 10am – 5pm (in person on campus) Friday: 10am – 5pm (appointment/online) Questions? Please contact Associate Director Laurie Macfee at Laurie is available by email 9:30-5:30pm M-F.


ARC was founded over 20 years ago as an Organized Research Unit (ORU) within the Consortium for the Arts, a coalition conceived by then Provost Carol Christ to “advance all of the arts Berkeley” (1998-2008).  Together, ARC and the Consortium organized a broad range of symposia, artist residencies, and teaching opportunities. When funding was eliminated for the Consortium in 2008, ARC continued as the only ORU devoted to the arts at UC Berkeley, specializing most intently on supporting the research and creative activity of ARC-affiliated faculty. At the same time, ARC has endeavored to sustain the wider campus arts vision of the Consortium through fellowships, student programs, and other forms of public engagement, continuing on as a hub for cross-disciplinary research. We are grateful for the support and community building of our over 40 partners and co-sponsors. Over the past 20 years, ARC has supported arts research at Berkeley through hundreds of lectures, artist talks, readings, performances and symposia by world renowned practitioners and scholars. Our Visiting Artists-in-Residence program has brought 25 artists to campus for in-depth, extended visits to pursue their own creative work (original research), and collaborate with students and faculty. Since 2009, ARC has supported fellowships for over 150 faculty, graduate and undergraduate students from 40 departments on campus, including our most recent initiative with Poetry and the Senses. As a ‘think tank,’ ARC develops projects that capitalize upon the resources and goals of our campus constituencies, even as we also address programming and publication toward broad networks of local and international art leaders.  We seek to bring the world to Berkeley, and Berkeley to the world. This reciprocal relationship creates links to and between a dynamic international art scene. Please visit our past programming here.
More information on research and research units at Berkeley can be found at the VCResearch site, here.


(please visit our current events on the navigation bar above!)