ARI Executive Director
Dr. Holly Unruh is the Executive Director of the Arts Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Cruz. From 2006-2014, she served as Associate Director of the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts, a statewide program dedicated to supporting and promoting arts practice and research across the University of California system, a position she held concurrently with her appointment as the Associate Director of the UC Santa Barbara Interdisciplinary Humanities Center (2004-2009). Dr. Unruh has presented widely on grants in the arts and humanities, and is the co-author of Funding Your Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences (Routledge: 2017) with Barbara L.E. Walker.
Prior to joining UC Santa Cruz, Dr. Unruh served as the Associate Director of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center (UROC) at CSU Monterey Bay, where she managed a multi-million dollar interdisciplinary grant portfolio, and served as Faculty Fellow for Undergraduate Research, Student Engagement and Academic Initiatives through the CSU Office of the Chancellor. In that position, she engaged in national conversations and implemented programs that foregrounded access and equity in undergraduate research, particularly at Hispanic-Serving Institutions. Dr. Unruh looks forward to translating this experience into effectively supporting our division’s anti-racist initiatives and diversity, equity, and inclusion in the research development arena. She holds a Ph.D. in History of Art and Architecture from UC Santa Barbara and has taught Art History and Cultural Studies at CSU Channel Islands, Santa Barbara City College and Westmont College.
ARI Faculty Director
Arts Research Institute Faculty Director Dee Hibbert-Jones is an Academy Award nominated, Emmy® award winning filmmaker and internationally recognized artist. Her work incorporates animation, installation, public art and documentary film examining power and politics: how people manage and who gets heard. She explores diverse subjects from land use and wasted resources, to criminal justice and indigent rights: examining what is considered valuable and who is dismissed as valueless.
Hibbert-Jones is a Guggenheim Fellow. She was most recently awarded a United States Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Braintrust Award in recognition for her outstanding national commitment to civil rights, and social justice. She teaches sculpture, public art and digital art new media, and advises in film and social documentary. Her short film, installation and new media projects have been exhibited worldwide in exhibitions, museums and festivals; broadcast internationally and shown on Netflix. Her most recent animated documentary film Last Day of Freedom (co-directed with Nomi Talisman) won Best Short Documentary at the International Documentary (IDA) Awards 2015, a Northern California Emmy 2016 and was nominated for an 88th Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject. The film screened internationally at over thirty international festivals and won eleven festival awards including: Best Short, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Best Short Documentary Hamptons International Film Festival, Golden Strands Award, Outstanding Documentary Short, Tall Grass KS, the 2015 Platinum Award Winner Spotlight Documentary Series, as well as the Award of Recognition at the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards and it was a CINE Eagle Award Documentary Short Finalist.