In 2020, the CHA Shelter Projects promoted humanities and arts in difficult times and documented the ways our community responded to the Covid-19 pandemic using art and/or humanities perspectives, tools, resources, and methods. The CU Boulder community (staff, students, faculty) was invited to apply for a micro-grant to produce something of an artistic or humanistic nature that responded to what they experienced in the moment of sheltering in place amid Covid-19 concerns.
Bertha Bermudez-Tapia - Graduate Student
Twin Cities Torn Apart: Borders in Globalization
A visual art project capturing how the twin-cities of Matamoros, Mexico and Brownsville, TX are torn apart due to the temporarily closed border. Families are separated, physical borders seem more prominent, and loved ones are not able to stand with each other, even at a 6-foot distance. This painting will describe what inhabitants of these twin-cities are experiencing and how they are supporting each other.
Sabrina Bradford - Graduate Student
Buckaroo Biology: Science from the Saddle in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (ArcGIS StoryMap)
StoryMap of research in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) which highlights non-lethal depredation prevention measures. This project better educates those unable to travel about grizzly bears. Photographs, videos, and mini-essays will make this aspect of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem accessible to those who cannot visit.
Bentley Brown - Graduate Student
Spread of Disease in America vs. Chad **note: you will need to contact Bentley directly for the pw to access the video
A 3 to 5-minute short film contemplating the spread of infectious disease from Brown’s childhood in Chad where his father was a physician, to today’s COVID-19 outbreak. The film will look at the contrast of cultures and places while highlighting the immediacy of response to a virus.
Heather Champeau - Graduate Student
Unhoused During Stay-At-Home: A collision of Covid-19 and Denver Policies
A story map documenting social distancing, the use of PPE, and behaviors and activities of homeless people during Denver’s stay-at-home orders. Photos and videos will show the effects of policy changes.
Evan Grainger - Undergraduate Student
Arcana Restaurant & The Honor Code
In an effort to have a positive impact on the community, free of charge documentary work will be offered for local projects or nonprofits capturing the outpouring of generosity found throughout the town.
Sally Green - Faculty
Essay on Teaching Exclusively Chinese Students During COVID-19
An essay focused on teaching upper-level writing classes to exclusively Chinese students during spring semester. Highlighted essays will celebrate the students’ bravery, depicting their unique perspectives on sheltering in place while exploring cross-cultural ramifications during Covid-19.
David Landon - Graduate Student
Collaborative Online Software
GitHub Repository Site
A software package allowing for uncompressed video and audio files to be sent between collaborators through the internet. Upon completion of the software, an evening length “performance” will be organized for artists to virtually share their work and audience members to tune in using a web address.
Gregory Robl - Staff
in Collaboration with Julia Seko, Danny Long, and Susan Guinn
Minding your Ps and Qs: Viral Mail Art in an Era of Pandemic
A multimedia collaboration between four people in which each person will add their own content and mail it to the next person for their contribution. The art will include quotes from previous pandemics and excerpts from authors capturing how these events were depicted in historical and literary works.
Manchester Bill of Mortality 1625
London Bill of Mortality 1665
Kate Sedor - Graduate Student
Choose Your Own Adventure Pandemic Game
A Choose Your Own Adventure type game hosted on Twine that will allow players to “live through” the COVID-19 pandemic. The game asks players to make decisions from the start of the pandemic that, depending on the choice they made, will lead them down a specific, narrative path.
Michael Thornton - Faculty
Series of Socially Distant Music Videos
A series of videos combining audio and storytelling elements to create ensemble performances while adhering to social distancing requirements. Videos will involve 4-8 musicians performing together, but not in the same place at the same time. Each performer will record their part individually and when compiled, will create one, unique composition.
Don't Stand So Close to Me
Don't Stop Believing
Star Spangled Banner
Alexander Britti – Undergraduate Student
Couple at Odds Comedic Film
Comedic short-film about a couple coming together during quarantine. The film begins with a couple at odds with each other and on the verge of separating, but who are forced to work out their differences due to being stuck in quarantine.
Kripa Dongol – Graduate Student
Home in Pixels
My family and I are not good at long-distance relationships, but this pandemic we shared more than we've ever before. "Don't share too many pictures with her on the group chat" my mother said to my sister, worried that I'd get lonelier. Pictures and videos became a way to reassure them that I'd try to find little joys too.
Juan Garcia Oyervides- Graduate Student
Voces Más Allá del Virus
Series of stories from Mexican Americans in the Boulder/Denver area about how they are coping with the virus. They will speak freely about what they wish to see come out of this situation, ultimately creating a series of video or audio files.
Laura Kim – Graduate Student
SQUIRRELING Facial Emotion Detection
Video art project of movement-based explorations and experiments. The work will guide viewers on how to protect facial expressions from being identified, universally categorized, and mapped by emotion detection algorithms and cameras through a series of movements inspired by Fox Squirrels in Boulder.
Maximillian McNutt, Graduate Student
Arrangement of "Ave Maria" for Trumpet and Trombone
Each piece of the arrangement will be recorded separately to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Audio and video recordings will be combined into one piece.
Young Min – Faculty
Capturing Kairos of the Global Pandemic: Connection, Inspiration, and Action
Compilation of student essays from First-Year Writing and Rhetoric class that describe how they have maintained their well-being during this crisis. The project will showcase snapshots of selected students’ projects in a combination of visual images, drawings, and essays.
Ben Morris – Graduate Student
Pandemic Poems and Pieces
Series of poems and musical compositions that depict some aspect of quarantine, from ordering groceries online to staying in pajamas all day. A video will be made of each poem and composition being performed.
Bridget Nelson – Undergraduate Student
The Face Behind the Mask
Visual art project that captures all of the diverse ways people have made face coverings during this time. Through a blog or Instagram account, photos of various mask coverings and quarantine stories will reveal the humanity in people during such a frightening time.
Molly Ott and Shelby McAuliffe – Graduate Students
The Language of a Pandemic Statement
This three-part video is motivated by the routines developed during self-quarantine which we specifically explore in the actions of communication and cleaning.
Mariana Pereira Vieira – Staff
Touching Without Fear
Lumen print art that will record the artist’s touch upon the paper, along with plants growing in nature will combine to form a composition that represents something growing out of the human touch. The goal is to make touch an act of joy and communal sharing, instead of an act of fear.
Melodie Roschman – Graduate Student
Essay that looks at all of the plays that scholars suspect Shakespeare wrote during plague years. The essay will question why we continually turn to Shakespeare’s work, draw from specific parts of plays that resonate with the current COVID-19 pandemic, and reflect on the ways in which art is both a luxury and form of survival.
Reading Shakespeare in a Plague Year
Interactive, annotated Blog including videos and photos
Yumi Roth – Faculty
Lines in Four Directions for Social Distancing (after Sol LeWtt)
Sidewalk chalk art that serves to help people maintain six feet of space while in public areas. Stencils used to make sidewalk markers are inspired by Sol Lewitt’s 1973, "Straight Lines in Four Directions & All Their Possible Combinations." Markers will serve as a reminder of how we must organize ourselves in the midst of a pandemic.
Marija Sajekaite– Graduate Student
Vivid Dreaming Poetry and Photographs
Combination of photography and short poems inspired by vivid dreaming during the COVID-19 pandemic. Images will capture subtle changes in urban landscapes caused by the pandemic, such as the emptiness of parking lots. Photos and poems together will highlight the differences between conscious and unconscious worlds.
Matthew Smiley – Graduate Student
Series of Solo Musical Compositions
A collection of over 40 musical compositions written for friends who live all over the world during quarantine, each custom written for the performer(s) who requested a piece through social media. Some of the pieces are through composed using traditional notation, some of the pieces involve improvisation, and some of the pieces use non-traditional notation with a combination of text and graphics.
a PDF collection of 44 compositions written during Quarantine
Three videos of performances of a few of the Quarantine compositions:
Jo Asker – Quarantine piece no. 2
Ed Breazeale - Quarantine piece no. 3
Kate Skinner – Quarantine piece no. 23
Matthew Smith - Faculty
Best Covid-19 Practices Trail Signs
Series of painted trail signs, temporarily placed along the Hessie Trailhead in Eldora, that humorously remind hikers to adhere to social distancing practices
Julia Uhr – Graduate Student
The Stillness in the Room
Virtual reality computer game based on the life and poetry of Emily Dickinson, who spent nearly 20 years sheltering in place and self-isolating from everyone but her immediate family. The object of the game is to escape further into the Dickinson Homestead by solving puzzles.
Phoenix Vaughan-Ende – Undergraduate Student
Comic-Style Multi-Media Journal
Multimedia journal, incorporating photography, writing, and digital design, that highlights experiences, thoughts, and feelings during quarantine. Comic-book style narration documents this uncertain time and shows how some people are coping.
Kevin Wu – Undergraduate Student
Comedic Video Diary of Two College Students
Comedic vlog-style documentary focusing on two college students who deal with quarantine in two very different ways. One chooses to stay in her sorority while staying optimistic and the other moves back home with a negative outlook. Ultimately the film reminds us that we are not alone.
Wuyinan Yuan – Undergraduate Student
Government Criticism Short Film
Four-minute short film, made up of news footage and animation, criticizing the response of the government and media to COVID-19. The film questions the preparedness of governments across the world and its contribution to the rising death rate.