The Interdisciplinary Research Center for Performing Arts was founded in 2013, certified as one of the "Joint Usage Research Centers" by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports (MEXT). Research at the center has been closely linked with the Kyoto Performing Arts Center (KPAC) at Kyoto University of Art and Design, the parent organization. KPAC has conducted various forms of unique academic and practical research from 2001, using a full-scale theatre named Kyoto Art Theatre in the university. The theatre has two different stages: Shunju-za (a large theatre) and Studio21 (a small theatre).
KPAC itself received assistance from the government; MEXT's Academic Frontier Project for Promoting Advancement of Academic Research at Private Universities (from 2001 to 2008), and MEXT's Project to Support the Strategic Formation of Research Foundations at Private Universities (from 2009 to 2013).
The characteristic of the center is to practically investigate the various processes of creation and reception of performing arts by using Kyoto Art Theatre and all its technical equipment. Artists and researchers organize a joint research group focusing on its own specific research topics. There are two categories for research projects at the center; Category 1 is for the projects led by artists and researchers in Kyoto University of Art and Design, and Category 2 is for the artists and researchers of other institutions in response to open invitations.
At the core of Kyoto University of Art and Design are two main objectives: to create art, and to conduct research and evaluations in the interest of creation. We would refer to the former as "factory function," and the latter as "laboratory function." The Center for Performing Arts has been set up around a focus on the former, while the research center focuses on the latter. The aim is to foster an almost organic connection between creation and research through a unique technique of stage-based research, and become a pioneer in research into Japan's performing arts.