The McDermott Award

The Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT recognizes innovative artists and offers its recipient a $100,000 cash prize and a campus residency.

The Award

Established in 1974 by the Council for the Arts at MIT, the McDermott award is one of the most generous arts honors in the United States and reflects MIT’s commitment to risk-taking, problem solving and the idea of connecting creative minds across disciplines. The Award is considered an investment in the recipient’s future creative work, rather than a prize for a particular project or lifetime of achievement.

The Residency

A distinctive feature of the Award is a campus residency, which includes a celebratory event at which the Award is presented, a public presentation of the artist’s work and multiple interactions with students, faculty and researchers. The goal of the residency is to provide the recipient unparalleled access to the creative energy and cutting-edge research at the Institute and to connect with MIT research in ways that will be mutually enlightening.

The Selection Process

The Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT may be given to an artist working in any field or cross-disciplinary activity, including architecture, creative writing, dance, design, filmmaking, media arts, music, theater and visual arts. Award nominees are identified by an Advisory Committee, which is composed of international leaders in arts and culture. An Award Committee, chosen by the Council for the Arts at MIT and comprised of arts opinion leaders at MIT, then selects the recipient.