Council for the Arts at MIT Grant Recipients 2021-22

The Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT), a group of alumni and friends who support arts engagement at MIT, sponsors three grant programs to support arts projects among the MIT community. Students, faculty, and staff are eligible to apply for funding from the Council’s Grants Committee, and students are also eligible to apply for Mini-Grant (undergraduates) and Seed Grant (graduate students) funding of up to $500.

For more information, contact: council-arts@mit.edu

2021-22 CAMIT Grant Projects

CAMIT mini-grant supported project, Fixation Spring 2022 Showcase: Oblivion and Other Dreams. Photo: Kevin Pho.
CAMIT grant-supported project Infinite Replicas. Kwan Queenie Li, 2022.

In 2021-22 the CAMIT Grants Committee awarded $95,569 to support 23 projects by MIT students, faculty, and staff. Projects by five student groups, one undergraduate, eleven graduate students, two faculty members and lecturers, and four staff members received funding.

The Council also continued the Undergraduate Arts Project Mini-Grant program, which awarded $12,100 to support 28 projects by undergraduate students and student groups, and piloted a new Graduate Arts Project Seed Grant Program, providing $3,350 to support prototyping and development of seven projects by graduate students.

Arts Projects Supported by the Council for the Arts at MIT

The Council’s grants program, supported through the generous annual giving of its members, enables current MIT faculty, staff, and students to undertake a wide range of art projects that directly engage the MIT community. 

116 x 31: Interactive Projection Mapping on Simmons Hall

Karyn Nakamura ’23

A large-scale interactive artwork projected and mapped onto the façade of Simmons Hall undergraduate residence.

Achieving the Unthinkable: K-Pop on the Global Stage

Jeana Choi ’21, MS ’22 and Lisa Yoo ’21, MS ’22

A non-credit online IAP 2022 class featuring weekly guest artists presenting on the global reach of the K-Pop industry.

The Architects Collaborative 1945–1995: Tracing a Diffuse Architectural Authorship

James Heard (G, Architecture) with Emma Pfeiffer MArch ’21 and Gabriel Cira

An exhibition exploring the work and legacy of The Architects Collaborative (TAC), on view in the Keller Gallery in March 2022.

BATOPIA: Empathic Listening

Trans-Species Collective: Yujie Wang (G, Architecture), with Yiou Wang

A VR game that repositions humans in relation to other species by letting the player become a bat through conceptual, technological, and imaginative lenses, to experience survival complicated by anthropogenic stressors.

Breaking into Dance

MIT Imobilare dance group

A series of breakdance classes for the MIT community led by instructor Brian Pistols (Brian Lim) of The Flavor Continues.

Building for Longevity: An Exhibition of Resources

Lauren Gideonse and Adriana Giorgis (G, Architecture)

An exhibition that explores the longevity of the built environment, with a focus on 200+ year old buildings.
 
On view in the Wiesner Student Art Gallery, fall 2022.

Entosis

Ardalan SadeghiKivi (G, Architecture)

A series of sculptural installations that visualize how computation can be cannibalistic and data can be seized, twisted, or reconfigured to new ends.

First-Year Arts Program

Tianyuan (Margaret) Zheng ’23

A student-led pre-orientation program (FPOP) for incoming MIT students interested in the arts of all kinds.

Footwork 2022: A Showcase Bringing the Boston Dance Community Together

MIT Ridonkulous

The 15th anniversary Footwork showcase (and first in-person showcase since 2019) hosted by MIT Ridonkulous dance group and featuring performers from across New England.

Hearing Pictures

Christian Frederickson, Technical Instructor in Music & Theater Arts

A series of performances that bring painters, musicians, and composers to MIT to explore the relationships between music, sound, and the visual arts.

Infinite Magazine Issue 9

Infinite Magazine

The ninth iteration of Infinite, MIT’s only fashion magazine, focusing on the theme of “chaos.”

Infinite Replicas

Kwan Queenie Li, SMACT ’22

A film set in the MIT.nano building that probes the dichotomy and yet resonance between art and science by returning to one of their earlier convergences: life drawing.

Living Dots

Baptiste Blanc, Postdoc in Mechanical Engineering

A “living painting” in which oscillating dots communicate with each other via chemical waves, animating a metaphor for the union of self and other.

NeuraFutures

Nataliya Kos’myna, Research Scientist in Media Arts and Sciences

An exhibition exploring the relationship between science fiction and brain sensing devices (BCIs), on view in the MIT Media Lab lobby April–September 2022.

Pluma – Architectural Solar Sail

Graduate students Ramon Weber, Mohamed Ismail, Demi Fang, Eduardo Gascon Alvarez, and Professor Caitlin Mueller

An installation of photovoltaic membranes suspended in a lightweight cable system, resembling a flock of birds in flight, designed to offset and surpass the energy used for the production of its parts with onsite electricity generation.

Rhythmic Landscapes: A Study on Pianists’ Hand Gestures

Katerina Lamprou (G, Architecture)

3D data sculptures inspired by the hand gestures of piano players, to be exhibited with the use of Augmented Reality.

SandScape

Hiroshi Ishii, Professor of Media Arts and Sciences

Restoration of SandScape, a tangible interface for designing and understanding landscapes through computational simulations using sand, for display in the MIT Museum in Kendall Square.

ScreenTime

Zhifei Xu MArch ’22 and Thaddeus Lee MArch ’22

A series of playful interventions in public space using interactive projection technology, including digital “graffiti” and a life-size interactive version of the game “Pong.”

SpringFest Student Showcase

Student Events Board (SEB)

A series of performances showcasing the talents of the MIT student community in the lead-up to SpringFest 2022.

Tap Dance Jam

Tony Scott (G, Chemistry) and Sabrina Drammis (G, EECS)

An event that brings together tap dancers in the MIT community for a night of improvisational dancing to jazz standards by a live band.

Thresholds 50: Before // After

Graduate students Jola Idowu, Antonio Pacheco, Ardalan SadeghiKivi, and Meriam Soltan

A special 50th anniversary issue of Thresholds, the annual peer-reviewed journal produced by the MIT Department of Architecture.

The Wanderverse Project

Anastasia Aizman, Staff in MIT Digital Humanities

An exquisite corpse poetry treasure hunt game in which participants collaboratively create a poem using lines from books in the stacks of MIT Hayden Library.

Wojnarowicz in Cambridge

Kevin McLellan, Staff in Art, Culture, and Technology (ACT)

An exhibition in Rotch Library of photographs by McLellan responding to the work of artist and AIDS activist David Wojnarowicz.

On view September 14–October 26, 2022.

Graduate Seed Grants

Arts Seed Grants provide funding of up to $500 to graduate students to support ideation, planning, proof-of-concept development, or prototyping for arts projects whose end goal is to directly engage the MIT community.

Architectures of Belonging: Public Narrative + Public Body

Amanda Ugorji (G, Architecture)

Design and prototyping of an interactive installation intended to be a place of rest that explores questions of belonging and intimacy in public space.

Bio-Mythology and Anatomic Fabulation: The Metamorphosis of the Polysapien

Tatiana Estrina (G, Architecture)

An illuminated manuscript that explores new speculative relationships between architecture and human anatomy through evolutionary imaginaries.

Exploring Sustainable Sewing

Max Vilgalys (G, IDSS)

An exploration of the process of design, prototyping, and construction of sustainable, zero-waste clothing.

Limitations Boost Creativity

Saloni Bedi (G, IDM)

Prototyping of an experimental design process to create functional products within the constraints of individual types of materials.

The Nest

Sahil Mohan (G, Architecture)

Design and prototyping of a suspended geometric “nest” based on queer aesthetics and intended to serve as a sanctuary space.

Shedding Light

Safinah Ali (G, Media Arts and Sciences)

An interactive visual art project that combines painting and electronics to illuminate diverse scenes of cultural importance to the artists.

The Snake

Zachary Schumacher (G, Architecture)

Experimental re-creation of “die Schlange” (“the Snake”), a 3D spatial drawing instrument originally designed by Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer.

Undergraduate Mini-Grants

Mini-Grants provide funding of up to $500 to undergraduates and students groups to launch a project, test an idea, create a community arts engagement experience, or provide supplementary support for student organization projects that engage the MIT community.

35mm Film Screenings

MIT Lecture Series Committee

Revival of screenings of movies on 35mm film at MIT, with a focus on the “classics” of cinema.

Accessible Music Education Tools

Mehek Gosalia ’25

3D-printed music education tools intended to help students who are blind or have low vision learn the foundations of musical rhythms.

Anthology Book

Digital Art and Animation at MIT (DAA@MIT)

A printed collection of comics and illustrations created by MIT students in the Digital Art and Animation group.

Arcadia

Life on Stage Theatre (LOST)

Live, in-person performances of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia by MIT’s newest theater group.

Art Club Revamping

MIT Art Club

Support for the re-launch of in-person painting and art-making sessions for MIT’s student-run Art Club.

Bringing Tufting Beyond Rugs: Textile Furniture and Objects

Sammi Cheung ’22

A series of tufted objects designed to brighten up MIT student living spaces.

BWA Fashion Show

MIT Black Women’s Alliance (BWA)

A showcase of fashion curation and styling by members of MIT’s Black Women’s Alliance, part of a larger celebration of Black womanhood and community.

The Drowsy Chaperone

Next Act

A performance during Campus Preview Weekend of The Drowsy Chaperone, a musical that playfully satirizes the musical theater genre.

Earring Making

Elaine Wu ’22

A series of workshops for MIT students to design and create earrings using polymer clay.

Fiber Optic Pride Dress

Audrey Cui ’24, Winnie Szeto ’24, Rihn H ’23

A programmable interactive dress that displays the colors of a variety of pride flags by incorporating LEDs and fiber optic cables threaded through tulle.

Firebringer

Musical Theatre Guild

A comical musical theater production about the trials of prehistoric life for a group of cave-people.

Freedom Showcase

MIT Nritya Dance Group

A performance of dance and poetry focusing on freedom movements throughout the history of South Asian countries and cultures.

Giant Pinball Machine

Richard Beattie ’25

A 2.5-foot wide and 7-footlong pinball machine that requires two people to play and showcases the tools and resources available in MIT’s makerspaces.

Ink-based connection

Maggie Wang ’22

A collection of workshops to learn and practice travel sketching, longhand letter writing, and other forms of ink-based visual arts that maintain connection over physical distance.

Kemonomimi Cosplay Ear Making 

Rihn H ’23

A kemonomimi (animal ears) headband making workshop for prospective students that showcases the diversity of identities and expressions in the MIT community.

Light-up MBTA subway map

Andi Qu ’25

An MBTA subway map that lights up in real time to show the locations of trains at stations.

MIT Muses A Cappella Concert

MIT Muses

The first live performance in two years by MIT’s only all-treble a cappella group.

MIT Nautilus Project

Nautilus

A new creative collective founded to provide a medium for MIT students to express ideas, display creations, and find inspiration.

MIXED Artists at MIT

MIT Interracial X Ethnic Division (MIXED)

A painting workshop focusing on the experiences of MIT artists of mixed descent.

Next Haunt 2021 

Next Haunt

A real-life, haunted house themed escape-the-room game for the MIT community during the week of Halloween.

Pohela Boishakh

Bangladeshi Student Association

A cultural festival showcasing visual arts and music in celebration of the Bengali New Year (Pohela Boishakh).

Mural Painting

Kevin Frans, Next House

A selection of murals by MIT students painted in common areas of MIT’s Next House residence hall.

“Parent Trap” Performance Set

MIT Mirchi

A dance performance by MIT’s competitive Bollywood-fusion dance team that follows a storyline based on the movie The Parent Trap.

Resonance Spring Concert

Resonance of MIT

A 21st anniversary concert by Resonance, a co-ed MIT student a cappella group.

Romeo and Juliet 

MIT Shakespeare Ensemble

A 90-minute performance of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the Ensemble’s first in-person performance in two years.

Scanning Slides from Woodie Flowers

Audrey Chen ’24

A project to digitize projector slides used by Professor Woodie Flowers (1943-2019), who was instrumental in shaping MIT’s hands-on approach to engineering design education.

Screen Printing

MIT Asian American Initiative

A workshop for members of the MIT Asian American Initiative to learn screen printing techniques and to create screen-printed tote bags and garments.

Spring 2022 Showcase: Oblivion and Other Dreams

MIT Fixation

The first-ever showcase by MIT Fixation featuring a variety of contemporary dances, as well as pieces inspired by traditional Chinese dance and ballet.