Council for the Arts at MIT Grant Recipients

The Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT), which consists of alumni and friends of the arts at MIT who support arts engagement at MIT, sponsors two 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 undergraduate students and student organizations are also eligible to apply for Mini-Grant funding of up to $500.

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

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2020-21 CAMIT Grant Projects

Installation view of CAMIT Grant funded project With(in). Credit: Gabriela Bila/MIT Media Lab City Science Group.
ppppress, 2021 (still from a video about the project). Courtesy of the artists.
Pages from Infinite Magazine Issue 8, 2021. Courtesy of the artists.

In 2020-21 the Council for the Arts at MIT dedicated funding of $119,943 to support 34 projects by 11 student groups, three undergraduates, 15 graduate students, two faculty members and lecturers, and three staff members. These included six grants with a focus on MIT student community engagement awarded to student groups for projects initiated during Independent Activities Period (IAP) 2021.

The Council also continued its support of the Undergraduate Arts Project Mini-Grant program (formerly Director’s Grants) which awarded $11,368.78 to support 32 projects by 20 undergraduate students and 12 student groups.

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, enable current MIT faculty, staff, and students to undertake a wide range of art projects that directly engage the MIT community. 

Angels in America

Wuming Theater Club

An online Chinese-language production (with English subtitles) of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, performed in April 2021.

Brownface

Daniel Landez ’21

A live cinema theatrical performance exploring multiethnic latino identity in the contemporary United States.
 
Performed at MIT in May 2021.

Cinema and Architectural Imagination Film Series

Eliyahu Keller, PhD ’21 in the History, Theory, and Criticism of Art and Architecture

A film series that brings together MIT students and faculty to explore the intersections of cinema, architecture, and imagination.

A Comprehensive Video Encyclopedia of Steps and Techniques from Beginner to Champion

MIT Ballroom Dance Team

A comprehensive series of instructional videos by professional coaches to enable remote practice and instruction for MIT’s prize-winning dance students.

Curated Erosion

Carolyn Tam (G, Architecture)

A series of prototypes exploring artistic sculptures made of Finite, a new material developed by Tam and colleagues, which is as strong as concrete but can be melted down and reused for multiple cycles.

A Digital Dichotomy

Joel Austin Cunningham (G, Architecture) with Kwan Queenie Li (G, ACT)

A collaborative film project that explores the absorption of data centers into the built environment of Hong Kong, exhibited at the Hong Kong Pavilion of the Venice Architecture Biennale, spring 2021.

Feminist Future(s) Summer Festival

Alexis Hope (G, Media Lab) with curator Laura Zittrain

An interactive, collaborative, feminist art-making event series for MIT students — a follow-up to the Feminist Future(s) Hackathon held in May 2021.

Fighting COVID with Music

MIT Chinese Music Ensemble

A suite of traditional and modern Chinese music on the theme of fighting COVID, broadcast online at the virtual Ivy League Spring Festival Gala in February 2021.

First-year Arts Program

Guangqi Cui ’22

A pre-orientation program that introduces incoming first years to the multitude of artistic opportunities available at MIT.

The Green New Meal: The Public Food Project in East Boston

Rania Ghosn, Associate Professor of Architecture

A public mural and an artistic publication focused on climate change and food insecurity in East Boston as part of the MIT Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism 2021 Equitable Resilience Triennial.

Immersive Sound Online: Sonic Art for Streaming

Ian Condry, Professor of Japanese Culture and Media Studies

A series of collaboratively-produced immersive sonic artworks and public conversations with artists and MIT students about sonic art.

Infinite Issue 8

Infinite Magazine

A new issue of Infinite Magazine focusing on the theme of “light,” designed and created entirely by MIT undergraduate students.

Jamaica Plain Sax Quartet: Digital Environments

David Stevens and Ian Hattwick, Music & Theater Arts

A virtual concert by Jamaica Plain Sax Quartet and MIT Laptop Ensemble addressing climate change through the lens of Interactive Music Systems, digital synthesis and programming, and improvised sound design.

Learning from MIT

Emma Pfeiffer, MArch ’21 & Isadora Dannin, MArch ’21

A video-based art installation that responds critically and creatively to the history of MIT’s architecture.

Live Virtual Show: Now and Then

Life on Stage Theatre (LOST)

Now and Then, a live, virtual premiere production by a new undergraduate theater group created 100% remotely.

Lodgers: Serendipity in the Wilderness

Zhicheng Xu (G, Architecture) with Mengqi Moon He, SMArchS ’20

A workshop for MIT students about environmentally-conscious design, and an exhibition about the design process.

To be exhibited in the Wiesner Student Art Gallery, spring 2022.

MAKE TO:GATHER

Ziyuan Zoey Zhu (G, Architecture) & Sheng-Hung Lee (G, Integrated Design & Management)

The expansion of an initiative that aims to foster remote collaboration and co-creation through a series of art and design workshops.

To be exhibited in the Wiesner Student Art Gallery, spring 2022.

Mandela, Massachusetts: Design Futures for a Proposed City

Sofia Gulaid, MCP ’21

An interactive public art project that engages the community in speculative design of Mandela, a 1980s proposed city comprising majority-Black neighborhoods in the Boston area. 

The Objects We Live With: Kinship in Times of Quarantine

Taylor Boes (G, Architecture)

A series of designed objects intended as non-human quarantine companions, with a website that includes printable patterns so anyone can create their own object.

A Collection of Poems on Homeland, Identity, and Womanhood

Marwa Abdulhai ’20, MEng ’21; Mariam Dogar ’20; Ayşe Güvenilir ’20, MAS ’22; Afeefah Khazi-Syed ’21; Maisha Prome ’21; Aleena Shabbir ’20

A self-published poetry anthology by Muslim, children of immigrants alumnae of MIT.

ppppress

Pohao Chi, Jesus Ocampo, Aarti Sunder, and Emma Yimeng Zhu 朱艺蒙, SMACT ’21

An artist books press launched by the second-year cohort of students in the Program in Art, Culture, and Technology to engage and serve the MIT community.
 
To be exhibited in the Wiesner Student Art Gallery, spring 2022.

(Re)Drafting Biometrics: Portraiture and the Art of Race

Delanie Linden (G, History, Theory & Criticism of Art & Architecture)

A series of oil portraits that critique the biometric pedagogical skills taught in traditional art instruction.

Soft City: Texture Mapping Black Boston

Amanda Ugorji (G, Architecture) with Sophie Chien (G, Harvard MLA)

A collection of large-scale woven textiles that represent historically Black neighborhoods in the Boston area.

Solitude and Solidarity: Rooted Zine Issue Two

MIT Asian American Initiative

The second issue of a ‘zine that explores themes of solidarity and solitude during the pandemic from the perspective of the MIT Asian American community.

superpose

Karsten Schuhl (SM Media Arts & Sciences ’21)

An interactive spatial sound installation that links the perception of sound with space by utilizing water waves and acoustic spaces shaped by the presence of people around it.

On view in the Wiesner Student Art Gallery, September 2021.

Synergy II: Exploring Ocean Science Through Art

Jennifer Kenyon (G, MIT-WHOI)

A collaborative project that fosters co-creation of ocean-inspired art by graduate students in the MIT-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Joint Program and artists from the Art League of Rhode Island. Online exhibition opening October 21, 2021.

Tiny Trainable Instruments

Aarón Montoya-Moraga (G, Media Lab)

A series of workshops for artists and beginners, in English and Spanish, on how to use machine learning and microcontrollers to build instruments that react to color, gesture, and speech.

The VERS Project: A Live Multiplayer Adventure Over Zoom

Joshua Higgason, Technical Instructor in Theater Arts

A live interactive virtual entertainment experience for MIT students, building on a student project created in the MTA course Interactive Design and Projection for Live Performance.

Virtual VGO, IAP 2021 Edition

MIT Video Game Orchestra

A chamber-orchestral performance of original student arrangements of video game music, recorded asynchronously and premiered at the virtual MIT Blueprint Hackathon.

Ghost Cut: Some Clear Pixels Amongst Many Black Boxes

Aarti Sunder, SMACT ’21

A film that investigates the relationships between the analog, the digital, and the terrestrial, drawing from conversations with Amazon Mturk workers and the politics of the Mechanical Turk platform.

With(in)

City Science group, MIT Media Lab

An immersive video installation on display at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition—La Biennale di Venezia—exploring food and culture by focusing on the stories of three women living in informal communities in Mexico, Egypt, and Nigeria.

The World’s Most Beautiful Septic Tank

MIT NOMAS (National Organization of Minority Architecture Students)

Social justice discussions and workshops centered on the design of a portable and scalable composting toilet with artist Zeelie Brown.

Wuthering/Hurlevents

Anjali Nambrath ’21

A staged reading of Nambrath’s English translation (Wuthering) of a French play (Hurlevents) written by celebrated Québécoise playwright Fanny Britt, held virtually in April 2021 with a professional cast.

Undergraduate Mini-Grants

Mini-Grants providing 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.

Abiogenesis

Cecilia Esterman ’21

A short film score composed for the Berlin International Film Scoring Competition and shown in a virtual event for the MIT community.

battipillas

Jordan Tappa ’21

A new board game inspired by caterpillar evolution and chess, featuring creative animal characters in a forest setting. Check out battipillas on Instagram.

Borderline Tunnels Around the World with Stickers

MIT Borderline

Remote animation and sticker design workshops, and the launch of a new app for viewing MIT Borderline Mural animations.

Explorations in Jewelry Design

Juliana Green ’22

A series of unconventional jewelry designs built from rudimentary geometries.

The Fine Print

Audrey Cui ’24

A series of virtual workshops for MIT students to learn rubber block printing together.

Infinite Issue #7

Infinite Magazine

A new issue of the MIT fashion and design magazine focused on the concept of ‘style,’ produced entirely by MIT undergraduates. Read it here.

January Comic Hackathon

MIT Digital Art and Animation Club

A winter hackathon for students interested in digital art, resulting in a compiled anthology of original comics by students.

Latin America, the United States, and the Individual

Daniel Landez ’21

Prototypes for a performance about multi-ethnic Latino experience, including stage and live-cinema design and costumes.

MIT in a Stitch: Learning to Embroider Together

Savannah En ’21

A Zoom-based maker community focused on embroidery projects.

MIT Inked

Emily Han ’22

A series of temporary tattoo design workshops to foster community and connectedness among MIT undergrads.

MIT Ridonkulous Presents: Colors

MIT Ridonkulous

A video series of hip hop dance performances shared with the MIT community.

Mocha Moves Projector Dance

MIT Mocha Moves

A prototyping grant to support explorations of integrating image projection with dance choreography by the MIT Mocha Moves dance group.

MSA DIY Hoodies!

MIT Muslim Student Association

A remote design and printing process for custom hoodie sweatshirts created by students in the MIT Muslim Student Association.

Music Unites: Songs for Equity (MUSE) Project

MIT CelloWorld and MIT Ribotones

A virtual concert series highlighting the work of BIPOC composers, featuring performances by MIT student groups and alumni. Learn more.

Paint in the Mail

Lindsey McAllister ’21

A mail-art project of watercolor postcards for the MIT community, shared via Instagram.

Pride Hats

Ilani Axelrod-Freed ’23

Knitted hats for the MIT community that express LBGTQ+ pride.

Queer Chairs

Maya Levy ’21

A series of chairs that reflect diverse conceptions of queer identity.

Re-visioning electronic music through dynamic and evolving live performance

Karthik Nair ’21

A research project on live electronic music with the MIT DJ Experiential Learning Opportunities group.

Shroomy app

Raphi Kang ’23

Digital art and animation for a student-designed interactive therapy app.

Virtual Chalk Art Workshops

MIT Chalk of the Day

Virtual workshops on chalk lettering and chalk art, led by the student organization that created large-scale chalk murals in the Stata Center prior to the pandemic.

Wuthering/Hurlevents

Anjali Nambrath ’21

Initial support for a staged reading of Nambrath’s translation of a French Canadian play, later funded by a CAMIT grant.

You Are Welcome Here

Elliott Seaman ’21

A sign made of acrylic and electronic materials that reads “You Are Welcome Here” and aims to build community, particularly for LGBTQ+ MIT students.