Apply for Funding from the Center for Art, Science & Technology
The Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) was established to create new opportunities for art, science and technology to thrive as interrelated, mutually-informing modes of exploration, knowledge, and discovery at MIT.
The Center also supports projects that may be difficult to fund through traditional sources or are exploratory in nature but may lead to creative works, significant research, or interesting collaborations in the future.
Faculty, full-time instructional staff, and directors or principal researchers of centers and labs are encouraged to submit a proposal for evaluation in the biannual review cycle.
CAST encourages submission of proposals that focus on racial and social justice and/or amplify the artistic work and voices of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC).
CAST is committed to responding to the creative needs of the MIT community. The grant categories below are general guidelines. CAST encourages a wide range of cross-disciplinary proposals for artistic projects and welcomes inquiries from MIT faculty, instructional staff, and directors of centers and labs about how proposals might be shaped in accordance with these guidelines and CAST’s overall mission. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance at any stage, questions about CAST, or guidance on the grant proposal process.
Questions? Contact email@example.com
Evan Ziporyn, Faculty Director of CAST and Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Music
Leila W. Kinney, Executive Director of Arts Initiatives and CAST
Danna Solomon, Assistant to the Executive Director of Arts Initiatives
Katherine Higgins, Producer
Susan Wilson, Producer
Lydia Brosnahan, Assistant Producer
Support for Remote Teaching
To support MIT’s remote teaching as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) will once again offer a lightning round of micro-grants to support Visiting Artists in the Virtual Classroom. Each grant provides a $250 honorarium per visit for instructors to invite practicing artists to participate as guest speakers in Zoom classes.
Applicants may apply for up to two class visits (which can be one or two artists, or one or two subjects, whichever is preferred). Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, beginning immediately, until April 1.
This initiative is separate from CAST’s spring 2021 grant cycle. Recipients will be asked to submit a brief report to CAST at the end of the term. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAST offers several categories of funding for MIT faculty and principal or senior research staff from all departments, labs, and centers. A call for proposals is circulated each semester, for projects beginning one year later. The following types of grants are evaluated by the CAST Selection Committee:
- Cross Disciplinary Class Development Fund: Full-time faculty and full-time lecturers may apply for funds to develop new classes that integrate the arts into the core curriculum and engage students from across the Institute in producing new artistic work. Preference will be given to classes that are intended to become a regular part of the curriculum. Grants range from $30,000 to $50,000, including honoraria for visiting artists and lecturers and project materials for students.
- Mellon Faculty Grant: Full-time faculty may apply to develop research or creative projects with significant impact on campus or beyond. Two CAST Mellon Faculty Fellows are appointed each academic year and receive grants of $30,000.
- Fay Chandler Creativity Grant: Full-time instructional staff (faculty and full-time lecturers) may apply for grants to subsidize a creative project that will be presented to the public within a year of the award. Awards are a maximum of $7,500.
- International Exhibition and Performance Fund: Full-time faculty may apply to support a performance, exhibition, creative project, or installation of their work that will appear by invitation in a major international venue within two years of application. Awards are a maximum of $25,000.
- Visiting Artist Grant: Faculty or program directors may apply for grants for a collaborative project with visiting artists. Visiting Artist projects must include student engagement and a public presentation and may include master classes, participation in the regular curriculum, or research and development of new artistic work. Awards range from $5,000 to a maximum of $30,000. CAST does not accept self-nominations by artists.
- Exploratory Visit: CAST offers small grants (up to $1,000) for exploratory visits for potential Visiting Artists, which can be helpful for establishing the basis for collaborations and full-fledged proposals.
Distinguished Visiting Artists: In addition, two Distinguished Visiting Artists are appointed by a curatorial advisory committee for one academic year and are renewable once. The positions are designed for research and development of new work. The Dasha Zhukova Distinguished Visiting Artist Program is for creators from across the disciplines of art, architecture and design. The Mellon Distinguished Visiting Artist Program is for creators from any performing arts discipline.
Eligibility & Renewals
Each applicant is limited to one Initial Inquiry per cycle. Grant recipients are eligible to apply for a new grant as long as they have no active CAST grants.
- MIT full-time faculty: all funding categories
- MIT lecturers and technical instructors: Visiting Artist Grants, Fay Chandler Grants, and under some circumstances, Cross-Disciplinary Class Grants
- Directors, curators, or principal researchers: Visiting Artist Grants and Fay Chandler Grants
- MIT students: students are not eligible to apply directly for CAST grants, but are encouraged to collaborate with faculty members and research directors to propose ideas for art projects or to contact CAST producers to learn how to participate.
- Visiting Artists: We do not accept self-nominations. Artists must be sponsored by an MIT department, lab, or center. Please contact us for more information.
- Renewal grant applications for continuation of previously-funded projects will be considered. Applications should emphasize the expansion of the proposed project’s goals based on the successes and discoveries of the previous collaboration.
- Continuation grants are limited to one follow-up residency after the initial visiting artist project. A previous CAST Visiting Artist may be nominated for a new project with a different department, lab, or center, once the initial project that was granted funding is complete.
- Continuation grants for Cross-Disciplinary Classes are limited to remaining unspent funds from the original grant allocation. All continuation grants are subject to approval.
Schedule & Deadlines
There is one call per semester and we recommend a minimum lead time of 2 semesters or 9 months from the Initial Inquiry submission.
COVID-19 introduces uncertainties regarding planning, programming, and travel. CAST will work with applicants to creatively and flexibly address these uncertainties.
Please contact us to discuss any questions you may have. When unforeseen opportunities arise, off-cycle requests can be submitted and will be considered in relation to available funds and staff. Please email email@example.com with all questions about off-cycle requests.
Spring 2021 deadlines
- Initial Inquiry due March 5, 2021
- Final Proposal due April 12, 2021
A multidisciplinary Selection Committee will evaluate the proposals. The 2020-21 committee members are:
Judith Barry, Director and Professor, MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology
Natalie Bell, Curator, List Visual Arts Center
Ian Condry, Professor of Japanese Culture and Media Studies
Greg DeFrancis, Director of Engagement and Cambridge Science Festival, MIT Museum
Timothy Fessenden, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
Adam Haar, Research Assistant, Fluid Interfaces, Media Lab
Stefan Helmreich, Elting E. Morison Professor of Anthropology
Lodovica Illari, Senior Lecturer, Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences
Leila W. Kinney, Executive Director of Arts Initiatives and CAST
Will Lockett, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Art, Science & Technology
Ana Miljački, Associate Professor of Architecture
Alexandra Rieger, Research Assistant, Opera of the Future, Media Lab
Jay Scheib, Professor of Theater Arts
Emma (Yimeng) Zhu, Graduate Student, Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT)
Evan Ziporyn, Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Music and Faculty Director of CAST
How to Apply
- Initial Inquiry: The Initial Inquiry aims to ensure basic information is provided without requiring extensive proposals in the first stage. The form requests answers to 10 questions and a summary of the proposed project. The summary is limited to 1,500 characters, and there is an optional field for additional information. Submit an Initial Inquiry for the spring 2021 application cycle.
- Full Proposal: Individuals or groups invited to submit full proposals will develop the application in consultation with CAST Directors and Producers.
- Interview and Project Presentation: All applicants invited to submit a full proposal will be asked to arrange a 20-minute interview with CAST Directors after submission of the full proposal. After the interview, applicants will be asked to submit a short visual presentation summarizing their project proposal, to be shown at the CAST Selection Committee meeting, along with review of the full proposal.
Past Grants Awarded by CAST
CAST Annual Program Reports