Council for the Arts at MIT Announces Fall 2020 Grant Recipients


This fall funding from the Council’s Grants Committee will enable MIT’s faculty, staff, and students to pursue new, innovative forms of collaboration, performance, and engagement as well as to advance artistic practices in design, film, installation, artist books, and dance. In addition, funding to undergraduates and arts-based undergraduate student organizations through the Undergraduate Mini-Grant program is seeding new projects and enabling students and student groups to launch new collaborations and virtual adaptations.

The Council for the Arts at MIT provides funding for arts projects with a special interest in supporting projects that engage the MIT community. The Council’s Grants Committee considers proposals for projects in the fall and spring semesters. Applications for Undergraduate Mini-Grants are accepted on a rolling basis at any time.

Fall 2020 Grants Committee Funding Recipients

Taylor Boes, MArch ’22, The Objects We Live With: Kinship in Times of Quarantine, to fund materials for the creation of a series of designed objects intended as non-human quarantine companions, that will be displayed on a website, with patterns ready to be printed and made at home in any space.

Ian Condry, Anthropology, Immersive Sound Online: Sonic Art for Streaming, to create a series of collaboratively produced, immersive sonic artworks to be shared online, and to convene public discussions of sonic art with artists, MIT students, and community. 

Joel Austin Cunningham, MArch ’23, A Digital Dichotomy, to fund continued work on a collaborative film project that explores the absorption of data centers into the built environment of Hong Kong, with Kwan Queenie Li, SMACT ‘22, to be exhibited at the Hong Kong Pavilion of the Venice Architecture Biennale, spring 2021. 

Rania Ghosn, Architecture, The Green New Meal: The Public Food Project in East Boston, for the production and installation of a public mural and an artistic publication focused on climate change and food insecurity in East Boston as part of the 2021 Equitable Resilience Triennial, sponsored by MIT’s Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism.

Joshua Higgason, Music and Theater Arts, The VERS Project: A Live Multiplayer Adventure Over Zoom, for the launch and scaling of a live interactive entertainment experience for MIT students, which originated in the MTA course Interactive Design and Projection for Live Performance.

Delanie Linden, PhD student, History, Theory and Criticism, Department of Architecture, (Re)Drafting Biometrics: Portraiture and the Art of Race, for materials to produce and exhibit a series of oil portraits which will critique biometric pedagogical skills taught in traditional art instruction.

David Stevens and Ian Hattwick, Music and Theater Arts, Jamaica Plain Sax Quartet and Digital Environments, to support a virtual collaboration between the Jamaica Plain Sax Quartet and the MIT Laptop Ensemble which will respond to climate change through the lens of Interactive Music Systems, digital synthesis and programming, and improvised sound design.

Emma Pfeiffer, MArch ’21 and Isadora Dannin, MArch ’21, Learning from MIT, to produce a video-based art installation that responds creatively to the history of MIT’s architecture and that will be exhibited on a permanent documentary website.

Aarti Sunder, SMACT, ’21, Visible Ghosts, to support artistic research and production of a film about the Amazon Turk platform and precarious labor in the 21st century.

Yimeng Zhu, SMACT ’21, ppppress, in collaboration with Po Hao Chi, Jesus Ocampo, and Aarti Sunder,  to enable the second-year cohort of students in the Program in Art, Culture, and Technology to launch an artist books press to engage and serve the MIT community. 

MIT Ballroom Dance Team: Hamid Doosthosseini, PhD Candidate, Chemical Engineering, Madison R. Leone ’22, Victor Quach, PhD Candidate, CSAIL, Joanna Q. Lin, ’22, Sonia Zhang, PhD Candidate, Materials Science and Engineering, A Comprehensive Video Encyclopedia of Steps and Techniques from Beginner to Champion, to produce a comprehensive series of instructional videos to enable remote practice and instruction for MIT’s prize-winning dance students.

Undergraduate Mini-Grant Recipients

Ilani Axelrod-Freed, ’23, Pride Hats, for materials to knit hats that express LBGTQ+ pride and to share them with the MIT community. 

Audrey Cui, ’24, The Fine Print, to fund linocut printmaking kits to be used to launch a series of Zoom group printmaking sessions. 

Savannah En, ’21, and Emily Han, ’22, MIT in a Stitch: Learning to Embroider Together, to fund embroidery kits to launch a Zoom-based makers community focused on embroidery projects.

Juliana Green, ’22, Explorations in Jewelry Design, for jewelry making materials and to explore launching a jewelry-making club.

Infinite Magazine, to support issue #7 of the student-produced MIT fashion and design magazine. 

Daniel Landez, ’21, Architecture and Music and Theater Arts, Latin America, the United States, and the Individual: The American Experience of Multi-Ethnic Latinos, for materials to design a performance about multi-Latinx experience, including stage and live-cinema design and costumes. 

Maya Levy, ’21, Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering, Queer Chairs, for materials to design and make a series of chairs that reflect diverse conceptions of queer identity. 

MIT Borderline, to support remote VR animation workshops and the launch of a new Borderline App for viewing MIT Borderline Mural animations.

MIT Cello World, to support Music Unites: Songs for Equity (MUSE), a collaboration with MIT Ribotones to perform the work of BIPOC composers. 

MIT Shakespeare Ensemble, for equipment to produce an audio play of Macbeth.

Vanessa Pipitone, ’21, Architecture, Geometries and Forms: A Compendium, to design a book that compiles a series of shapes, forms, solids, and surfaces common to the vocabularies of both architects and geometers.