Experience the arts at MIT, from anywhere

During this time of physical distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19, we offer means of staying connected to the MIT Arts Community from wherever you are. Participate in a live virtual event, dive into the latest artistic research, explore online exhibitions, or watch a rebroadcasted performance.

IAP Class: How to Talk (and Write About) Your Artistic Practice and Arts-Based Entrepreneurial Projects

January 2021 / Thursdays, 4-5pm

In this 4-week practical workshop taught by the staff of the Office of the Arts, you’ll learn how to talk about, write about, and pitch artistic projects and ventures. This series of linked workshops will help prepare you to participate in MIT-specific arts opportunities, including funding from the Council for the Arts at MIT, Student Art Awards, Wiesner Art Gallery exhibitions, and the $15K Creative Arts Competition. Space is limited to 30.

Creative Arts Competition

Live Finale Pitch Event, May 2021

The $15K Creative Arts Competition is an annual contest established in 2013 to foster arts-focused startups at the Institute. The $15,000 prize is awarded as a grant to help launch the winning enterprise and enable the recipient(s) to join the ranks of MIT’s most successful startup founders. The Competition offers more than just financial support; all teams are invited to workshops designed to accelerate arts-focused ventures throughout the duration of the year-long competition. Teams receive mentorship from past prize winners, distinguished faculty, and MIT alumni. Mentorship encompasses pitch preparation, business plan coaching, customer development advising, and more.

2021 CAST Symposium

April 1-9, 2021

“Unfolding Intelligence: The Art and Science of Contemporary Computation” gathers artists, scientists, and humanists to discuss aesthetic, technical, and critical issues pertaining to artificial intelligence (AI) and computational media.

Public Guest Lectures: Black Mobility and Safety in the US

Spring 2021 / Tuesdays, 1-4pm

Ekene Ijeoma’s Black Mobility and Safety in the US course includes a series of public guest lectures co-sponsored by ACT around living while Black. The first semester’s topics will include birthing, breathing, sleeping, eating, and walking while Black; the second semester will include learning, voting, driving, working, and loving while Black.

History of Now: Plagues and Pandemics

Fall 2020 / Fridays, 2-3pm

This course focuses on the history of infectious disease, looking trans-nationally and across discipline at how plagues and pandemics have made an impact on human and non-human history.  The course will have a round-table format, meeting for one-hour sessions each week with brief presentations by invited speakers followed by Q&A with enrolled students. The course will also be broadcast live as a webinar each week for the benefit of interested members of the larger MIT community and the public

Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT Capstone Event with Thomas Heatherwick

Wednesday, December 9, 2020 / 5:00pm EST

Join us for the capstone event of the 2020 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT honoring designer Thomas Heatherwick. This online public program includes a special address to MIT from Thomas Heatherwick filmed in his London studio, premiere a behind-the-scenes documentary telling the inspiring story of his design challenge for MIT students, and a Q&A between Heatherwick and Dean Hashim Sarkis, curator of the 2021 Venice Biennale of Architecture.

ACT Lecture Series: Barbara London

Monday, October 26 / 6pm

Pioneering curator and writer Barbara London will investigate how media art is shaped by its DNA: technology, real-world politics, and art’s mutability.

ACT Open House

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 / 10am EST or
Thursday, November 19, 2020 / 7pm EST

Considering a graduate degree in Art, Culture and Technology? Join us for the Virtual Graduate Open House. This is your chance to meet our faculty and students, familiarize yourself with our program, and learn how to prepare your application materials.

ACT Lecture Series: Cesare Pietroiusti

Monday, December 7, 2020

Artist Cesare Pietroiusti presents a number of artistic projects and participatory performances that, by diverting or playing with economic principles, attempt to create temporary areas of freedom where faith is suspended and rules become tools and toys, instead of single or double binds.

MTA Playwrights Lab

September 18 – October 3, 2020 / 8pm

Eight readings by MIT playwrights featuring eight guest directors and over 50 actors from Boston, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

Drawing on Love and Justice

September 1 – November 3, 2020

The MIT List Visual Arts Center put out a call to artists around the world to share work on social media that reflects not only on what they see, but also what they want to change.

MIT Museum’s Polaroid Project Online Exhibition

September 3 – December 31, 2020

The Polaroid Project tells the fascinating and instructive story of the Polaroid company, and presents all aspects of Polaroid photography, including the technology that made it possible.


September 17 and 24, October 1 and 8, 2020 / 12pm

Deepfakery is a series of critical conversations exploring the intersection of satire, art, human rights, disinformation, and journalism. Join WITNESS and the Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab for interdisciplinary discussions with leading artists, activists, academics, film-makers, and journalists.

Shifter: Waiting

September 17, 2020 – March 4, 2021

Eight sessions offer glimpses into the thought and practices of artists, architects, historians, and theorists who grapple with waiting. In each hour-long session, participants share their research into an aspect of waiting while touching on some of its registers: enforced waiting, chronic waiting, natural waiting, existential waiting, and even those desirable modes of waiting that we long for. A brief moderated discussion and audience Q&A will follow. Co-hosted by MIT List Visual Arts Center and Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati.

Arts on the Radar

September 3 and 4, 2020

Put the arts on your radar! MIT students are invited to learn more about a range of arts-related topics, spanning the myriad opportunities for making, learning, and experiencing the arts at MIT this academic year.

Virtual Book Talk Series: MIT Press Live!

Tuesdays at 12:30pm, free & open to the public

Online events featuring leading researchers and experts from around the globe discussing the important and timely topics we all need to know more about. 

CMS/W Livestream Talk Series

Thursdays, start times vary

Virtual conversations on topics relevant to emerging media practices, including artificial intelligence, deepfakes, manipulated media, internationally-networked games, archives and history, and spam.

Making Arts Matter: The 2020 Laya and Jerome B. Wiesner Student Award Recipients

Accessible 24/7

The Wiesner Award recognizes up to four students, living groups, organizations, or activities for outstanding achievement in and contributions to the arts at MIT. This year’s winners helped MIT students create, observe, and enjoy the arts.

School of Architecture’s
What Are We Doing Radio

Accessible 24/7

What Are We Doing Radio is an online station produced by the MIT Architecture community. Tune in for shows from students, faculty and staff or replay shows via an archive.

Podcast: Musical conversation with Samantha Farrell

Accessible 24/7

Samantha Farrell, who is the assistant to MIT.nano director Vladimir Bulovic as well as a professional musician, talks about how music is keeping her focused, productive, and sane, and how artists are more important than ever in difficult times like these.

Department of Architecture Lecture Channel

Accesssible 24/7

Dive into an extensive archive of lectures by architecture faculty, critics, visiting artists, alumni, and students.

MIT Program in Art, Culture & Technology Lecture Archive

Accessible 24/7

A collection of recordings of lectures including student spotlights, faculty project presentations, and visiting artists discussions.

Rebroadcasted Performances

Friday and Saturday evenings, and Sunday Matinee

Enjoy performances presented by MIT Music and Theater Arts and the Center for Art, Science & Technology broadcast @artsatmit Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Bizet’s Carmen part of the Theater Times International Online Theater Festival

May 16-31, 2020

Professor Jay Scheib, director of Carmen starring India Carney, with design by MIT Director of Design for MIT Music and Theater Arts Sara Brown and projection design and camera by MIT Technical Theater Instructor Joshua Higgason.

Clips from the Classroom

Accessible 24/7

Take a quick glimpse into MIT virtual classrooms visited by guest artists brought with support from CAST grants and the CAMIT Artist Guest Speaker Program.

Online exhibition: artwork by the 2020 Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Prize in the Visual Arts winners

Accessible 24/7

The Schnitzer Prize is awarded annually to students for excellence in the visual arts and traditionally culminates in a gallery show on campus. This year’s show is presented in an online exhibition.


Accessible 24/7

Comusica is a participatory music experience unveiled as a centerpiece of the MIT virtual Commencement. Comusica features the voices of more than 800 MIT class of 2020 graduates and alumni, stitched together into one of the largest crowd-sourced pieces of music ever undertaken.

Teaching Remotely: Intro to Acting & MITSO

Accessible 24/7

The Music and Theater Arts (MTA) section is unique at MIT in offering many classes and ensembles devoted to performance. In the face of this challenging transition online, MTA instructors have found innovative ways to retain the communal and social aspects of performance.

Announcing the winner of the 2020 $15,000 Creative Arts Competition: Elements!

Accessible 24/7

Because of COVID19 restrictions, six finalist teams made virtual presentations to a jury composed of CEOs, arts administrators, entrepreneurs, and designers.

The Joy of Dance at MIT

Accessible 24/7

Nothing can stop MIT students from dancing, not even stay at home orders. 

A Writer’s Voyage: Alumna Mia Heavener

Accessible 24/7

On April 13, Mia Heavener visited Wyn Kelley’s literature course “Reading Fiction: Voyages” on Zoom, sharing her story of writing Under Nushagak Bluff.

Space for Action: Rebuilding a Sustainable World

Accessible 24/7

A collective reflection with music and conversation on how the pandemic is reshaping our relationship with the earth. A free virtual event featuring performances and talks by Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, Esperanza Spalding, Bill McKibben, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Ran Blake, Peter Godart, Edmar Colón, Tutti Druyan, Tiandra Ray, and Ricky Richardson.

CURA, an open-source project aimed at capacity building in Intensive-Care Units (ICU)

Accessible 24/7

An international task force of designers, engineers, medical professionals, and military experts have joined forces to work on CURA, an open-source project aimed at capacity building in Intensive-Care Units (ICU).

Cristina Parreño Alonso’s TECTONICS OF WISDOM

Accessible until May 10, 2020

TECTONICS OF WISDOM: an installation by Spanish architect and designer Cristina Parreño Alonso, lecturer in the MIT Department of Architecture, is presented virtually through May 10, 2020 by Schusev State Museum of Architecture, Moscow as part of the exhibition Public Architecture – Future for Europe.

Student work: “Quaranteen”

Accessible 24/7

Take a music break with “Quaranteen,” an original rock song and video by sophomore Kyle Markland, a materials science and engineering major and member of the MIT Symphony Orchestra.

List Visual Arts Center
From Home

Accessible 24/7

While the galleries are closed, stay connected to the List Center with the #MuseumFromHome newsletter. Each week, get fresh insights from curators, exhibiting artists, and other special guests delivered straight to your inbox.

MITSO Performs Brian Eno’s “Wind on Wind” from a Distance

Accessible 24/7

A musical mosaic of Brian Eno’s “Wind on Wind” performed by the MIT Symphony Orchestra (MITSO) in 46 discrete tracks recorded in isolation and then assembled by Evan Ziporyn, 2019-20 MITSO Acting Director.

Azra Akšamija Creates Co-MASK in response to COVID-19

Accessible 24/7

In the wake of COVID-19, and the lack of personal protection equipment readily available, ACT Professor Azra Akšamija has created Co-MASK. The Co-MASK team invites you to join a global project to create fabric masks that promote hope, humanity, and hygiene practices in time of crisis.

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Science’s Listening Room

Accessible 24/7

The Listening Room is an online collection of music composed and/or performed by MIT’s renowned Music faculty and extraordinary student-musicians. The 64+ current recordings are presented in four musical categories: Classical, Jazz, World, and Faculty Opus.

Reflections on a now virtual Playwrights Lab Workshop

Accessible 24/7

The MIT Music and Theater Arts Playwrights Lab workshop 21M.785J taught by Senior Lecturer Ken Urban provides students a space to work on the development of play scripts for the theater and the opportunity to collaborate with professional theater artists.

Media Lab’s COVID-19 Research Projects

Accessible 24/7

Researchers from across the Media Lab are tapping into their creativity and expertise to find ways to help during the COVID-19 pandemic. From sensors and wearable technologies to app development to creative learning and engagement, the Lab is working across disciplines, connecting with institutes and communities to develop tools and solutions at the intersection of humanity and technology. 

Open Documentary Lab’s Noon Lecture Series

Tuesdays at 12pm

All Spring 2020 Open Doc Lab public talks will be held virtually on Zoom. Virtual talks are open to the public to attend and recordings will be accessible afterwards on the Lab’s YouTube channel and website. For announcements about how to attend and other event updates, subscribe to the Lab’s email newsletter or follow on social media.

Q&A: Markus Buehler on setting coronavirus and AI-inspired proteins to music

Accessible 24/7

The proteins that make up all living things are alive with music. Just ask Markus Buehler: The musician and MIT professor develops artificial intelligence models to design new proteins, sometimes by translating them into sound. His goal is to create new biological materials for sustainable, non-toxic applications.

School of Architecture + Planning’s COVID-19 Research Projects

Accessible 24/7

Architects, urbanists, artists, and scientists at SA+P are contributing to the effort to combat COVID-19 and understand its effects on society through new projects and shared expertise.

Art + Computing

Accessible 24/7

Advances in computing are transforming every aspect of contemporary life—including the ways we make and experience art. At MIT, original applications of computing include composing music and poetry, creating visual art, and supporting arts research. This series offers a window into MIT’s work on this frontier.

The MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies Special Collection

Accessible 24/7

The repository of a nearly 45-year history of collaborative and time-based productions by over 200 internationally recognized artist-fellows. The collection includes photos, books, posters, documents, portfolios, films, videos, and audio tapes of great historical significance.

Videos of Arthur Ganson’s Gestural Engineering

Posted weekly on Mondays

A little Ganson magic to get your week started right courtesy of the MIT Museum, a public space on campus that introduces visitors to the innovation, invention, and ideas from MIT that have changed the world.

Arts at MIT Blog

Accessible 24/7

News, interviews, and stories about the arts at MIT, ranging from student profiles to overviews of recent projects by MIT faculty and visiting artists.

Marisa Morán Jahn (SMVisS ’07) CarePod: Designing for Care, Building Community

Accessible 24/7

Much of ACT Lecturer and alumna Marisa Morán Jahn’s (SMVisS ’07) work has focused on caregivers. These domestic workers—including nannies, cleaners, housekeepers, and other household workers—are the fastest growing workforce in the U.S, but laws to standardize their rights are still nascent.