A woman wears long black gloves with wires on them in front of a wall of crumpled paper.
Credit: Elizabeth Woodward

Media Lab

The Media Lab checks traditional disciplines at the door. Product designers, nanotechnologists, data-visualization experts, industry researchers and pioneers of computer interfaces work side by side to invent—and reinvent—how humans experience, and can be aided by, technology.

Image credit: L. Barry Hetherington.
Amanda Crider and Lacey Dorn preforming in Persona workshop at MIT, 2015.

For Faculty

The Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) supports the development of creative projects, artist residencies, cross-disciplinary classes and research that integrates the arts and has significant student engagement or impact on campus.

The Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT) provides funding and benefits for MIT faculty members in accordance with its mission to act as a catalyst for the development of a broadly based, highly participatory program in the arts, firmly founded on teaching, practice, and research at the Institute.

Rows of students singing and playing brass instruments.
MIT students perform at the 150th Convocation. Credit: Dominick Reuter.

Student Performance Groups

In addition to these faculty-led performance groups, MIT boasts hundreds of student interest groups in dance, film, literary arts, music, theater and other interdisciplinary forms. From a cappella singing to improvisational comedy, origami folding to Bhangra dancing, students can choose from a diverse and lively array of arts activities on campus.

Visit theater.mit.edu for more information about student-led theater groups.

For a complete list of student-led interest groups, visit the MIT Association of Student Activities (ASA).

Public Art Collection

MIT’s Public Art Collection reaches across the Institute and may be enjoyed by MIT students and visitors alike. Outstanding examples of work by Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, and other major artists grace the MIT campus for all to view.

Explore the interactive Public Art Map

Gallery in the MIT museum.
MIT Museum. Credit: Judy Daniels.

MIT Museum

The MIT Museum’s galleries, exhibitions, demos, workshops, performances, conversations, and debates invite visitors to participate in the ongoing adventure of research and innovation. The Museum displays objects from it vast collection, and features rotating exhibitions on a wide range of … Continued

Free for MIT ID holders and the last Sunday of each month, September through June
 
Directions + Map

 
 

OPEN: Seven days a week, 10:00am–5:00pm, except major holidays

Before Projection: Video Sculpture 1974-1995
Before Projection: Video Sculpture 1974-1995

List Visual Arts Center

The List Visual Arts Center is a creative laboratory that provides artists with a space to freely experiment and push existing boundaries. As the contemporary art museum at MIT, the List Center presents a dynamic program of six to nine … Continued

Admission and programs are FREE and open to the public
Directions + Map

 
 
OPEN: Tuesday–Sunday 12:00–6:00pm; and until 8:00pm on Thursdays. Closed Mondays and major holidays.

Creative Arts Competition winning team Cosmosii's Emma Kaye (Sloan '22)

Creative Arts Competition

 

The MIT Creative Arts Competition is an annual contest designed to encourage arts-focused startups at the Institute. The $15,000 prize is offered as a grant to help launch the winning enterprise and enable the recipient(s) to join the ranks of MIT’s successful startup founders.

 

Resources for Students

 

Competition Kickoff  Conference:

Keynote on Bringing Meaning to the Marketplace: Make * Care * Strategize * Implement
Sunday, October 25, 2020

Wendy Swart Grossman and Jen Guillemin, co-founders of Creative Re/Frame, share their experiences as entrepreneurs, educators, and mentors. They discuss finding the motivation behind a creative venture, forming an idea, and putting it into action using the Make * Care * Strategize * Implement framework. 

View here

 

Panel Discussion
Sunday, October 25, 2020

Roundtable lightning talks with past winners and mentors of the $15K, including: Maria Esteban Casanas and Michael Stradley (Elements, 2020 $15K Winners); Ellen Shakespear (Spaceus, 2018 $15K Second Prize); Nir Hindi (Mentor, Founder of The Artian); and Jon Corbiere (Mentor, CEO of Thought Cafe). 

View here

 

Workshop series:

Building your Value Proposition
Thursday, November 11, 2020

Dr. Michael Camp, Executive Director of Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation at Ohio State University, shares his experience on how to build and articulate your value proposition as an arts-related venture. This session focuses on understanding and explaining what makes your venture uniquely valuable to customers and stakeholders. 

View here

 

Building your Business Plan (For-profit track)
Sunday, December 6, 2020

Carly Chase, Managing Director of the MIT NYC Startup Studio and entrepreneur-in-residence at the Martin Trust Center, shares guidance on how to build a strong plan for your arts-related venture. This session focuses on building out the dimensions of a venture from key suppliers to target customers and everything in between.

View here

 

Building your Business Plan (Non-profit track)
Monday, December 21, 2020

Miguel Rodriguez shares his experience as founder and president of Athlone Artists and executive with Boston Baroque, Opera Boston, and Boston Landmarks Orchestra. This session helps students interested in the competition’s non-profit track to build out a robust business plan by identifying target impact, stakeholders, key partners, and more.

View here

 

Creating a Budget (For-profit track)
Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Kit Hickey, co-founder of Ministry of Supply and entrepreneur-in-residence at the Martin Trust Center shares her experience budgeting to support growth in a company’s early stages. This session is aimed at helping for-profit venture teams create and test a prospective budget.

View here

 

Creating a Budget (Non-profit track)
Monday, December 7, 2020

Julia Turnbull, Assistant Director for Student Programs at the Legatum Center, will discuss her experience evaluating budgets and grant funding for the Inter American Development Bank. This session focuses on how to create a prospective budget to effectively plan for your non-profit venture’s growth.

View here

 

Arts E-ship Launchpad WhatsApp:

This informal community of arts-minded entrepreneurs will act as a place for people to make introductions, collaborate, build, and share ideas. We’ll use this platform for $15K Creative Arts Competition team-building and ad hoc meetups/virtual networking events, among other things!
Join to keep up with all things arts entrepreneurship

 

January IAP Course: Communications Bootcamp for Artists and Creative Entrepreneurs

In this 4-week workshop, you will learn how to talk about, write about, and pitch artistic projects and ventures. You’ll develop an elevator pitch, artist and/or project statement, and learn how to write persuasively about your work for grant applications and awards or competitions. You’ll also learn best practices for developing a pitch deck or curating a portfolio. This course 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.

 

$15K Applications will be open soon; deadline is Friday, February 5, 2021. Stay tuned for details! 

A man looks into a miscroscope.
Image: Vik Muniz at MIT. Credit: L. Barry Hetherington.

Visiting Artists

The MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) Visiting Artists program is distinctive for its emphasis on the research and development phase of artistic work.  In addition to presenting new work, residencies embed artists in the ongoing research and teaching at MIT, where scientists and engineers are open to artists’ speculative and hands-on way of working.  The program hosts artists from a wide range of visual and performing arts disciplines each academic year, exposing students to the creative process and fostering cross-fertilization among disciplines.

The Dasha Zhukova Distinguished Visiting Artist Program, launched in Fall 2016, creates the opportunity for artists to shape new creative projects over a period of two years of sustained, in-depth research and development.

Visiting Artist Collaborations are supported by the Ida Ely Rubin Artists in Residence Fund, Abramowitz Memorial Lectureship Fund, and the Alan W. Katzenstein (1942) Memorial Fund.

Read more about the programs that CAST has sponsored in the 2012-14 Program Report (PDF), 2014-15 Program Report (PDF), 2015-16 Program Report (PDF), 2016-18 Program Report (PDF), and 2019-20 Program Report (PDF).