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).

On March 25, 2017, the Grad Arts Forum invited the Boston community to the 8th Annual Graduate Arts Soiree. The celebrations included works of art and live performances by MIT graduate students. Credit: Joseph Lee.

Grad Arts Forum

The Graduate Arts Forum encourages artistic collaboration and intellectual discussions among MIT graduate students from different departments. The program organizes a series of three forums each term that promote and engage students interested in the arts at MIT through presentations, … Continued

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! 

Two people sit in a white gallery surrounded by a network of many black fibers.
Tomas Saraceno. “14 Billions”, 2009 Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm. Photo: Studio Saraceno.

Articles

News, interviews, and stories about the arts at MIT

SAA, Introduction to Gum Bichromate Printing. Credit: Richard Koolish
SAA, Introduction to Gum Bichromate Printing. Credit: Richard Koolish

About

The Student Art Association (SAA) provides extra-academic, hands-on instruction and studio experience in the arts for all levels in a range of media. Priority registration is given to MIT undergraduate and graduate students, though all MIT affiliates may participate as space permits. Sign up to develop or refine your art in an open, hands-on, relaxed environment.

MIT Student Art Association
Stratton Student Center, MIT Building W20-424 (fourth floor)
84 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139
617-253-7019

 

About the Staff:

Audience members take their seats in an ornate theater.
Boston Opera House. Photo by Bill Damon (Flickr).

Boston Arts Access

The Council for the Arts at MIT underwrites MIT’s memberships at many Boston area cultural organizations, including the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (ICA), and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Please see below for more detailed information.

The Council also helps underwrite discounted student tickets to the Boston Ballet, and provides students with information about discounted tickets to performances by several area ensembles. The Bobko BSO Ticket Fund, created by Philip and Barbara Bobko, provides discounted tickets to BSO performances, and is administered by CAMIT.

MIT Lincoln Lab employees: to take advantage of MIT’s University Memberships with the MFA, the ICA, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, please request an MIT Employee ID card through the Atlas Service Center.

CAMIT is unable to make any representations that these arts organizations are safe to visit. Please ensure you understand each arts organization’s access procedures, as well as MIT’s community expectations regarding COVID-19

 

A multi-colored sound wave is juxtaposed on a photo of a white gallery with a dense web of black fibers
2014 CAST Symposium

About

SEEING / SOUNDING / SENSING A symposium hosted by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) September 26-27, 2014 MIT Media Lab, 6th Floor 75 Amherst Street Cambridge, MA 02139 Art, science and technology are ways of knowing … Continued

September 26 – 27, 2014

A man holds two percussion mallets in front of his face
Alvin Lucier, Music On A Long Thin Wire, 1977

2014-15

 

For the 2014-15 season, MIT inaugurates the innovative annual performance series MIT Sounding, curated by Evan Ziporyn, featuring rare live performances by new music pioneers Terry Riley and Alvin Lucier, early music denizens Boston Camerata, and the Grammy Award-winning ensemble Roomful of Teeth.

The series includes world and US premieres by Ziporyn, Elena Ruehr, Christine Southworth, Arnold Dreyblatt, Gyan Riley and others.

 

Featuring World Premieres, Reconstructed Classics, and Grammy Award winning musicians in a new concert series

 

A multi-colored sound wave is juxtaposed on a photo of a white gallery with a dense web of black fibers
2014 CAST Symposium

Seeing/Sounding/Sensing

SEEING / SOUNDING / SENSING
A symposium hosted by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST)

September 26-27, 2014
MIT Media Lab, 6th Floor
75 Amherst Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

Art, science, and technology are ways of knowing and changing the world. These disciplines frequently draw from one another, yet their devoted practitioners rarely have the opportunity for high-level intellectual and cultural exchange. “Seeing / Sounding / Sensing” was an intensive two-day event at MIT that invited creative artists to join with philosophers, cognitive neuroscientists, anthropologists, historians and scholars from a range of disciplines in an open-ended discussion about knowledge production. The two-fold goal was to challenge each domain’s conventional certainty about “what is known,” “how we know it,” or “how we can know more” and to stimulate new issues for possible cross-disciplinary scholarship in the future.

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).

Portrait of Maya Beiser. Credit: Ioulex.

2015-16

 

For the 2015-16 season, MIT continues the innovative annual performance series MIT Sounding which blurs the boundaries between contemporary and world music. Curated by Evan Ziporyn, Faculty Director of the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology, the 2015-16 season of MIT Sounding’s diverse offerings run the gamut, from Bach to Led Zeppelin and Morton Feldman, and from acoustic recitals to electronic manipulations of the human voice. “We sought out artists who are reinventing performance and presentation,” Ziporyn says. “We selected people who are innovating not just through new works and technologies but by reexamining—and reframing—our notions of genre and repertoire, translating between mediums, or radicalizing the performance experience itself.”

Art Scholars at the Boston Ballet.
Art Scholars at the Boston Ballet.

Current Members

Established in 1998, the MIT Arts Scholars Program brings together students who are passionate about exploring the diverse array of arts available at MIT and in the Boston area, and interacting with fellow students, faculty artists and other experts in the art world. The program is structured around monthly excursions or workshops, with an expert in the relevant field of art in attendance.