Hacking Arts

Founded in 2012, the MIT Hacking Arts Festival is an annual conference that ignites cross-disciplinary innovation at MIT. Artists, engineers and entrepreneurs come together for a two-day festival to take on challenges at the intersection of the arts and technology. Participants form an interdisciplinary team of creative students and young professionals and have 24 hours to design, build and present their idea to a panel of judges.


“We’re not just talking about the future of the arts—we’re creating it,” says Helen Smith, MIT Sloan MBA Class of 2017 and co-chair of Hacking Arts 2016.


Hacking Arts is supported by the MIT Center for Art, Science, and Technology (CAST) and primarily produced by student members of the MIT Sloan School of Management Entertainment, Media & Sports Club. It is one of several programs that CAST funds in order to encourage creativity and cross-disciplinary learning for MIT students.

Teams that form during Hacking Arts are offered 24-hour access to the MIT START Studio makers space in the MIT Stratton Student Center, mentorship from MIT alumni and experts in arts entrepreneurship, access to specialized workshops, participation in the $15K Creative Arts Competition and other helpful resources as they prepare to successfully launch their project.

The $15K Creative Arts Competition is designed to encourage arts-focused startups at the Institute. The $15K prize is offered 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.