MIT establishes Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) with grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

A new Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) is being established at MIT with support from a $1.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Sky Event by Otto Piene and Seth Riskin, MIT Museum photo by Andy Ryan 2011

A joint initiative of the Office of the Provost and the School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P) and School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS), the proposal was co-sponsored by Philip S. Khoury, associate provost and Ford International Professor of History; Adèle Naudé Santos, Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning; and Deborah K. Fitzgerald, Kenan Sahin Dean of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. Evan Ziporyn, Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Music, will serve as CAST’s inaugural director.

The Center will advance MIT’s leadership in integrating the arts into the curriculum and research of institutions of higher learning.

CAST seeks to sustain and build upon the visibility and momentum generated by FAST, the Festival of Art, Science and Technology held in Spring 2011 as part of MIT’s 150th anniversary celebrations — directed by Tod Machover, the Muriel R. Cooper Professor of Music and Media at the MIT Media Lab — as well as the publication of a comprehensive report on “The Arts at MIT” by the Office of the Provost on June 28, 2011. Four years of support from the Mellon Foundation will allow the Center to become established as a catalyst for multidisciplinary creative experimentation on campus.

CAST will be housed in the Office of the Provost. Provost L. Rafael Reif welcomed the Center, saying, “The arts today are embedded in new media and innovative technologies. Many of our students have an exceptional blend of creativity and technical proficiencies and are poised to lead the creative industries of the future, or will lead other fields with the flexible and innovative thinking learned from deep engagement with the arts. As one of the world’s leading research universities focused on science and technology, MIT should also be at the forefront of developing ambitious, technically advanced and socially significant art, design and performance.” –

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