MIT’s Center for Art, Science, & Technology (CAST) has been given $1.5 million from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the purpose of supporting the center’s “multidisciplinary creative experimentation and integration of the arts across all areas of MIT,” according to a press release. This grant ups the Mellon Foundation’s total support for CAST to a total of $3 million, one of the largest donations ever received by the arts at MIT.
Since its creation in 2012, the center has sponsored over 20 artist residencies, 12 multidisciplinary courses, two concert series, and countless multimedia projects, symposia, and lectures. CAST also sponsors an international biennial that brings artists, students, faculty, and sponsors together to further desegregate the fields of art and science.
Associate provost Philip S. Khoury thanked the Mellon Foundation’s continuing support, saying, “The Mellon Foundation has an unparalleled role in funding pioneering programs in the arts and humanities, and this gift is a wonderful affirmation of the central role of the Arts at MIT, CAST’s mission, and of MIT’s strong heritage in this domain. We are enormously grateful for the Mellon’s ongoing support, which will enable us to expand.”
The cross-disciplinary heritage to which he refers began in 1967, when artist and art theorist György Kepes established the Center for Advanced Visual Studies. In 1974, Jerome B. Wiesner, the 13th president of MIT, founded the groundbreaking Council for the Arts at MIT in 1974, and later played a major role in the establishment of the List Visual Arts Center and the MIT Media Lab in 1985.