Report cites arts as essential to MIT's mission


Report from the Office of the Associate Provost
in collaboration with the Creative Arts Council

Executive Summary

Full Report



The arts at MIT connect creative minds across disciplines and encourage a lifetime of exploration and self-discovery. They are rooted in experimentation, risk-taking and imaginative problem-solving. The arts strengthen MIT’s commitment to the aesthetic, human, and social dimensions of research and innovation. Artistic knowledge and creation exemplify our motto — mens et manus, mind and hand. The arts are essential to MIT’s mission to build a better society and meet the challenges of the 21st century.

The arts matter in MIT culture now more than ever before. A world-renowned arts faculty offers students the opportunity to experience excellence in architecture, visual arts, media arts, music, theatre, dance and writing. The arts faculty and instructional staff, through their celebrated professional work and dedication to MIT’s model of integrating research and teaching, enable students to understand the often non-quantitative standards of excellence in the arts, in which design, creativity and subjective reasoning are critical. “Research” in this context involves the complex and subtle mechanics of making something – a play, a poem, a film, a musical composition – that is abstract, sensory, or philosophical and directly engages fundamental human responses and experiences.