Press Release

Dasha Zhukova Gives MIT $1 million to Launch Distinguished Visiting Artist Program

Cambridge, MA

Awarded Artist, Architect or Designer Will Receive a One to Two-Year Appointment through the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology for In-Depth Research and Development of Creative Project

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is pleased to announce a gift of $1 million to establish the Dasha Zhukova Distinguished Visiting Artist Program. The gift provides support to endow a vibrant ongoing residency organized by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) open to creators from across the disciplines of art, architecture, and design. This contribution marks Ms. Zhukova’s first major gift to a university and first to endow a visiting artist program, which will be sustained over time through her continued support

“Dasha Zhukova’s support will create unparalleled opportunities for MIT to foster collaborations and inspire new artistic work,” said Philip S. Khoury, Ford International Professor of History and Associate Provost, who oversees the arts at MIT. “We are grateful for her vision and understanding of how to nurture the creative process of inspired artists in combination with the extraordinary talent in multiple disciplines at MIT.” 

The residency program is designed to support artists from a range of disciplines and to connect them with the creative energy, innovative thinking, and advanced technology found throughout the MIT community.  Through an extended appointment at the Institute of one to two years, the artist recipients will have the opportunity and time to pursue sustained, in-depth research and development in order to shape new creative projects in collaboration with MIT faculty, students, and researchers.  The arts have been an integral part of MIT since its founding, and this new distinguished visiting artist position builds upon the university’s vision for the intersections of art, science, and technology as the essential foundation for achieving institutional excellence.  The first appointment will be made for the academic year 2016-17 and extend through June 2018.

Dasha Zhukova is a Russian American philanthropist, entrepreneur, and art collector.  She is the founder of Garage Museum for Contemporary Art in Moscow, designed by Rem Koolhaas, and editor-in-chief of Garage Magazine, a biannual art and fashion publication. 

“I have always held an interest in science and technology, just as I have with the worlds of art and design, which is mirrored in my upbringing—my mother is a microbiologist and at the same time a lover of classical art. Recently, I have devoted a lot of my time and energies to projects at the intersection of technology and the arts; for me, the fusion of these worlds is where cutting edge creativity and innovation takes place,” said Dasha Zhukova. “Having spent time at MIT and exploring its Center for Art, Science & Technology, I see it as a true hub of creativity—a virtual center that touches all areas of the arts, from the visual arts to architecture, design, music, the performing arts, and more. What most impresses me is the way that CAST creates mutually enlightening encounters for visiting artists and the creative culture on campus. I’m excited and honored to begin this relationship with MIT and launch such an innovative visiting artist program.” 

Since its inception in 2012, CAST has been the catalyst for more than 31 artist residencies and collaborative projects with MIT faculty and students—15 cross-disciplinary courses and workshops, two concert series, and numerous multimedia projects, lectures, and symposia. The visiting artists program is a cornerstone of CAST’s activities, which encourage cross-fertilization among disciplines and intensive interaction with MIT’s faculty and students. 


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