Leila W. Kinney

Executive Director of MIT Arts Initiatives and the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology

Symposium Convener

Aerocene Test Flights, MIT Killian Court, 2018. Credit: Sham Sthankiya/MIT.
Student installation for “The Harmonic Archive: Music, Sound and Installation Art as Artistic Research,” a cross-disciplinary course in music and sound installation taught by CAST Visiting Artist Arnold Dreyblatt in 2014. Credit: L. Barry Hetherington/MIT.

Leila W. Kinney is the Executive Director of Arts Initiatives and of the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST), working to advance the arts at MIT in the areas of strategic planning, cross-school collaborations, communications and resource development. Kinney is an art historian and was on the faculty in the History, Theory and Criticism section of the MIT Department of Architecture (HTC) and SHASS, where she taught in the Program in Women’s Studies and in Comparative Media Studies. She specializes in modern art, with an emphasis on media in transition, arts institutions, and artists’ engagement with mass culture.

Biography: MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology

Leila W. Kinney. Credit: Cody O’Loughlin/Cultured Magazine.

Related Works

“MIT’s Leila Kinney Brings Science and Art Together”


A look at the history of the arts at MIT, the recent rise in appreciation of the role of the arts in research universities, and the launch of the Center for Art, Science & Technology in 2012.

State of the Art Podcast: “The Arts at MIT”


In this episode, host Gabriel Barcia-Colombo speaks with Leila W. Kinney and Evan Ziporyn about MIT’s culture of creativity and exploration, the institution’s mission to humanize science and tech, and the exciting projects that have emerged from CAST, like Tomás Saraceno’s Arachnid Orchestra.

“Integrating the arts and humanities at MIT, then and now”

2017, SciArt Initiative, STEAM 2017 Issue

Because the world’s thornier issues cannot be solved by any single discipline, and because design—like technology—has suffused every facet of life, the arts and humanities have an enduring role to play at MIT. STEAM initiatives, as they may be called today, “are rooted in MIT’s past and indispensable to its future.”