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City Science fest seeks project proposals

The Cambridge Science Festival, presented by the MIT Museum, is the first-ever such festival in the United States. To be held April 21-29, 2007, the city-wide event will offer a wide range of science- and technology-related activities--creative exhibitions, concerts, plays, poetry readings, lectures, debates and demonstrations--over a period of nine days and in a variety of locations.

This pioneering multimedia event is seeking contributions of performing, visual or media arts projects connecting art and science.

Proposals are being accepted for all aspects of the science festival, including opening and closing ceremonies, daily events and activities, evening celebrations and performances, and indoor and outdoor activities.

While the festival is designed to appeal to audiences from preschoolers to senior citizens, the majority of festival programming will focus on students in grades K-12 and their families.

The overarching theme for the inaugural Cambridge Science Festival is "Science in the City." Four sub-themes--"Innovations," "Science & the Arts," "Energy & the Environment" and "Science in Everyday Life"--will provide unity and easy-to-understand structure for all festival events.

All venues will be in Cambridge and will include auditoriums, outdoor public spaces, theaters, storefronts, private businesses and city streets.

Organizers are looking for ideas that celebrate science and technology in ways that combine spirit, interactivity and audience appeal.

Guidelines for submission
  • Festival participants and their events will be selected through a curated process that ensures consistency of theme and quality. Members of the festival programming Committee will review proposals.
  • Selection is based on thematic alignment, audience appeal, technical feasibility, site availability and funding. Participant-organized events are required to be independently funded and produced.
  • Technical and financial support will be limited and based upon the nature of the event, site location, scheduling and cost.
  • Proposals that incorporate interactivity and participation by audience members are encouraged.
  • Applicants are also encouraged to propose projects that involve community-based organizations in the planning and creation of pieces, exhibitions and performances to be showcased during the festival.

Proposals should include:

  • A brief description of your program/project/performance idea, no longer than two pages.
  •  Indicate how your event will support the festival theme "Science in the City" or sub-themes "Innovations," "Science & the Arts," "Energy & the Environment" and "Science in Everyday Life."
  • Estimate the number of people your event will reach.
  • Provide venue information or a request for venue identification support. The festival will provide limited assistance in securing venues.
  •  If available, provide support materials that reviewers can use to evaluate your performance, workshop or installation. This can be text, graphics, photos or other renderings, audio/video/multimedia as appropriate. Large digital files should be delivered via CD or a link to a web site or online press kit. Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you would like your support materials returned.
  • Please include a list of technical requirements, if any, including any special staging or sound equipment (i.e., microphones, monitor speakers, instrument input locations), power needs, etc.
  •  If applicable, include participant bios or press kit/promotional materials.
  • If applicable, provide a description of how the proposed event involves community participants.


If you would like to discuss your proposal prior to submitting it, please contact Kate Bernhardt or Ellen Bluestein at 617-253-6914; or via e-mail at

Applications and additional information are available at

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 1, 2006 (download PDF).

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