Interdisciplinary Arts Institute

Where musical and artistic inspiration meet cross-discipline collaboration.

The Berklee Interdisciplinary Arts Institute (BIAI) is led by Neil Leonard, a professor in the Electronic Production and Design Department and a transdisciplinary artist whose career has included saxophone performance, composition, and multimedia art installation. The institute was founded on Leonard’s vision that active collaboration across the arts (music, film, dance, theater, visual art, and emerging technologies) is a foundation for innovation and creativity, and provides a broader set of opportunities for musicians. 

To this end, the BIAI provides training in interdisciplinary arts and a platform for Berklee students to collaborate with artists from around the world and across all artistic practices to explore our shared humanity.

Graduates of the institute have gone on to become multimedia artists and music technology developers, and have worked with visual production companies and on multimedia festivals. One BIAI graduate established a Grammy-winning Broadway-based music production company.

Over the past decade, BIAI workshops and seminars culminated in some of the most aesthetically rich and technically innovative presentations at Berklee. BIAI performances worldwide show how art can make connections across disciplines, cultures, and socio-economic divides. The institute’s model for experiential learning led us to choose BIAI to host and perform for Miguel Cardona, U.S. Secretary of Education, in the fall semester of 2022.

— Lawrence J. Simpson, Berklee Provost

About the BIAI

I believe that society can move beyond isolation and polemic divisions. The post-COVID era presents a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary work within the arts that can support local, national, and global healing. The BIAI was founded with the intention of collaborating with artists from around the world and across all artistic practices, both by bringing people to Berklee and affording opportunities for our students to work to create and perform in a manner that celebrates of our shared humanity.

— Neil Leonard, Artistic Director, Berklee Interdisciplinary Arts Institute