Feb. 20, 2018 
NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) announces the campus will receive a $75,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for the creation of an arts education blueprint for Berkshire County to position arts education as a high leverage solution, through the development and implementation of methods designed to increase access to arts education in and out of school for area young people.
According to Dr. Lisa Donovan, project director and professor of Fine and Performing Arts at MCLA, the blueprint will create a regional vision for a systematic approach for arts education, K-12 and beyond in which the arts will be positioned and applied as a key regional asset in and out of school. This approach will create a vision for the role of arts education in Berkshire County capitalizing on the regions arts and culture resources.
“Through the power of culture, young people become creative, productive, and independent-minded – qualities they need to succeed in the global economy,” said Anita Walker, executive director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. “Berkshire County is uniquely rich in cultural resources. When we bring cultural organizations, schools and community organizations together, we empower our next generation.”
The creation of the blueprint will reinforce efforts of an arts network where the arts will be strategically integrated into the work of the existing Berkshire Compact for Education regional initiative, Donovan said. As a result, the project will foster opportunities and connections that improve cross sector alignment in a geographically expansive, rural county.
The grant comes from more than $25 million in awards that are part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018.
MCLA has been involved with a number of initiatives to align efforts to create an arts network including the recent grant to launch the Berkshire Regional Arts Integration Network in collaboration with the North Adams Public School District, according to Donovan.
“This funding will continue to build on the work we’ve been doing aligning efforts to ensure that Berkshire County youth have access to a robust arts education that mirrors the arts and culture assets we are known for,” Donovan said.
For more information, contact Donovan at or (413) 662-5581.
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth’s public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.
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