The C4 Initiative

Creative compact for collective impact


The C4 Initiative will facilitate the creation of a county-wide blueprint for arts integration and education by building a collaborative network and online platform for cultural organizations and educators to support arts education in and out of the classroom in Berkshire County.

Initiative Goals

  • To create a shared vision for arts integration and education in the region supported by measurable goals and collaborative strategies.

  • To build on the strengths of existing arts education programs in public schools and cultural organizations across Berkshire County to create a blueprint, or long-range plan, that embraces the arts as a vehicle for teaching and learning and ensures equitable access to arts education for all K-12 public school students in the county.


Desired Outcomes

  • Every public school student in Berkshire County will have multiple opportunities to engage with and learn from the rich array of cultural resources in Berkshire County.

  • Use of arts-based strategies for student learning and assessment will increase.

  • Number and depth of high-quality professional development training opportunities in arts integration for K-12 teachers will expand across Berkshire County districts.

  • Public school arts educators will have more opportunities to serve as resources for and partners in the development of academic curricula.

  • County schools will allocate more time and resources for arts integration and education.

  • A career path to employment with cultural organizations will be developed.

  • Collaboration and sharing of resources among teachers in and across districts will increase.

  • Understanding of how participation in the arts can develop workforce readiness skills.

  • A sustainable, county-wide arts integration and education coordinator position will be created to achieve greater efficiencies in leveraging cultural organizations’ assets and offerings with teaching and learning in public schools


The Team

The initiative is led by Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) professor Lisa Donovan and project coordinator Leslie Appleget.

  • To achieve the goals and outcomes listed above, the initiative will work with representatives from Berkshire County cultural organizations, programs dedicated to creative youth development in and out of school time, educators and school administrators participating in BRAINworks and members of the arts educators’ Professional Learning Network.

  • Funding is provided by Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation through the Barr Foundation’s Creative Commonwealth Initiative, and the National Endowment for the Arts’ Collective Impact Program.


The Blueprint

The Berkshire County Blueprint for Arts Integration and Education is a vision for what every young person in Berkshire County should have access to in arts learning given our region’s rich cultural assets. Many areas of the Blueprint have been activated throughout the county.

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Leveraging Change

The Berkshire County Blueprint for Arts Integration and Education builds on the work of  the Leveraging Change research from 2015 that identified several barriers to arts education access in Berkshire County and piloted an initiative to build a collective impact model in the region.

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Funding for this initiative is provided by Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation through the Barr Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
For more information, contact Leslie Appleget.