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. We are excited to release the blueprint to the public and activate it in the county.
The C4 Initiative
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.
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.
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 initiative is led by Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) professor Lisa Donovan and project consultant Andrea Sholler.
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 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. Read and download the Leveraging Change working paper here.
The C4 Initiative is advised by a council of community members who represent the arts and cultural sector, education, and regional development in both Berkshire County and Massachusetts more broadly. We are pleased to have support, insight, and guidance from the following individuals:
Bill Ballen, Executive Secretary, Superintendents’ Roundtable
Allison Rachele Bayles, Administrative Director of Education, Berkshire Theatre Group
Mary Berle, Chief Educator, Norman Rockwell Museum
Heather Boulger, Director Berkshire County Regional Employment Board
Joshua Briggs, Arts Educator and Manager of Institutional Support for Jacob’s Pillow
Emily Bronson, Community Engagement Officer, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation
Jill Sasso Curtis, Former Dean of Community Engagement, Education & Workforce Development for Berkshire Community College
Diane Daily, Education Program Manager, Mass Cultural Council
Peter Dillon, Superintendent, Berkshire Hills Regional School District/Shaker Mountain School Union
Lisa Donovan, Professor, Fine and Performing Arts Department, MCLA
Jake Eberwein, former Superintendent of Lee Public Schools
Mary Beth Eldridge, Facilitator, Arts Educators Professional Learning Network
Alfred “A.J.” Kwesi Enchill, Jr., District Aide representing Senator Adam G. Hinds
Beryl Jolly, former Executive Director, Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Ben Lamb, Director of Economic Development, 1Berkshire
Dawn Lane, Artistic Director of Community Access to Arts (CATA) and Jacob’s Pillow Curriculum in Motion Dance Educator
Craig Langlois, Chief Experience Officer, The Berkshire Museum
Thomas Matuszko, Executive Director, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission
Dana A. Schildkraut, PDAE Grant Arts Content Manager, BRAINworks
Laura Thompson, Director of Education + Curator of Kidspace, MASS MoCA
Funding for this initiative is provided by Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation through the Barr Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.