Who is BRAINworks?
The Berkshire Regional Arts Integration Network, the C4 Initiative , and the Berkshire Cultural Assets Network are managed by a small , dedicated team of people from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams Public Schools, and beyond. Find out more in our team bios.
(L-R) Lisa Donovan and Dana Schildkraut explore 'Mind of the Mound: Critical Mass' by Trenton Doyle Hancock at MASS MoCA, July 2019
Lisa Donovan, Ph.D
C4 Initiative leader; BRAINworks co-Director; BCAN co-Founder
Lisa Donovan is a professor in the Fine and Performing Arts Department at the Massachusetts College of Liberal
Arts. Previously she served as Director of the Creative Arts in Learning Division at Lesley University. Lisa has broad
experience working as an arts educator and administrator in a variety of arts organizations including Jacob's
Pillow Dance Festival, Berkshire Opera Company, Barrington Stage Company, Boston University's Theater, Visual
Arts and Tanglewood Institutes and University of Massachusetts' Department of Theater. She also served as
Executive Director of the Massachusetts Alliance for Arts Education. Lisa has published widely on arts integration
and rural arts education. This includes her work as co-editor/co-author of a five-book series on arts integration
published by Shell Education. Her rural research: Leveraging Change: Increasing Access to Arts Education in
Rural Areas was featured by the National Endowment for the Arts. She leads the Creative Compact for Collective and Collaborative Impact and the Berkshire Cultural Asset Network. She serves as Co-Director of the Berkshire Regional Arts Integration Network (BRAINworks), and oversees the MCLA Institute for Arts and Humanities.
Kim Roberts-Morandi, Ed.D
Kimberly Roberts-Morandi is a 28-year educator with experience spanning from preK through post-graduate levels. Kim currently serves as the Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for North Adams Public Schools, a position she has held for four years. Prior to that, Kim served for six years as a Data Specialist for the Berkshire District and School Assistance Center, an assistance arm of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. She has been a middle school teacher, principal, and assessment specialist. Kim also worked as a telecounseling supervisor and admissions counselor for North Adams State College/Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. In addition to her full time work, Kim is a visiting associate professor in MCLA’s Leadership Academy and also teaches graduate level education courses. She is a secondary advisor for doctoral students at the University of New England. Kim worked for six years with SchoolWorks, leading site visits at underperforming schools and providing on-site coaching for urban districts. Kim has collaborated on academic articles and is cited in a white paper on rural arts education. She is currently engaged as a co-researcher on a project that focuses on expending arts education through innovative instruction that enhances students’ critical thinking skills.
Dana Schildkraut, MAT
BRAINworks Content Manager
Dana Schildkraut serves as a Content Manager for the Berkshire Regional Arts Integration Network grant program. Dana works out of MCLA’s Division of Graduate and Continuing Education, where she serves as an adjunct instructor as part of the Degree Completion Program. Formerly Dana served as a STEAM Educator with the Improving Teacher Quality (ITQ) grant program where she worked with preschool through second grade teachers in four Berkshire County school districts and multiple preschool centers to promote and implement STEAM programming. Dana has been employed in both traditional and nontraditional education settings. Her diverse background includes work at Mass Audubon, the ecology-centered Arm-of-the-Sea Mask & Puppet Theater, and the technology-meets-art company iLuminate. Dana is also a visual artist and has written feature articles in arts trade magazines, including a paper sculpture article in Paper Art Magazine (2014).
BRAINworks Project Coordinator; C4 Initiative Coordinator
Leslie Appleget is a researcher and arts manager who has been working with cultural organizations, theaters, and festivals in both the United States and the United Kingdom for nearly a decade. Both her breadth of experience and targeted areas of study have given her a society-focused perspective on arts management, which is bolstered by her research and data analysis skills. Leslie has worked internationally with arts groups such as Cardboard Citizens, Marc Brew Company, and Edinburgh International Festival. In the Berkshires, she has both worked extensively with Jacob's Pillow Dance, as well as conducted postgraduate research about the leadership systems within the organization. Ultimately, through research and strategic analysis, Leslie aims to increase the recognition of the intrinsic value of arts and culture across various levels public policy.
Andrea Sholler has over thirty years of experience leading and consulting for arts and philanthropic organizations in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Recent projects include creation of the Berkshire Cultural Assets Network (BCAN) and co-authoring the Berkshire County Blueprint for Arts Integration and Education. In June 2020 she completed a project working with the Arts Education Task Force for the Holyoke, MA public school district, to create a three-year system-wide arts education plan. She is a volunteer mediator for the Berkshire Regional Housing Authority, a Trustee of the Mertz Gilmore Foundation in New York City, and a member of the Stockbridge Cultural Council.
BRAINworks offers professional development in arts integration to PreK-12 Berkshire County educators. Learn more about our PD on our programming page.
(L-R) Kim Roberts-Morandi, Leslie Appleget, Lisa Donovan, and Dana Schildkraut with their conference poster at the US DOE Arts in Education Grantee Conference in Washington, D.C., October 2019.
REMEMBERING RACHEL PORTER
A founding member of the BRAINworks project, Rachel Porter was a talented ceramicist, educator, school and district administrator, and a caring friend and colleague. Her incredible contributions to the BRAINworks project, the field of education, and the arts have impacted the personal and professional lives of teachers across both Berkshire County and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
For Rachel, working to help create BRAINworks was a dream job. We miss her expertise, smile, and love for the arts and arts integration every day.