MCLA Institute for the Arts and Humanities (MCLA-IAH)

Undergradutate Research Conference

Together, the arts and humanities form essential elements of a liberal arts education — they form part of the prism through which students can view and understand the world, drawing on the tremendous diversity of thought, insight and expression gathered in the course of their experiential learning process.


We create experiential spaces for arts education, dialogue, and action.

The MCLA Institute for the Arts and Humanities (MCLA-IAH) is a grant-funded initiative, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which works to strategically promote equity-centered change on campus and in the community by expanding access to area arts and humanities resources, catalyzing opportunities for interdisciplinary engagements, and advancing experiential teaching and learning practices in higher education.

Visit the Sm[ART] Commons blog for additional information about community events and testimonials from current and past MCLA-IAH interns.

Want an IAH T-shirt? Fill out the form HERE! (Supplies are limited)


INSCAPES Celebrates Berkshires with Poetry

October 2021 - In the INSCAPES Project, students will celebrate their favorite places around campus and Berkshire county in the form of couplets which can then be submitted to be featured around campus.

MASS MoCA Holds Trendy Silent Disco

October 2021 - Hosted by MCLA’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities, students and North Adams community members were able to attend a silent disco, a recent trend where attendees are given headphones and have the ability to individually choose the kind of music they wish to dance to.

Theatre and art leaders commit to change

July 2021 - As the ILC presented their first six months of work at MCLA’s IAH summer symposium, the whole virtual room became “Accountability Buddies.” In the panel conversation with MCLA, they gathered to share their progress and next steps, and VanSant asked the audience to consider their own place in the story of anti-racism.

The Mastheads’ INSCAPES taps into new Berkshire poets

June 2021 - “Why are these green beans so hard? / That’s because they are edamame." Declan McDermott reflected on the Korean Garden in North Adams.

MCLA’S Institute for the Arts and Humanities Announces Four-Part Summer Series

May 2021 - NORTH ADAMS, MASS.— The MCLA Institute for the Arts and Humanities (IAH) will host its annual Summer Symposium from Tuesday, June 1–Thursday, June 17, 2021. The four-part Zoom event is produced in collaboration with BRIDGE Inc.’s Inclusive Leadership Cohort (ILC), Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF), Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), and the Berkshire Cultural Assets Network (BCAN), and is free and open to the public.

MCLA-IAH Interns Enhance Their Skills Through Mission-Based Work

July 2020 - “At first I wondered if I was qualified,” said Thomas, “but I did find that I did have experiences and was able to help people talk about those experiences too. That really meant a lot to me.”

Connecting the Arts, Higher Education, and Social Justice in the Berkshires: An Interview with Erica Barreto, Lisa Donovan, and Gwendolyn VanSant

March 2020 - "I’m excited about this new Arts and Humanity Institute which will center equity, access, inclusion, and diversity for and with its surrounding community. Also, this work is deeply relational. As we continue to do this work, I want to invite folks to keep having enthusiastic conversations filled with optimism for a collective movement and vision towards safety for all of us. We should all be able to thrive here in our Berkshire home."

College aims to strengthen creative ties: New MCLA institute builds links to Berkshires arts organizations

July 2019 - “We can find places of belonging here,” Barreto said. “That’s what I’m excited about.” From the beginning, finding cultural resources has felt central to her work here to create a network among local arts organizations that share the institute’s concerns.

MCLA Launches Institute of Arts and Humanities

June 2019 - NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts is partnering with the area's myriad cultural entities to further its mission as an inclusive educational institution. 


Photo of the MCLA-IAH team

Our Team 

Contact us to discuss community collaborations, opportunities, resources, and more.

Dr. Lisa Donovan

Director, MCLA-IAH
Bowman Hall 322D 
(413) 662 - 5581


Erica Barreto

Coordinator, MCLA-IAH
Bowman Hall 322A
(413) 662 - 5406


Our Students

Brianna Christie

Strategic Communications & Engagement Manager



Odiase Williamson

Program Manager




Eloise Baker

Graphic Designer & Web Editor




Roman Robledo

Program & Engagement Assistant




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