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MCLA C4 Initiative Releases New Podcast, ‘Thinking Like a Region,’

NORTH ADAMS, MASS.— The Creative Compact for Collaborative and Collective Impact (the C4 Initiative) is releasing a new podcast, “Thinking Like a Region,” which explores connections between deep engagement in the arts and 21st-Century workforce skills.

“Thinking Like a Region” is an interview-style podcast that cracks open the direct links between deep arts learning or engagement with the arts and critical workforce skills. Interviews with prominent, yet unique regional voices provide insight into how skills such as critical thinking, time management, effective collaboration, and thoughtful problem-solving are manifested naturally in those engaged with the arts – and how those skills have direct translation into other workforce settings.

C4 is a grant-funded initiative supported by the National Endowment for the Arts that has been based at MCLA since 2018, and is led by Dr. Lisa Donovan, professor of arts management at MCLA. Since 2018, the C4 Initiative has worked to activate Berkshire County’s cross-sector, collective vision for arts education, the Berkshire County Blueprint for Arts Integration and Education, using a collective impact model. One of the main areas of focus of the Blueprint has been workforce development and career readiness in youth. Berkshire County is a culture-rich area, home to world-class arts institutions that are active regional employers. Yet, there remains a perception that the skills gained from deep engagement with the arts do not translate into traditional, transferrable workforce skills.

Donovan noted, “We are interviewing leaders from or with strong links to Berkshire County, drawing out insights about how arts education leads to creative capacities that matter across sectors. It’s fascinating to be teasing out how each artistic discipline develops a variety of flexible skills that make a difference in the workplace, which suggests that we should be celebrating the unique role arts education can play in career readiness for all fields.”

Each episode of the podcast is between 20 and 45 minutes long and is hosted by students from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and students from regional Berkshire high schools. The podcast trailer is currently available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts,, and Spotify, where listeners can subscribe. The first full-length episode will be released the week of May 23, 2022. More information about the show is available at

About the C4 Initiative: 

Based at MCLA, the C4 Initiative facilitates a cross-sector, collective impact initiative that maps arts learning to the larger regional goals of: community engagement, career readiness, prosocial needs of youth, placemaking and connection to Berkshire County.


About MCLA:
At MCLA, we’re here for all — and focused on each — of our students. Classes are taught by educators who care deeply about teaching, and about seeing their students thrive on every level of their lives. In nearly every way possible, the experience at MCLA is designed to elevate our students as individuals, as leaders, communicators, fully empowered to make their impressions on the world. In addition to our 127-year commitment to public education, we have fortified our commitment to equitable academic excellence. For nine of the last 11 years, MCLA has been named a Top Ten College by U.S. News and World Report. MCLA also appears on the organization’s list of top National Public Liberal Arts Colleges. Since the list was created, MCLA has risen to #21 as a Top Performer on Social Mobility and ranks first among all Massachusetts schools, which measures how well schools graduate students who receive Federal Pell Grants.

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