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MCLA Professor Lisa Donovan Receives Irene Buck Award

NORTH ADAMS, MASS. —Arts|Learning, a state advocacy agency for arts education, has named MCLA Professor of Arts Management Lisa Donovan its 2021 Irene Buck Service to Arts Education Award recipient.


The Irene Buck Award honors an individual for distinguished and prolonged service as an advocate for arts education. The recipient exemplifies commitment and service to, and support of the arts, and arts-education communities. It was named to honor Irene Buck, President of the Massachusetts Alliance for Arts Education for many years, who was the first recipient in 1998.


A passionate advocate for arts education, Donovan has published widely on arts integration

and rural arts education, including multiple books and research that was featured by the National Endowment for the Arts. She has also led multiple grant-funded initiatives that seek to increase access to the arts for Berkshire students.


Donovan has broad experience working as an arts educator and administrator in a variety of organizations including Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Berkshire Opera Company, Barrington Stage Company, University of Massachusetts’ Department of Theater, Boston University’s Theater, Visual Arts and Tanglewood Institutes. In addition, she served as executive director of the Massachusetts Alliance for Arts Education.


In addition to her work as a professor, Donovan is currently spearheading several projects that foreground the use of the arts as a strategy for regional change. Her research Leveraging Change: Increasing Access to Arts Education in Rural Areas (Donovan & Brown, 2017) was featured by the National Endowment for the Arts. She serves as the director of the Creative Compact for Collaborative and Collective Impact (C4) initiative, creating the Berkshire County Blueprint for Arts Integration and Education, which is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. She is also co-director of the Berkshire Regional Arts Integration Network (BRAINworks), funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement, and director of the MCLA Institute for Arts and Humanities, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She has published widely on arts integration and rural arts education including Teacher as Curator: Formative Assessment and Arts Based Strategies (Donovan & Anderberg, 2020). She is the co-editor/author of a five-book series on arts integration published by Shell Education.


Donovan has a B.A. in Psychology from Oneonta State University in New York, an M.A. in Communications from Boston University and a Ph.D. from Lesley University.


Arts|Learning, formerly the Massachusetts Alliance for Arts Education, is a nonprofit alliance partnering with dozens of professional arts education organizations, cultural institutions, and public agencies to bring about changes in the way the arts are viewed and supported within public education.


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 125-year commitment to public education we have fortified our commitment to equitable academic excellence. For eight of the last 10 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, as well as on the top 50 schools in U.S. News’ Social Mobility Ranking, which measures how well schools graduate students who receive Federal Pell Grants.


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