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

A public humanities initiative to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion through community engagement, experiential learning opportunities, and the creation of spaces for dialogue.

Supported with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Institute for the Arts and Humanities will serve as an interdisciplinary catalyst to address and investigate historical and contemporary issues on campus and in the community while utilizing area arts and humanities resources.

Our Goals:

The goals of the institute are to:

  • Promote access to interdisciplinary arts and humanities resources within Berkshire County through community partnerships and events

  • Increase the visibility of MCLA as a regional and national site for research, study, and discussion of the arts and humanities with MCLA students and faculty at the forefront of innovative and contemporary experiential learning opportunities 

  • Increase the understanding – through research, study, and discussion – of broadly defined notions of diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus, in the region, and nationally (race/ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, language, culture, national origin, religious commitments, age, [dis]ability status, political perspectives, etc.)

  • Provide forums (think tanks, policy forums, et. al) that provide opportunities for work toward increasing contemporary and historical activities in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion

  • Create safe, conducive, and inclusive research, study, and discussion communities where diversity, equity, and inclusion are welcomed 
    and celebrated


Our Definition: 

In our definition, we have tried to balance an openness to the wide range of possible fields and disciplines with some examples to provide a sense of composite elements. We would like to model an open attitude towards individuals and organizations who are interested in fostering diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the humanities in the Berkshires:

The humanities are elastic, dynamic, and indispensable. 

The humanities provide tools and methods to make sense of the human experience through the study of fields such as art, economics, history, language, literature, philosophy, and religion.

Our Team: 

The Institute functions as a collective of MCLA faculty, staff, and students in collaboration with community leaders and cultural partners.

We support the coming together of knowledge, shared practices, and regional humanities assets to facilitate the exchange of ideas, experiential learning, and community engagement by virtue of realized diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Interested in learning more?
Connect with our team to discuss community collaborations, opportunities, resources, and more. 

Dr. Lisa Donovan
Director, Institute for the Arts and Humanities

Erica Barreto
Coordinator, Institute for the Arts and Humanities


Join us as we launch the Institute for the Arts and Humanities!