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

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 (1) expanding access to area arts and humanities resources, (2) catalyzing opportunities for interdisciplinary engagements, and (3) advancing experiential teaching and learning practices in higher education. 

Opportunities for Students 

Learn about student internship positions; attend community engagement workshops and events; apply to receive funding through our student mini-grant program; and more.  Visit us on Canvas to learn more and remain connected!  

  • IAH Student Internships
    Each semester, MCLA-IAH offers a variety of student internship experiences designed to develop skills in the areas of community engagement, program development, graphic design, arts administration, communications, social media and public relations. Students who are selected to complete an internship with MCLA-IAH will receive 3 academic credits and a $2,000 grant scholarship.
    Fall 2021 Internships -- Applications CLOSED. Please check back in Spring 2022.
  • IAH Student Mini-Grant Program
    Grant funding is available to support student-led projects and interdisciplinary collaborations that engage the community by activating the area’s unique, cultural resources. Students interested in this opportunity are encouraged to apply to receive funds (of up to $1,000) for innovative projects, activities, or program initiatives that strategically address notions of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA). Those whose projects are selected will be expected to document and present the outcomes of their project. 
    We are currently accepting IAH Student Mini-Grant applications on a rolling basis from August 15th - November 15th. Students can view/download the full application on the MCLA-IAH Canvas site, or contact Erica Barreto ( with questions.
  • IAH Student Advisory Board
    The MCLA-IAH Student Advisory Board (SAB) is a volunteer committee of students who possess an interest in activating arts and cultural resources in order to advance Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) on campus. In an effort to engage students more thoroughly in the IAH mission and make steps towards further curating programming to their needs, the Student Advisory Board was created with the goal of engaging more student voices in planning, execution, and evaluation of MCLA-IAH student-centered programming and events. 
    We are currently accepting IAH Student Advisory Board applications on a rolling basis from September 7th - October 1st. Students can view/download the full application the MCLA-IAH Canvas site, or contact Erica Barreto ( with questions.
  • IAH Community Workshops & Events
    Created by students for students. To date, MCLA-IAH has partnered with 25+ cultural organizations and 10+ contracted artists and speakers to provide our community with consistent access to area arts and humanities engagements. You can view our Fall 2021 IAH Events Timeline on Canvas to discover upcoming events occurring throughout the semester.
    Interested in having MCLA-IAH co-sponsor a student club or group activity? Contact Erica Barreto ( to discuss possibilities for collaboration. 
  • Empowered Voices Collective

    Created by MCLA student Destiny Rivera ‘21, The Empowered Voices Collective (EVC) is an online platform, housed on the Sm[ART] Commons website, where MCLA students and alumni of color can submit and present their creative work and engage with others' creative forms of expression. The platform features poetry, short stories, freewrites, photography, and artwork, all of which aims to address cultural disparities by engaging the MCLA community in these diverse art forms and experiences. 
    You can view all EVC submissions online by visiting the Sm[ART] Commons website, or contact Erica Barreto ( to access a hard copy booklet.

Opportunities for Faculty 

  • IAH Faculty Fellowship Program (Fall 2021)
    Grant funding is available to support faculty's development of interdisciplinary curricula, high-impact practices, student research, community involvement, and more. We invite faculty to apply for this fellowship and submit proposals for interdisciplinary projects that address and investigate issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion by promoting students' access to area arts and humanities resources. Faculty who are accepted into the program will receive funding to assist with the cost of the proposed project and will be expected to participate in a faculty learning cohort throughout the semester. 
    We are currently accepting applications for IAH Faculty Fellowships on a rolling basis from August 15th - September 24th. Faculty can view/download the full application on the MCLA-IAH Canvas site, or contact Erica Barreto ( with questions. 
  • IAH Class Visits & Collaborations
    Are you interested in collaborating with IAH this semester? We offer class visits to introduce and explore unique and enriching opportunities for students. We can also collaborate to bring high-caliber speakers into your classroom or provide extracurriculars to engage your students outside the classroom. Contact Erica Barreto ( and Lisa Donovan ( to discuss possibilities. 

Opportunities for Community

  • IAH Season Preview (Fall 2021) (Fall 2020) (Fall 2019)
    Each year, MCLA-IAH publishes a Season Preview highlighting select arts and humanities programming, resources, and enrichments from featured community partners throughout the Berkshires.  Are you or your organization interested in having content featured and shared with the MCLA community? Contact Erica Barreto ( to chat further.
  • IAH E-Newsletter

    Throughout the semester, MCLA-IAH publishes a bi-weekly e-newsletter that provides access to relevant resources, promotes on-campus initiatives and events, and highlights unique programming happening throughout the Berkshires. You can subscribe to the e-newsletter and remain up-to-date by visiting the MCLA-IAH Canvas site. You can also request to have your content featured in the e-newsletter by contacting Erica Barreto ( or Brianna Christie (

  • IAH Multi-Media Resource Library
    A carefully curated selection of media, entertainment, and literature, the IAH Multi-Media Resource Library provides a wide range of resources that embrace the I.D.E.A. principles the Institute is founded on. From TV series with diverse casts and strong messages, to plays, podcasts, and music that relay a variety of experiences, this guide is a medley of entertaining material that has significance and necessity. We hope the next time you are looking for something to watch, listen to, read, or unwind with, you will turn to this guide. You can access/view the IAH Multi-Media Resource Library here.

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 309
(413) 662 - 5406

Our Students

Odiase Williamson
Program Assistant


Eloise Baker
Graphic Designer

Brianna Christie
Communications & Engagement



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