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

May 31, 2022

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.