MCLA Professor Receives Irene Buck Award

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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.   
According to a press release, 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.   
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 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.  

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Neal Secures $700,000 for North Adams Flood Chutes Project

Mayor Jennifer Macksey at last August's signing of an agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — U.S. Rep. Richard Neal has secured $700,000 in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' budget to complete a feasibility study of the Hoosic River flood chutes.  
The Corps of Engineers is in the midst of a three-year, $3 million study of the aging concrete flood chutes that control the passage of the river through the city. 
North Adams has ponied up $500,000 as part of its share of the study and another $1.5 million is expected to come from state and federal coffers. Neal previously secured $200,000 in the fiscal 2023 omnibus spending package to begin the feasibility study. 
The additional funding secured by Neal will allow for the completion of the study, required before the project can move on to the next phase.
Neal celebrated it as a significant step in bringing the flood chutes project to fruition, which he said came after several months of communication with the Corps.
"The residents of North Adams have long advocated for much needed improvements to the city's decades-old flood chutes. This announcement is a substantial victory for the city, one that reaffirms the federal government's commitment to making this project a reality," said the congressman. "As a former mayor, I know firsthand the importance of these issues, especially when it comes to the safety and well-being of residents. 
"That is why I have prioritized funding for this project, one that will not only enhance protections along the Hoosic River Basin and reduce flood risk, but also make much critical improvements to the city's infrastructure and create jobs."
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