Jacob’s Pillow is lauded worldwide as a “hub and mecca of dancing” (TIME Magazine), “one of America’s most precious cultural assets” (Mikhail Baryshnikov), and “the dance center of the nation” (The New York Times).
“The Pillow” is a treasured 220-acre National Historic Landmark, a recipient of the prestigious National Medal of Arts, and home to America’s longest-running international dance festival.
It is with gratitude and humility that Jacob’s Pillow acknowledges that it rests on the ancestral homelands of the Muh-he-con-ne-ok or Mohican people, who are the Indigenous peoples of this land. Despite tremendous hardship in being forced from here, today, their community resides in Wisconsin and is known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community. We pay honor and respect to their ancestors past and present as we commit to building a more inclusive and equitable space for all. In addition, we honor the Agawam, Nipmuc and Pocumtuc who also made their homes in what is now known as Western Massachusetts and recognize their continued existence and contributions to our region.
Each year thousands of people from across the U.S. and around the globe visit the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts to experience the Festival with more than 50 dance companies and 500 free performances, talks, and events; train at The School at Jacob’s Pillow, one of the most prestigious professional dance training centers in the U.S.; explore the Pillow’s rare and extensive dance Archives; and take part in numerous Community Programs designed to educate and engage dance audiences of all ages.
To support dance creation, presentation, education, and preservation; and to engage and deepen public appreciation and support for dance.
World premieres, U.S. debuts, exceptional and diverse artists, and collaborations with composers, visual artists, and writers comprise over 150 performances presented each Festival season.
New work and the development of the art form are supported through commissions, the Pillow Lab, and the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award.
The School at Jacob’s Pillow provides training by eminent faculty that not only produces great dancers, but also great artists. The Intern Program, Public School Programs, and Community Programs educate people of all ages about the art of dance.
The Pillow is a National Historic Landmark with rare and extensive dance Archives encompassing materials from 1894 through today. The photography collections, films, library, exhibits, and video viewing stations are free and open to the public.
The general public, students, scholars and artists are invited to experience dance through more than 200 free performances and talks, rehearsals, class observation, tours, and interaction with artists, scholars, writers, filmmakers, and composers. The Pillow also mounts programs in partnership with community organizations and public schools to engage with the diverse residents of Berkshire and surrounding counties with a focus on the town of Becket and the City of Pittsfield.
Jacob’s Pillow takes great pride in its role as a presenter, educator, engager, and chronicler of dance. The Board and Staff share a level of passion, enthusiasm, and dedication to our mission, the Pillow’s history, the dance field, and those within it. The following values drive our work:
We encourage a broadly diverse group of individuals to participate in our programs and join our Board and Staff, and insist on being inclusive of all peoples regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, socio-economic background, or disability.
We listen carefully, take the time to reflect on our successes and challenges, admit when we do not know something, and are accountable for our actions; recognizing that a crucial part of our role is to mentor the next generation of artists, arts administrators, and production staff.
We trust each other to be respectful, honest, and straightforward; we earn each other’s trust every day by acting with the highest of ethical and moral standards and by discussing issues openly and transparently.
We understand that the ability to take risks, creatively problem-solve, re-prioritize, troubleshoot challenging circumstances, and occasionally let go of assumptions is vitally important to the adaptability and resilience of our organization.
We believe that our success as individuals and as an institution is made possible by reciprocal relationships with people and organizations in communities that surround us, and by thoughtful and intentional relationships with artists, audiences, members, funders, and colleagues in the field.
We are active stewards of our environment and protect the health and well-being of our historic campus and the people who animate it. We sustain the field of dance by preserving our past, engaging with our present, and investing in our future.
We actively pursue and commit to new strategies to build our ongoing work in Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) in an effort to unseat racism and bias at Jacob’s Pillow. We seek to provide regular updates to the general public on our work in this arena, and we welcome candid feedback and concerns from artists, audiences, and community members.
We are committed to providing an inclusive environment that cultivates the celebration of the art of dance and its positive impact on communities. We are dedicated to fostering a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable experience for everyone on our beautiful campus. You, as patrons and visitors of Jacob’s Pillow, are expected to contribute to our mutually respectful and welcoming community, supporting the world of dance and its citizens for generations to come.