Pillow 2017 by the Numbers

Thank you for joining us in 2017! Highlights from the year include celebrating our 85th Anniversary Season, the launch of Vision ’22, and the excitement surrounding Director Pamela Tatge‘s first programmed Festival season. We welcomed over 20,000 people to our free outdoor performances; hosted 10 international companies, 5 world premieres, and 11 female-led companies; awarded scholarships to over 50% of participants of The School at Jacob’s Pillow; welcomed back over 50 alumni, including former School participants, Festival interns, and staff members, to perform or work with companies; and shared our archival dance footage with visitors from over 191 countries on Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive.

Whether you attended a performance, joined a dance class, visited Blake’s Barn, enjoyed one of our 250+ free events, or engaged with us from afar, we could not be more grateful for your support and appreciation of Jacob’s Pillow.

Enjoy a look back at an unforgettable year!


  • 690 performers graced our 3 stages during the 10 weeks of the Festival
  • 58 dance companies from 10 countries, in 197 performances
  • 55 performances with live music, including a partnership with the Tanglewood Music Center
  • 5 world premieres, including 3 evening-length works
  • 10 residencies, including Festival 2017 Artists John Heginbotham, Maira Kalman, and Dance Heginbotham
  • 15 Pillow Pop-Up performances
  • 4 co-presented dance concerts with MASS MoCA through the Irene Hunter Fund for Dance
  • 1 extraordinary artist, Liz Lerman, honored with the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award and a $25,000 cash prize


  • 95 exceptional professional-track dancers from 23 different countries trained in The School’s 4 conservatory-style programs
  • 1 out of 2 participants received financial aid
  • 49 internationally renowned artists served as faculty, including Jae Man Joo and Preeti Vasudevan
  • 13 photography workshop participants had unmatched opportunities and instruction by 3 leading dance photographers


  • 300 public school students and 20 classroom teachers, choreographed in 13 academic subjects such as Environmental Science, Math, Spanish, and U.S. History, led by 5 Pillow Artist Educators
  • 5,853 dancing bodies in 158 community dance classes, including Morning Classes, Families Dance Together classes, Sunday Master Classes, Classes with Inside/Out Artists, Free Fun Friday, Day at the Pillow visit classes, and special workshops and events in Pittsfield
  • Participated in 5 Third Thursday performances in Pittsfield with over 900 participants
  • 10 Pittsfield-Pillow Express Bus Trips
  • 55 dogs and 150 participants in attendance at Dog Dance on National Dog Day
  • 1,411 participants in this year’s Free Fun Friday
  • 4,242 total participants engaged with community events


  • 166 talks and film showings, 37 tours of the historic grounds, and 4 exhibits
  • Companies traveled a total of 14,500 miles to perform at the 40 Inside/Out performances, witnessed by 22,279 people
  • More than 1 million Virtual Pillow pages viewed online by visitors in 191 countries


  • 18,983 visitors to Blake’s Barn and the Norton Owen Reading Room
  • 20 essays on dance commissioned from 5 Scholars-in-Residence
  • 6 Research Fellows hosted to research independent projects
  • 4 terabytes of digital HD video and hi-resolution photos produced in 2017 alone


  • 40 buildings, 5 dating from the 18th century, 5 built in 2017 alone
  • 3 performance venues
  • 5 dance studios, including the August opening of The Perles Family Studio
  • 6 gardens and 1 wetlands nature trail
  • 1st and only dance presenter named a National Historic Landmark and awarded the National Medal of Honor


  • 117,000 new fans on social media
  • 3,543 first-time ticket buyers
  • 2,795 donors and 397 new Members
  • 67 Pillow staff members
  • 31 Festival interns and 2 non-Festival interns mentored in arts administration, technical theatre, video, and photography


  • 900,000 people reached with our top 5 Facebook videos
  • 111,000+ Festival experiences
  • 38,075 tickets sold
  • 14,291 items sold at the Pillow store, including books, clothing, bags, and more
  • 91 Chance to Dance submissions in its inaugural year