Discover All the Pillow Has to Offer
Ticketed performances are only part of the excitement. Each summer, the Festival features more than 200 free performances, talks & tours, exhibits, community events, classes, special and members-only events, and more. Visitors can explore the National Historic Landmark grounds, visit The School at Jacob’s Pillow, picnic and dine at our on-site restaurants, and more.
Inside/Out Performance Series
A beloved tradition, Inside/Out performances are free and open to the public. Audiences gather here to meet new people and enjoy the art of dance as a community. The annual line-up features a variety of styles from both established and emerging dance companies. Past performances have included classical ballet, contemporary, tap, hip-hop, flamenco, swing, traditional Korean dance, India’s bharata natyam, and many other genres. These family-friendly performances run Wednesday through Saturday and are followed by a brief Q&A with the audience.
Talks with Pillow Scholars
The Pillow offers a range of scholar-led talks throughout the Festival. Gain deeper insight into performance with brief Pre-Show Talks before taking your seat in the theatre or stay for a Post-Show Talk with company artists or artistic directors after the final bow. PillowTalks offer an opportunity to interact with artists and experts in the field at free in-depth discussions, moderated interviews, film screenings, and book signings in Blake's Barn every Friday and Saturday.
Diverse exhibits feature outstanding dance imagery in a variety of exhibition spaces and theatre lobbies. All exhibits are curated with the intent to augment performances and celebrate the Pillow’s rich history, and are open to the public throughout the Festival. Past exhibits have included works by Lois Greenfield, Annie Leibovitz, Al Hirschfeld, Festival Photographer Christopher Duggan, Ivan Chermayeff, and John Van Lund, to name only a few.
The Pillow offers many fun and engaging community events each Festival ranging from special days that feature local Berkshire County dance groups and family-friendly actives to the Massachusetts-wide Free Fun Friday. Each year also brings partnerships with local cultural institutions like Berkshire Museum, Mass MoCA, and Mahaiwe.
Each Festival brings a number of special events. Celebrate Season Opening Gala with performances by guest artists, a cocktail party, auctions, and dinner & dancing under the stars. Former staff, interns, students, faculty, and Board members are invited to the annual Alumni Reception. Join us for A Jazz Happening, a one-night-only performance featuring the multi-talented dancers of The School's Musical Theatre Dance Program.
Jacob's Pillow Members enjoy the best the Pillow has to offer. Mingle with dance artists and choreographers at exclusive Members-only events, watch the artistic process unfold during private rehearsals with Festival companies, or gain access to the hidden treasures of our extensive dance archives during new Ted Shawn Circle Chats with Director of Preservation Norton Owen.
Home to America’s longest-running international dance festival, the Pillow will celebrate 85 years of presenting dance during Festival 2017. The Pillow is a treasured National Historic Landmark, named so for it's place in American culture and history, and a site on the Upper Housatonic Valley's African American Heritage Trail. Discover the history and legends of the Pillow's beautiful and historic grounds during 30-minute walking tours led by Jacob’s Pillow staff and interns.