The Pittsfield-Pillow Express offers free round-trip transportation from Pittsfield neighborhoods to Jacob’s Pillow every Saturday during the Festival. In it’s third year, this transportation initiative partners with the Tyler Street Lab, Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires, Morningside Community School, The Christian Center, and the Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield’s Public Library. The bus is great for families, community groups, and patrons of all ages. All riders connect with the Pillow’s many free events, programs, and Festival performances.
Festival Intern Matthew Osorio sat down with Bus Ambassador Renee Singh to hear about why she loves the Pittsfield-Pillow Express.
Q: What is your favorite part about being the Bus Ambassador?
My favorite part is when new people ride the bus who’ve never been to Jacob’s Pillow and the Pittsfield-Pillow Express is the only way they can visit. I really love talking about all the Pillow has to offer and seeing their excitement. I also love hearing about their experiences when they leave and how much fun they had during their time at the Pillow.
My favorite part is when new people ride the bus who’ve never been to Jacob’s Pillow…I really love talking about all the Pillow has to offer and seeing their excitement.
Renee Singh, Bus Ambassador
We had four young riders come recently, which was really nice to see. They just showed up at the library in Pittsfield and decided to ride the bus. They were really excited about having a chance to come to Jacob’s Pillow and once they got here, they felt so welcomed. They were able to observe dancers of The School’s Tap Program in rehearsal and when they were leaving they expressed to me how impressed they were and how they had such a great time. They would not have had this opportunity to do this otherwise. I knew one of them personally and know that they don’t have the means to get here without the Pittsfield-Pillow Express.
Q: If you could be the teacher in the Magic School Bus books, what time in dance history would you take your riders to and why?
If I could turn the Pittsfield-Pillow Express bus into the Magic School Bus, I would love to take the bus riders back to an earlier time at Jacob’s Pillow; when it was used as a stop on the underground railroad. I think people don’t know a lot about that history of Jacob’s Pillow and it’s especially important to remember when I have youth on the bus. They’d really enjoy learning about that!
Q: What was it like coming to Jacob’s Pillow for the first time?
The first time I came was to see Chilean dancers. I entered and won a raffle at [Pittsfield’s] Third Thursday where I met Thasia Giles [Director of Community Engagement]. This all happened before the Pittsfield-Pillow Express started and I would not have had the chance to visit if I had to pay for [the tickets] myself. I came with a friend of mine and we had a great time at Jacob’s Pillow. We actually were treated to a really nice dinner and then we went to see the show. We both really enjoyed the performance and it was something I’d never seen before. I had seen things that had dance in it, but never solely a dance performance. It was interesting to see and have this new experience. I’ve seen several dance performances since then and they’ve all been really great.
“It was interesting to see and have this new experience. I’ve seen several dance performances since then and they’ve all been really great.”
Renee Singh, Bus Ambassador