Dozens upon dozens of cultural attractions call the Berkshires home. There are art museums and gallery spaces featuring the gamut of art from modern to classical. Berkshire County boasts ownership of the country’s largest contemporary art center (MASS MoCA) and the “leading international center for research and discussion on the nature of art and art history” (The Clark). There are dozens of performance spaces from the internationally known Tanglewood, home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, to historic theatres such as The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA and The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington. Catch a Shakespearean tragedy, an uplifting musical, or a brand new play all within the borders of the Berkshires. There’s more… Berkshire County hosts annual art, music, film, and theatre festivals, houses “the dance center of the nation” (Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival), and preserves many historic buildings open to the public.
“The ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance is a state-of-the-art performance venue that provides student actors, dancers, designers, and ensembles a place to creatively collaborate with each other, renowned dance and theatre companies, and the faculty at Williams College.”
“Whether you are 5 or 95, you will enjoy your visit to Animagic.
When you arrive there, you will first see ceramics and other art of Irina Borisova – a multi-talented artist and co-owner of Animagic.
After that, you will take a guided tour of the Museum of Animation, Special Effects and Art showcasing the rich special effects history of the Berkshires. You will see original models used in famous movies and a genuine Academy Award® won by Eugene Mamut -a co-owner of Animagic. They will then introduce you to modern technologies that made such blockbuster movies as The Matrix, X-Men, Chicken Run possible.”
Arrowhead is now a house museum interpreting the life of the Melville family in the Berkshires. It is owned and operated by the Berkshire County Historical Society, a non-profit corporation.
Berkshires’ Oldest House maintained by a statewide conservation and preservation organization in Sheffield, MA. “Today, the Ashley House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is an anchor site on the Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail. It contains fine collections of redware, furniture, and tools. The Ashley House is adjacent to Bartholomew’s Cobble Reservation, which offers five miles of scenic trails.”
Performing Classical Music in concert tours and a wonderful summer festival in Great Barrington, MA
Award winning Theatre in Pittsfield, MA. “Barrington Stage Company (BSC) is a not-for-profit professional theatre company in the Berkshires, with a three-fold mission: to produce top-notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to find fresh, bold ways of bringing new audiences into the theatre, especially young people.” Performances on three stages: the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage, the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, and Mr. Finn’s Cabaret, a 99-seat cabaret space in the lower level of the building.
“The Becket Arts Center of the Hilltowns promotes and supports the arts through exhibits, performance, programs and instruction, encouraging imagination, creativity and community involvement.”
Beautiful display of historic gardens featuring plants that thrive in the Berkshires, located in Stockbridge, MA.
Choral Music concerts held on the grounds of Berkshire School in Sheffield, MA.
The Berkshire Concert Choir’s mission is to present the finest choral literature from all musical periods, striving always for excellence in performance and providing an opportunity to members of the community to express and develop their musical talents and interests. Membership is open to all persons at varying levels of experience and skill who are committed to hard work and the joy of singing.
A non-profit corporation dedicated to collecting, preserving, and disseminating the history of Berkshire County in western Mass. Located in Pittsfield at the home of Herman Melville, Arrowhead.
The Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFFMA or “The BIFF”) is a world-class festival that showcases not only the latest in independent feature, documentary, short, and family films but also lively panel discussions and special events focusing on filmmakers and talented artists from both sides of the camera.
Berkshires Jazz, Inc.’s mission is to present jazz performances and promote jazz education throughout Berkshire County. Visit their website for upcoming events.
“Berkshire Lyric is more than just a chorus – it is a community of choral groups for adults, teens and children with the common goal of learning and mastering the art of choral music
Berkshire Lyric supports a wide range of music education projects in the Berkshires and offers tuition-free musical opportunities to children and teens.”
Innovative and award winning museum of the Berkshires located in downtown Pittsfield, MA.
“Step back in time! Your tour begins at the restored 1903 Lenox Station where you will find exhibits about railroading including Yokun Block Station. Learn how the railroad helped build the economy of our region. The museum and grounds are open Saturdays only from 9:00am to 4:00pm from May-October. All aboard!”
America’s second oldest summer theatre located Stockbridge, MA. Berkshire Theatre Festival presents work at three venues on their Stockbridge campus: The Fitzpatrick Main Stage, The Unicorn Theatre and The Neil Ellenoff Stage.
Bidwell House is an elegant, authentically restored Georgian saltbox museum in Monterey, MA. Open Memorial Day through Columbus Day.
A show of hilarious political satire and song parodies with the nationally-acclaimed Capitol Steps at Cranwell Resort in Lenox, MA. Since they began in 1981, the Capitol Steps have recorded over 34 albums including their just released “How to Succeed in Congress Without Really Lying”. The Capitol Steps began as a group of Senate staffers who set out to satirize the very people and places that employed them. They’ve also been featured on NBC, CBS, ABC, and PBS, and can be heard 4 times a year on National Public Radio stations nationwide during their “Politics Takes a Holiday” radio specials. Performances in July and August.
“Community Access to the Arts nurtures and celebrates the creativity of people with disabilities through shared experiences in the visual and performing arts.”
Visits by appointment.
“Chester Theatre Company is perfectly situated where the Berkshires and the Pioneer Valley meet. World class theatre artists and discerning audiences come together to enjoy the finest contemporary theatre in this charming setting.”
The 1920’s summer home, studio and gardens of sculptor Daniel Chester French, in Stockbridge.
“The Clark is one of the few institutions in the United States that combines a public art museum with research and academic programs, including a major art history library. The Clark is now a leading international center for research and discussion on the nature of art and art history.”
“The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield was built in 1903 and re-opened in 2006, following a $21 million restoration. This stage boasts pristine acoustics, classic gilded age architecture and state of the art technical systems and hosts family entertainment, comedy, live music and more year round.
Located in the lobby of the Colonial is “The Garage”. Its name pays homage to its former owner, Berkshire Auto Co. This newly developed venue, complete with stage, lights and sound system, is their dedicated space for local and regional music performers.”
History of Papermaking and Money making found in Dalton, MA.
“DownStreet Art is a public art project designed to revitalize downtown North Adams. By harnessing existing art organizations and events and transforming vacant and open spaces into art destinations, DownStreet Art defines North Adams as a cultural haven, driving tourists and community members.”
Enjoy over a dozen different art shows featuring work by over 20 accomplished regional artists in Pittsfield’s bustling Upstreet Cultural District during the First Fridays Artswalk and all month long! First Fridays Artswalk is held on the First Friday of every month, February through December.
Come out on the First Friday for an opportunity to meet with the artists and take the free guided walking tour. Stick around for the Artswalk After-Party held at the Whitney Center for the Arts. The majority of the art is on display throughout the month in participating galleries and businesses. Pick up a map at participating locations!
“Visit the home of American Abstract Artists George L.K. Morris and Suzy Frelinghuysen, set on a 46-acre estate in the heart of Lenox, Massachusetts. View their paintings, frescoes, and sculpture; experience their exquisite collection of American and European Cubist Art.” Hourly Guided Tours June 26- Columbus Day Weekend.
“MCLA Gallery 51, run by the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts since 2005, presents work from a wide range of emerging and mid-career contemporary artists. The gallery hosts ten exhibitions each year and countless events and happenings.”
An outdoor history museum of Shaker life on 1200 acres in Pittsfield. Its twenty original buildings and historic working farm and gardens preserve and interpret the life of America’s most successful communitarian society.
“Jacob’s Pillow Dance 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 in Becket, MA, a recipient of the prestigious National Medal of Arts, and home to America’s longest-running international dance festival.”
“The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts is Pittsfield’s city owned community arts center, featuring nine working artist studios, a ceramics studio, community room, and art gallery featuring changing exhibitions, classes, performances and more!”
The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington offers an exciting night out in the Berkshires. The beautiful historic theater offers music, dance, theater, opera, movies and family programs.
The country’s largest contemporary art center featuring a vast array of performances and exhibitions housed on a 19th century factory campus. Hosting “more than 75 performances staged year-round, including popular music, contemporary dance, alternative cabaret, world music dance parties, outdoor silent films with live music, documentaries, and avant-garde theater.”
“Journey back in time at this Colonial-era house and museum, a National Historic Landmark that tells the story of the Stockbridge Mohicans and missionary John Sergeant.”
“The Mount is a National Historic Landmark and cultural center that celebrates the intellectual, artistic, and humanitarian legacy of Edith Wharton.
The Mount engages a diverse audience by providing context to Wharton’s life and achievements through their educational and public programs and the conservation and preservation of her historic estate and gardens.”
Fashioned after a seventeenth-century English estate, this was Wharton’s first full expression of her architectural enthusiasms, in Lenox, MA.
“Experience Gilded-Age style and splendor at this marvelous estate, renowned for its elegant gardens and rare Berkshire “Cottage.”
Located in Stockbridge, where Norman Rockwell spent the last 25 years of his life, this museum hosts the largest collection of his works.
NUarts houses the studios of 19 local artists, musicians, and performers in the Greylock Building in downtown Pittsfield. The space includes individual artist studios and an upstairs “hallway” gallery that displays work by NUarts’ visual artists. NUarts continues to be the largest group of artists under one roof in downtown Pittsfield. Visit by appointment or during special events. Please contact any one of the artists if you would like to visit NUarts. More information online.
“Artscape is a volunteer-led committee which sponsors, plans, and oversees an annual juried exhibition of public art in the City of Pittsfield. The mission of Artscape is to enhance the overall character of the city’s downtown and attract visitors there by installing and promoting works of art in various accessible outdoor locations throughout the Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District.
The outdoor sculptures are by well-known, accomplished artists, and each is unique in its own way. The Artscape walking tour is an outdoor gallery that changes with each year. Come experience the City of Pittsfield through the artists and their works.”
Free Shakespeare for the whole family — outdoors, under the stars. A summer production featuring a cast of Berkshire County actors and youth—in Pittsfield’s newly renovated First Street Common.
“Every Saturday May through October (9am to 1pm) 20+ farmers and artisans sell pasture-raised meats, eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, breads and baked goods, cut flowers, plants, cutting boards, jewelry, pottery and more” at the First Street Parking lot in Downtown Pittsfield, MA. “Each week you can come out to shop, listen to live music, take a workshop, and partake in family-friendly activities.” Rain or Shine. SNAP (EBT/Food Stamps) accepted.
It is the mission of the Samuel Harrison Society to restore and preserve Reverend Harrison’s Pittsfield homestead; use it as a place to teach the values embodied in his noble life, his enduring beliefs, his extraordinary writings; and to define a chapter in the story of us as a people by providing greater insight into African-American history. The house is open to the public, please view website for hours of operation.
Shakespeare’s five theatre company offers an unprecedented opportunity for all ages and types to enjoy performances in Lenox.
“The collection of the Society is housed in the seven historic structures: Dan Raymond House, Mark Dewey Hatter’s Shop, Carriage Barn, Parker Hall Law Office, Education Center, Smokehouse, and Old Stone Store. It includes period furniture, accessories, textiles, ceramics, tools, toys, ephemera and an extensive collection of primary and secondary research sources. The buildings are open for guided tours Memorial Day through Columbus Day and by appointment during the rest of the year.”
Housed in the former Notre Dame Church of 1895, Shire City Sanctuary is Makerspace, Cyberoffice and majestic Eventspace in the heart of The Berkshires.
“The former St. George’s Church in Lee, MA has undergone a transformation into the Spectrum Playhouse, Community Center and Joyous Studios. Now the Spectrum Playhouse is a multi-purpose performance space hosting a year-long season of professional performing artists, theatre productions, concerts, lectures and community events.”
Located in Pittsfield, South Mountain Concerts is a presenter of chamber music concerts each year during early fall. Founded in 1918 through the vision and generosity of the American patroness of music, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, South Mountain has presented over the years some of the world’s leading chamber music ensembles and soloists.
“The Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation, dedicated to preserving the birthplace and raising public awareness of the wide-ranging legacy of the great social reformer, Susan B. Anthony, who was a pioneering feminist and suffragist as well as a noteworthy figure in the abolitionist, opposition to Restellism (opposition to abortion), and temperance movements of the 19th century.
As part of its mission, the Museum will highlight the familial and regional influences which shaped Ms. Anthony’s early life, by displaying the textiles and furnishings of that period, as well as the literature and other memorabilia associated with her later career.”
Home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, as well as a delight of summer concerts, this internationally known stage is the gem of Lenox, MA.
“The streets and sidewalks of downtown Pittsfield will fill with live music, street performers, great shopping, outdoor dining, new art, and thousands of people during 3rd.Thursdays.The award-winning free monthly downtown after-hours event attracts as many as 15,000 people to downtown Pittsfield on the third Thursday of each month between May and October, from 5pm to 8pm and beyond.”
“Headquarters, Museum, and future home of the education research center of the Great Barrington Historical Society.”
“Ventfort Hall is an imposing Jacobean Revival-style mansion built in 1893 for Sarah Morgan, the sister of J. P. Morgan. Designed by the architects Rotch & Tilden, it is located in Lenox, Massachusetts. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and declared an official project of “Save America’s Treasures,” a Millennium program of Hillary Rodham Clinton and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Ventfort Hall is the home of The Museum of the Gilded Age. Through lectures, exhibits, theatrical performances and other events, The Museum of the Gilded Age interprets the great changes that occurred in American life, industry, and society during the Nineteenth Century, a fascinating period of American history.”
“WAM Theatre was founded in 2010 by Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven. Inspired by the book “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, WAM Theatre is non-profit based in Berkshire County, Massachusetts.
WAM Theatre’s philanthropic mission is two-fold: first, to create theatrical events for everyone, with a focus on women theatre artists and/or stories of women and girls; and second, to donate a portion of the proceeds from those events to organizations that benefit women and girls. Since 2010, WAM Theatre has donated more than $15,500 to its beneficiaries.”
“A former railroad yard, this urban park uses historical artifacts and exhibits to bring to life the controversial and danger-filled construction of the Hoosac Tunnel, one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century. The tunnel was dug 4.75 miles through Hoosac Mountain, linking Massachusetts to Albany, NY. 200 men lost their lives building the tunnel, which is still being used today. An audio-visual presentation takes visitors back in time, where the sounds of dripping water, pickaxes against stone, explosions, and debates re-create the hardships and heroism of the tunnel’s construction.”
“The Whitney Center for the Arts in Pittsfield, MA is dedicated to elevating performance and visual arts. The Whit houses two impressive galleries: Gallery W and the Colt Gallery. Since its opening, the Whit’s galleries have represented artists from over 35 countries. Each gallery exhibits new curated month-long exhibits each month.”
The Whit also hosts live performance such as a Chamber Music Concert Series, an opera series: Opera Notte, and a Cabaret Series. “The Whit is also very proud to house the Town Players of Pittsfield, a Community Theatre Organization that has thrived for more than 90 years! Town Players now performs all of their Staged Readings and fully staged productions @the Whit.”
One of the finest college art museums in the country, the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) in Williamstown, MA houses 12,000 works that span the history of art.
Honoring past achievements in cinema and showcasing America’s premier new independent films.
A summer long celebration of theater which brings together a vast and impressive array of artists in Williamstown, MA.
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