FYI | Opportunities Expand With Jacob’s Pillow Five-Year Plan

Silvio O. Conte Community School third-graders participate in the Jacob’s Pillow Curriculum in Motion program, which will soon be offered in all Pittsfield, Massachusetts, elementary schools.
Photo by David Dashiell

Jacob’s Pillow recently announced a five-year plan that will transform the famed summertime dance festival in Becket, Massachusetts, into a year-round center for dance creation. That’s good news for the established professional companies and emerging artists who have long benefitted from the exposure and support the festival provides.

But the strategic plan, dubbed Vision ’22, also supports kids who have never stood at a ballet barre or tied on a tap shoe. Jacob’s Pillow Curriculum in Motion® is a program in which students, teachers, and Pillow artist educators develop choreographic works based on academic subjects such as social studies, biology, math, and Spanish. The program has run on a small scale for 23 years, but under Vision ’22, it will expand to serve all eight of the elementary schools in Pittsfield, Massachusetts by 2022.

In addition, the Pillow’s new Dancing Berkshires Fund—one of several new initiatives funded by a $100,000 Barr Foundation grant awarded in March—will provide discounted performance tickets to hundreds of Berkshire County students studying dance in studios and community programs.