How do we have a tide of art and dance and music and theater out here in the mountains? On a summer night I was watching Complexions Ballet Company perform a tribute to David Bowie, visceral and feeling the reason I live here — the high of creative people kicking back together.

They perform around the world. They have deep skill and open minds, like musicians improvising together, like old friends talking late into the night. And they’re dancing in a theater that began life as a timber-framed barn an a farm on the ridge near the Appalachian Trail.

This kind of night is what I’m looking for — experiences to share with you.
You know the feeling, when you run into someone on a street corner and they tell you about something unexpected, like the taste of a Chingon taco in the courtyard at Mass MoCA, or a music jam in a coffee shop.

Out here these discoveries belong to local people year-round. We’ve been growing a creative ecosystem for more than 100 years, and it’s taken root in theaters and concert halls and museums, and just as much in open mics and colleges and farms. People come here from around the world to rest and have time to do what they love. We have an independent thinking that comes in contact with the living natural world.

Photo by Jamie Kraus

Arts Stories

We have internationally known dancers and musicians, sculptors and painters, actors and playwrights — and local homegrown ones — all within touch. And we get to meet them. Come take a look.

Irene Rodríguez / Photo by Christopher Duggan


The dance world has had a hub in the Berkshires since modern dance pioneer Ted Shawn came here in the 1930s to found the Jacob’s Pillow International Dance Festival in Becket, and homegrown and global artists perform on college stages, theaters and concert halls.

Courtesy of Berkshire International Film Festival


Bollywood, or live scores to silent films, or Christopher Plummer accepting a lifetime achievement award — film in the Berkshires can go anywhere. Film-makers and independent films, documentaries and animation come year-round to local museums, colleges and cinemas.

Courtesy of the Guthrie Center


Music in the Berkshires runs deep — from Louis Armstrong at the Music Inn and Janice Joplin opening for Tanglewood in the 1960s to indy rock and folk at Wilco’s Solid Sound and FreshGrass festivals today.

Williamstown Theatre Festival


Theaters in the Berkshires have brought nationally known playwrights and actors for decades. They foster new work, and they take risks. Plays emerge here before they open Off Broadway, and musicals revive and move on to New York.


Visual Arts

International artists keep studios on back roads, and one of the largest contemporary art museums in the world lives in an old mill. We have museums with international followings. French Impressionists fill a campus designed by a Japanese architect, and illustrators surround Norman Rockwell’s studio. Art comes together here, and you can come up close.

Courtesy of The Mount


Writers and storytellers have come to the Berkshires for centuries to find a voice and a place to work, from Edith Wharton and Herman Melville to contemporary novelists and poets.

Jane Feldman Photography

Artists & artisans

Do you know the cool smooth thump of clay when you knead it? The slide of wool around a knitting needle, or silkscreen ink as thick as melted chocolate ... From iron to wood to paint, Berkshire artists and artisans find color and texture in their studios.

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