Even in a time of coronavirus, the Berkshires are a deeply creative place. Actors and dancers are creating new work. Artists are teaching workshops. Farmers markets are moving online. BTW has been gathering them in one virtual space.READ MORE
The Berkshires are hills on the Western edge of Massachusetts
— they run along the border with New York state and merge into the Green Mountains in Vermont.
I live in a high green country with a vivid creative life. It is a rare place. Up here a choreographer from Brooklyn can walk into a 200-year-old meetinghouse and imagine black American Shaker dance. And then he can create his own movement and perform there.
In some ways it’s an in-between place, across the state from Boston and up the Hudson River from New York, and as a cultural area and as a geographic one, it spills over the state line.
Berkshire County is a long, lean stretch. It runs from Connecticut north to Vermont, 50 miles from end to end. But it’s a beautiful amble. Not long ago I took an hour to get from Cobble Hill to an old friend’s wedding in Manhattan, and here in that time I can cross the length of the county and tool along country roads, watching for wild turkeys on my way to see a play before it opens Off-Broadway.
These hills have always been a crossroads. As long as people have lived along the wide rivers to our east and west, they have come up here to the high valleys. Their people have seen revolutions — and led them.READ MORE
Some of our history in the Berkshires is alive because we still use it every day, to make cheese or cider or a cup to drink it in. And some of our history we are reviving in new ways, as in a silo at Hancock Shaker Village, new music invokes Shaker hymns with contemporary artists and technology.READ MORE
In the Berkshires, many people and communities make one, like streams running across the slopes to to the Housatonic. People live and build and transform and celebrate who they are. And the community comes together to honor them.READ MORE
The Berkshires today gathers its communities around colleges, old mill towns along the river valleys and farming villages in the hills. In the last hundred years, the farms and the mills have evolved, as the arts and performance, food and the outdoors have grown into an ecosystem.READ MORE