In a time of coronavirus the world has shifted. And yet it turns out even in quarantine, the Berkshires are a deeply creative place. We’re playing music, making mead, reading science fiction. We’re re-inventing our local businesses for a world that has moved online. We’re talking with each other.

You can find virtual events in the calendar — streaming film, dance performances, drop-in classes and more. And here are virtual resources you can tap anytime.

In Covid-19 in the Berkshires we are alive with online conversations on music and theater, art live streams, and local food, gardens and hikes …

It used to seem simple to come home on a spring night. We’d sit on the porch with hot cup of coffee. Turn on a podcast and make dinner. Maybe help kids with their homework. Maybe talk with a friend about meeting for a beer on Friday night. We know where the local blues band will be playing, and the lead singer has a warm, deep voice.

We can still do all that. Even now, when many of us are at home, and we’re careful what we touch. People are making new plays and sharing new songs. We can take an informal art workshop or dance around the living room. We can find find fresh bread from the local farmers market … or seedling red peppers and plant them.

A nanny tries to connect with the girl she cares for and navigate family in the new film Saint Frances at Images Cinema.
Saint Frances film

Berkshire film streaming

Images Cinema, the Triplex cinema and the Little Cinema at Berkshire Museum are all offering films to watch at home. They are bringing new films every week — comedies, documentaries, thrillers and noir, independent films like Saint Frances (left) …

You can get an online ‘ticket’ and see the film on your own time. Berkshire cinemas are partnering with film distrubutors to make the films available, and the virtual film tickets they sell benefit both the cinema and the distributor, so you can support local cinemas until they open again.

Long Beach City College performs at Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival on the Inside / Out Stage.
Photo by Christopher Duggan / Jacob's Pillow

Virtual Pillow

As theaters and performance spaces adapt to a physically distancing world, Jacob’s Pillow has launched a new series of online programming. Virtual Pillow is live on their website now with new programming, Pillow Talks and a deep archive of dance on film.

Through the summer, the Pillow will create conversations with the dance companies and artists they had invited to their festival 2020, before the coronavirus compelled them to postpone it. They will hold live virtual events to share dance they love.

Cabages and herbs gleam at Guido's Fresh Marketplace in Great Barrington.
Photo by Kate Abbott

Restaurants and farms deliver

Many Berkshire restaurants are staying open for takeout, and some will bring dinner to your door. Here you can find a regularly updated list of restaurants across the county. (I have been working with Berkshire Magazine to keep it up to date.)

Berkshire farms are finding ways to get food to local families too. The Pittsfield Farmers Market and North Adams Farmers Market have both set up virtual marketplaces and volunteer delivery systems — taking careful precautions — and they will bring fresh eggs and cheese and newly baked bread right to you. And strawberry season is coming soon.

Runners near the finish line in the Josh Billings Runaground on a sunny day in September.
Photo by Susan Geller

Online and Outdoors — Berkshire Virtual Race

Mill Town, in partnership with local running clubs and outdoor outfitters, has launched the COVID-19 Berkshire Virtual Race Challenge (BVRC) to get people moving and connecting with each other virtually in nature or even in their own backyards.

The free six-week race series runs through May 17, using the Strava Run Ride Swim app and a Facebook group, and gives locals a chance to run, walk, connect with each other online and raise money to support COVID-19 relief efforts and the local economy.

Virtual Berkshires