Today the Berkshires gathers its communities around colleges, old mill towns along the river valleys and farming villages in the hills.

People have always moved through here. They have come up the wide rivers on either side, the Connecticut and what is now the Hudson, and found the high valleys between. They’ve planted and made and grown.

In the last hundred years, the farms and the mills have evolved. The arts and performance, food and the outdoors have grown together into an ecosystem. Relationships are forming between generations-old New England and national and international artists.

They make towns in the Berkshires unique meeting places. A company of Cuban flamenco dancers comes to a mountaintop in Becket to dance, and a manufacturing community on the Hoosic River is known around the world for contemporary art

North Adams

Massachusetts’ smallest city is going through a revival. A milltown for generations at the foot of the state’s highest peak has grown gradually into the home of the country’s largest contemporary art museum, with music festivals, artisan marketplaces and hiking on the Appalachian Trail.