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Jacob's Pillow Receives $100,000 Barr Foundation Grant

Jacob’s Pillow Dance has announced the receipt of a $100,000 grant from the Barr Foundation to expand and create new programs engaging local Berkshire County residents, organizations, and businesses. The funding will also allow the Pillow to plan and implement dance field convenings in 2017 and 2018, offering new and necessary resources to the larger arts community.

“This generous funding from the Barr Foundation will enable the Pillow to engage with our local community more deeply and serve as a convener for the dance field in New England and beyond,” says Jacob’s Pillow Director Pamela Tatge.

Funding from the Barr Foundation enables Jacob’s Pillow Dance to expand its free offerings for community members and create opportunities for Berkshire residents to connect with Pillow artists in both onsite and offsite performances, workshops, classes, and other participatory events. In addition, the funding helps to launch new programs at the Pillow including the Dancing Berkshires Fund, which offers discounted Festival performance tickets to students enrolled in schools and dance studios in Berkshire County. Based on its successful Curriculum in Motion program offered in Berkshire County schools, the Pillow will pilot a program in kinesthetic learning for adults working in medical settings in partnership with Berkshire Medical Center, Volunteers in Medicine, and dance educators.

Funding from the Barr Foundation will also allow the Pillow to host three new convenings, creating a space for growth and development for the wider dance community. Beginning this fall, the Pillow will develop and host regional and national convenings, including a gathering of New England choreographers in the fall of 2017. In summer 2018, the Pillow also plans to revive the Dance Presenters’ Forum with the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Dance/USA, and New England Foundation for the Arts—a program with a long and successful track record dating back to the 1990s. Support from Barr is also assisting in the creation of the Jacob’s Pillow College Partnership Program, serving dance faculty and students from regional colleges and universities. This partnership will offer opportunities for educators to engage more deeply with the Pillow’s resources including the Creative Development Residencies program and its renowned Archives in their research and pedagogy, as well as take advantage of its prestigious Internship Program.

ABOUT THE BARR FOUNDATION: Based in Boston, the Barr Foundation focuses regionally, and selectively engages nationally, working in partnership with nonprofits, foundations, the public sector, and civic and business leaders to elevate the arts and creative expression, advance solutions for climate change, and connect all students to success in high school and beyond. The Foundation’s Arts & Creativity program is focused on the goal of engaging and inspiring a dynamic, thriving Massachusetts. With assets of $1.6 billion, Barr is among the largest private foundations in New England and has contributed more than $834 million to charitable causes since 1999. Learn more at

ABOUT JACOB’S PILLOW: Jacob’s Pillow, celebrating its 85th Festival in 2017, is a National Historic Landmark, recipient of the National Medal of Arts, and home to America's longest-running international dance festival. Each Festival includes more than 50 national and international dance companies and 350 free and ticketed performances, talks, tours, classes, exhibits, and events. The School at Jacob’s Pillow, one of the most prestigious professional dance training centers in the U.S., encompasses the diverse disciplines of Ballet, Cultural Traditions, Contemporary, and Musical Theatre Dance, as well as an Intern Program in various disciplines of arts administration, design, video, and production. The Pillow’s extensive Archives, open year-round to the public, chronicle more than a century of dance in photographs, programs, books, costumes, audiotapes, and videos. Year-round Community Programs enrich the lives of children and adults through public classes, residencies in area schools, and an extensive schedule of free public events. Through Jacob’s Pillow Curriculum in Motion®, a nationally recognized program, Artist Educators work with Berkshire County teachers and students grades K-12, transforming curricula such as biology, literature, and history into kinesthetic and creative learning experiences. Creative Development Residencies, in which dance companies are invited to live and work at the Pillow and enjoy unlimited studio time; choreography commissions; and the annual $25,000 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award all support visionary dance artists and choreographers. During Creative Development Residencies, artists are invited to spend one to three weeks at the Pillow creating or rehearsing new work, with free housing for the company, unlimited use of studio space, and access to the Pillow’s rare and extensive Archives and other Pillow resources. In the beautiful, retreat-like atmosphere of the Pillow, the Creative Development Residencies are rare opportunities for artists to focus on the creative process without distraction. Notable artists who have created or premiered dances at the Pillow include choreographers Antony Tudor, Agnes de Mille, Alvin Ailey, Donald McKayle, Kevin McKenzie, Twyla Tharp, Ralph Lemon, Susan Marshall, Trisha Brown, Ronald K. Brown, Wally Cardona, Andrea Miller, and Trey McIntyre; performed by artists such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Carmen de Lavallade, Mark Morris, Dame Margot Fonteyn, Edward Villella, Rasta Thomas, and hundreds of others. The Pillow’s digital initiatives are aimed at expanding global audiences for dance and offers the opportunity to experience dance and Jacob's Pillow from anywhere in the world via online interactive exhibits, global video networks, and social media. An important part of the Pillow’s digital presence, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive is a curated online video collection of dance highlights from 1933 to today. On March 2, 2011, President Obama honored Jacob’s Pillow with a National Medal of Arts, the highest arts award given by the United States Government, making the Pillow the first dance presenting organization to receive this prestigious award. For more information, visit