Founded in 1933, Jacob’s Pillow is the largest, longest running, and most comprehensive dance festival in the United States. Animated by its mission “to support dance creation, presentation, education, and preservation; and to engage and deepen public appreciation and support for dance,” The Pillow strives to identify outstanding new voices, showcase a wide spectrum of mid-career artists, and provide an artistic home for a handful of the most exceptional artists who return to the Pillow again and again to develop and present their work.
In additional to its annual Festival featuring 65 national and international companies on three stages, the Pillow hosts dozens of companies and choreographers in the Pillow Lab, a comprehensive creative development residency program; runs a world renowned School for young dancers and choreographers; strives to build deep and relevant connections to local residents, artists, and stakeholders through a robust community engagement program; brings dance into local schools and communities; and is home to the Jacob’s Pillow Archives, which hold more 53,000 catalogued items such as rare films, photographs, documents and memorabilia, and extensive records of all the activities that have occurred at the Pillow since its founding.
Jacob’s Pillow has been described as “the hub and mecca for dancing in North America” (Time) and “the dance center of the nation, possibly the world,” (The New York Times). For its contributions to the cultural life in America, the Pillow was named a National Historic Landmark in 2003—the first and only dance entity to achieve this honor. In 2011, President Barack Obama honored Jacob’s Pillow with the National Medal of Arts Award in recognition of the Pillow’s “outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support, and availability of the arts in the United States.”
In its 86-season history, Jacob's Pillow has presented such distinguished artists as Alvin Ailey, Alicia Alonso, Nina Ananiashvili, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Pina Bausch, Merce Cunningham, Margot Fonteyn, Savion Glover, Cynthia Gregory, Gregory Hines, Judith Jamison, Bill T. Jones, Carmen de Lavallade, José Limón, Mark Morris, Ann Reinking, Antony Tudor, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Edward Villella, and literally thousands of others.