Profile Type: Cultural Nonprofit
NEFA Grant Recipient
Cultural Nonprofit
Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival

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.

Additional Links: 
See great dance artists from around the world in Jacob's Pillow performance highlights from past decades to the present. Discover connections and influences among these artists, and test your dance knowledge with our video guessing game.
Check out videos from the Pillow past and present, including a sneak peak at Festival 2019, behind-the-scenes footage, profiles of dancers at The School at Jacob's Pillow, and more.

I Have Worked With

  • August 2019

    This summer, the Boston Ballet will return to Jacob's Pillow  Pillow for the first time in over a decade, performing work by choreographic and visual artist William Forsythe, currently in a five-year artistic partnership with the Company, classics by Russian choreographer Leonid Yakobson, and resident choreographer Jorma Elo’s Bach Cello Suites. All performances will be in the Ted Shawn Theatre and will be accompanied by a host of audience engagement activities.

  • Each year, Jacob's Pillow partners with Mass MoCA  to create large-scale co-presentations and dance residencies. Performances range from fully staged productions by leading international dance companies to focused technical workshops, to participatory dance parties featuring live music and dance instruction. Utilizing MASS MoCA’s massive Hunter Center theater with its black-box technical capacities, the program has welcomed milestone performances by artists such as Merce CunninghamPaul Taylor, and Bill T. Jones, while also providing R&D and rehearsal time to emerging choreographers such as Karole ArmitageDavid Dorfman, and Kyle Abraham.

  • Each year, Jacob's Pillow partners with the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center to provide pre-show talks before every Bolshoi Ballet In Cinema presentation. The 2018-19 season boasts impeccable classicism and daring performances by this legendary company, and each screening features a pre-screening talk by Jacob's Pillow Scholars-in-Residence.


  • NEFA Grantee
  • Cultural Nonprofit
  • Venue

Contact Information

First Name: 
Job Title/Position: 
Mailing Address: 
BECKET, MA 01223-4001
Physical Address: 
358 George Carter Road
Becket, MA 01223
Last Name: 


Profile Type: 
Cultural Nonprofit
Primary Discipline: 
Dance - General
Additional Disciplines: 
Dance - General
Dance - Ballet
Dance - Ethnic
Dance - Hip Hop
Dance - Jazz
Dance - Modern / Contemporary
Dance - Tap / Percussive
Dance - Traditional
Design - General
Year Founded: 
Populations Served: 
LGBTQ Populations
School Groups
Institution/Business Type: 
Performance Facilities
Activities and Services: 
Film Showings
Performance / Concert / Reading
Preservation / Conservation
Professional Development / Training
Residency - In School
Residency - Production / Development
Venue Rental
Workshops / Demonstrations / Master Class
Events Per Year: 
Seasons Active: 
Geographic Reach: 

Affiliations and Accomplishments

Member of APNNE or NEP presenters consortium
National Medal of Arts
National Historic Landmark
I am a NEFA Grant Recipient

Accessibility of Services

Access accommodations for people who use a wheelchair and have limited mobility
Access accommodations for people who are Deaf and hard-of-hearing
Accessible website and/or multimedia for people with sensory disabilities

Venue Available for Rent/Use

Venue Name: 
Doris Duke Studio Theatre
Venue Type: 
Venue Address: 
358 George Carter Road
Becket, MA 01223
Venue Phone: 
Stage Details: 
Black Box
Seasons Available: 
Venue Features: 
Climate control
Dance floor
Dressing room(s)
Green room
Light system / track lighting
Sound system
Venue Capacity: 
Venue Accessibility: 
Facility is physically accessible (such as parking, entrances, accessible restrooms, seating, backstage)
Venue Name: 
Ted Shawn Theatre
Venue Type: 
Venue Address: 
358 George Carter Road
Becket, MA 01223
Venue Phone: 
Stage Details: 
Proscenium Theater
Seasons Available: 
Venue Features: 
Dressing room(s)
Fly space
Loading dock
Movie screen/projection capabilities
Venue Capacity: 
Venue Accessibility: 
Facility is physically accessible (such as parking, entrances, accessible restrooms, seating, backstage)