After a Tragic Fire & Lost Season, Jacob’s Pillow is Bouncing Back
Today Jacob’s Pillow, a National Historic Landmark, National Medal of Arts recipient, and home to America’s longest-running and largest dance festival, announced plans to host a multi-platform virtual and on-site Festival in 2021, undertake substantial renovations to the Ted Shawn Theatre, and complete Vision ’22, a five-year strategic plan established in 2017. The organization has launched the public phase of its Dance We Must fundraising campaign to support the final leg of Vision ’22, including the completion of Ted Shawn Theatre renovations by the organization’s 90th anniversary in 2022, with $2 million to raise towards a goal of $22 million.
“The Pillow has endured, despite experiencing the toughest year in our history with the cancellation of Festival 2020 and the tragic loss of the Doris Duke Theatre in a fire. We put these losses in the context of all of the tragedy our country, and the world, has experienced this past year,” said Pamela Tatge, Executive & Artistic Director. “Back in 2017, we set ambitious goals for the future and the evolution of Jacob’s Pillow. We have had extraordinary momentum thanks to the generosity of our Board and the many donors who understand the importance of investing in dance and artists. There is still so much to do, but with the support of our community—everyone who knows and loves the Pillow—I’m confident that we will complete the final chapter of our plan, the Ted Shawn Theatre renovation, in time for our 90th Anniversary in 2022.”
The Pillow is also moving forward with plans to build a new theater to replace the Doris Duke Theatre, which was destroyed by a catastrophic fire on the morning of November 17, 2020. Plans for a new theater capturing the warmth, flexibility, and intimacy of the original Doris Duke Theatre will be announced this fall.
Vision ’22 is an ambitious strategic plan established in 2017 and led by Executive & Artistic Director Pamela Tatge. Vision ’22 has fortified the Pillow’s existing programs and put new emphasis on three goals: strengthening the Pillow’s artistic core, boosting civic leadership and community engagement, and renewing campus facilities. Two threads run through all of the plan’s activities: strengthening inclusion, diversity, equity, and access at the Pillow; and advancing environmental sustainability. Of the $22 million needed to accomplish the goals of the plan, $2 million remains to be raised. Jacob’s Pillow launched its public Dance We Must fundraising campaign today with a goal of raising that sum by April 2022, in advance of the 90th anniversary Festival.
After cancelling Festival 2020––the first Festival cancellation in its 88-year history––Jacob’s Pillow is committed to presenting a multi-platform dance festival in summer 2021, featuring in-person, outdoor performances from leading dance artists across genres (June 30-August 29, 2021) and virtual streaming of their work, accessible to dance fans around the world. Artist and performance details will be announced in April 2021.
With the health and safety of artists, audiences, and staff as a top priority, the Pillow will set rigorous COVID-19 protocols. Protocols will be announced later this spring, based on the recommendations of expert medical professionals and in accordance with national medical guidelines and state regulations.
Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival 2021 also features talks, classes, exhibitions, and site-specific works that will invite audiences to explore its 220-acre campus in the Berkshires of Western MA in new ways. On-site and virtual professional training programs will be offered at The School at Jacob’s Pillow.