Arts & cultural education programs for schools, 2020-2021


Fall 2020 exhibitions​

All grades

Fall 2020 exhibitions and tours:

Jim Jasper at Arrowhead
Artist Jim Jasper has created a comprehensive set of 140 drawings illustrating chapters of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick; or, The Whale. His inspiration comes not only from the novel itself, but also from sources which Melville himself might have drawn from, including nautical journals and logbooks, natural history texts, prints by J.M.W. Turner, and more. These works are being taken from the gallery walls to the setting which influenced Melville’s writing: the landscape of the Berkshires and the view of Mount Greylock.  The show, opening this summer, will be available to all free of charge.


Interactive House tours and discussions on Melville’s life and works via Zoom. $10 per student

Ongoing Virtual Book Clubs:

  • Join Jana Laiz, Writer-In-Residence Emeritus and Education Coordinator as we read her Melville biography, Billy Budd in the Breadbox, The Story of Herman and Eleanor (Crow Flies Press 2017.) This online book club is geared for students grades 4 and up. We invite participation from grandparents, parents and teachers. Jana will be online to discuss writing and research. Participants are encouraged to ask questions. Jana will generate writing prompts as part of the book club. FREE

  • Join Director Lesley Herzberg and Education Coordinator Jana Laiz for an in depth Zoom discussion and reading of Oliver Wendell Holmes’ Elsie Venner. FREE

Arrowhead reaches students in the following districts:

  •  Pittsfield Pubilc Schools

  • North Adams Public Schools

  • Miss Hall's School

  • Berkshire Country Day School

CONTACT: Jana Laiz, (413) 442-1793

Barrington Stage Company

Playwright Mentoring Project,

KidsAct!,  and KidsAct! Jr.

All grades

Playwright Mentoring Project

PMP is an award-winning, intensive six-month out-of-school activity that uses theatre as a catalyst to help underserved youth learn valuable life skills and develop positive self-images. Learn more

KidsAct! and KidsAct! Jr.

These theatre camps give students ages 4–14 the opportunity to create their own original theatre productions under the guidance of theatre artists. Students build confidence and self-esteem in a non-competitive environment. Camps are offered during the spring and summer breaks. Learn more

Barrington Stage Company education programs reache students in the following districts:

  • Mount Greylock Regional School District

  • Pittsfield Public Schools

CONTACT: Jane O'Leary, (413) 997-6117

Berkshire Botanical Garden

Fall 2020 Young Learner Programs

Early Childhood

Garden Sprouts — Berkshire Botanical Garden’s Toddler Program
For children ages 2 - 5
Offered Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 9-12, September and October 

Visit Berkshire Botanical Garden for Garden Sprouts, a one-on-one early childhood program for toddlers and their caretakers. Dig, plant, pick, water and learn in the garden. Build new skills, have fun, and explore! Families or small pods may sign up for individual 20-25 minute one-on-one garden sessions with our experienced youth educator. COVID safety practices will be in place, so you and your toddler can feel safe while learning new skills. Garden Sprouts encourages caretakers to be actively engaged in their child’s learning. New activities will be available each week for you to enjoy. Sessions allow for individualized instruction and discovery. Price includes Garden admission; follow-up self-guided activities for independent exploration are provided. 

Cost: $10 for members/ $15 for non-members, one adult and one child $5 each additional child

Roots, Shoots and Boots — Berkshire Botanical Garden’s Homeschool Program 
For children ages 5 - 12
Offered 9:30-11:30 and 1:30-3:30, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, September and October​​​​​​

BBG is excited to offer hands-on learning opportunities for homeschool pods and families. Each family or pod is invited to choose from a variety of lessons that focus on inquiry-based instruction and scientific discovery within the Garden. Lessons align with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, with COVID safety protocols in place to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment. We are happy to work with you to offer individualized lessons on specific areas of interest, or you can trust our experienced youth educators to do the planning for you! Let the Garden be your classroom this fall! 

Please download our Parent Information Packet for more information on these programs!

Cost: Families and pods may choose from two session options:

Single Sessions: $12 for members / $15 for non-members per student

Four Sessions: $45 for members / $55 for non-members per student

Program fees include Garden admission.

CONTACT: Samantha Ross, (413) 931-3194

Berkshire Pulse

In-School Program; Youth Performing Arts Program

All grades

In-School Programs

Berkshire Pulse’s In-School Programs recognize the importance of creative learning and its ability to bring dynamism to the learning process while helping children uncover their hidden talents, find their voice, and build strength and confidence. Research validates that students with high levels of arts engagement from kindergarten through elementary school show higher test scores than students with lower levels of arts engagement over the same period.

Arts education that specifically involves dance and assists in the development of specific skills like physical coordination, interpersonal communication, rhythm and related math skills, and multicultural awareness. The physical exercises involved in dance stimulate mental alertness, attention to detail, and memorization skills. Through dance, students learn important skills, like how to pick up new ideas quickly, to pay attention to small details, and to focus on the task at hand. Most importantly, students learn to respect each other and work together as a community that honors each participant.

Our in-school programs also provide a learning environment that is particularly supportive of children with kinetic and auditory learning styles, a segment of the student population that is often harder to serve. 

Youth Performing Arts Program

Classes in a variety of styles for all ages. More information here.

Berkshire Pulse's education programs have reached students in the following districts:

  • Berkshire Hills Regional School District

  • Central Berkshire Regional School District

  • Lee Public Schools

  • Lenox Public Schools

  • Mount Greylock Regional School District

  • Southern Berkshire Regional School District

CONTACT: Bettina Montano, (413) 274-6624

Berkshire Theatre Group

BTG PLAYS! Year-Round Education Program

Upper Elementary,

Middle School

In-School Residency

BTG’s In-School Residency is a 14-week creative and collaborative process in which students develop and write their own one-act plays. In this program students with a variety of learning styles grasp the fundamentals of playwriting. The Student Study Guide, distributed to each student, includes concepts of theatre, literature, writing, and playwriting.

After School Program

BTG’s After-School Program is a hands-on kinesthetic learning experience celebrating each student’s unique artistic voice. Trained actors encourage students to trust their own imaginations and work within the context of a group. Offered throughout Berkshire County schools, BTG tailors each session based on school and individual needs.

Learn more about BTG PLAYS! here

BTG's education programs reach students in the following schools and districts:

  • Berkshire Hills Regional School District

  • Hancock Elementary School

  • Hoosac Valley Regional School District

  • Pittsfield Public Schools

  • Richmond Consolidated School

  • St. Mary's School

CONTACT: Allison Rachele Bayles, (413) 448-8084 x19

Berkshire Music School

Fall 2020 programs

All grades

Fall 2020 programs:

World History of Contemporary American Music

Music for Young Minds

Tunes for Tots

small-group ukulele classes

Berkshire Music School education programs reach students in the following districts:

  • Central Berkshire Regional School District

  • Hoosac Valley Regional School District

  • Lee Public Schools

  • Lenox Public Schools

  • Mount Greylock Regional School District

  • Pittsfield Public Schools

CONTACT: Natalie Neubert, 413-442-1411 ext. 12

Community Access to the Arts

CATA in the Schools

All grades

CATA in the Schools provides arts workshops to students with disabilities in area high schools and middle schools. Many of these students do not participate in mainstream art classes and, without CATA, would have little exposure to the arts in their curriculum.


In many cases, CATA provides additional support as students transition out of high school, working with special education teachers on IEPs and offering continued access to CATA workshops after graduation. Students in high schools represent the next generation of CATA artists.

CATA reaches special education students in the following districts:

  • North Adams Public Schools (high school) 

  • Lenox Public Schools (high school)

  • Hoosac Valley Regional School District (middle & high school)

  • Central Berkshire Regional School District (middle & High school)

  • Lenox Public Schools (high school)

  • Berkshire Hills Regional School District (middle & high school)

  • Southern Berkshire Regional School District (high school)

  • Pittsfield Public Schools (all grade levels)

CONTACT: Jeff Gagnon,  (413) 528-5485

IS183 Art School of the Berkshires

Learning Through Arts (after-school program)

All grades

IS183 Art School ensures that people throughout the county have access to art. IS183's Learning Through Arts program is a curriculum-based arts enrichment program that brings the studio art experience directly to the desk of Berkshire County's K–12th grade students.

Learning Through Arts (LTA) uses art-making as a tool to improve academics and behavior, while allowing students to make interdisciplinary connections, experiment with new mediums, and learn advanced art techniques. 

Student artists explore new ways of looking at and responding to the world around them. They learn skills that resonate long after they have left the program. Learn more here.

IS183's Learning Through Art program reaches students in the following districts:

  • Berkshire Hills Regional School District

  • Central Berkshire Regional School District

  • Lee Public Schools

  • North Adams Public Schools

  • Pittsfield Public Schools

  • Richmond Consolidated School

  • Southern Berkshire Regional School District

CONTACT: Brielle Rizzotti, (413) 298-5252 x102

Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

RISE for Educators


For all educators; including teachers, administrators, and parents.

During this moment when educators are facing unprecedented pressures, it’s important to be thoughtful about what it takes to maintain a strong foundation. Whether you’re a teacher in early education, k-12, or higher education; a parent teaching your children from home; or an administrator navigating the changing educational landscape from a high level; this series which is anchored in the science and practice of mindfulness, yoga, and positive psychology, is for you!

It’s true that many of the stressors you experience as an educator are outside your control. But you can control how you respond. That's where RISE makes all the difference. RISE programming was first delivered to schools more than 10 years ago, and research shows that those who experience RISE training report profound results—increases in resilience, mindfulness, renewed engagement, and positivity.

RISE programming is specifically designed to support

  • Greater clarity and resilience 

  • Improved social emotional learning 

  • Healthier learning climates 

  • Enhanced work/life integration 

  • Decreased burnout rate.

CONTACT: Melissa Helm, (585) 831-1365

Maichack Arts

Residencies and Mother Goose program

Early Childhood, Upper Elementary, Middle School

Mary Jo Maichack has been a singing storyteller and teaching artist for over 30 years, both through her Mother Goose program in in-school residencies. Contact Mary Jo to learn more about her asynchronous and synchronous programming on the Zoom platform.

In addition to her performance in Berkshire County, Mary Jo's work has reached students in:

  • Chicopee

  • Holyoke, and

  • Springfield

CONTACT: Mary Jo Maichack

Mass Audubon

Fall 2020 exhibitions

All grades

Experience the wild side of Massachusetts with Mass Audubon! For more than 60 years, Mass Audubon has been dedicated to connecting people to nature in fun and interactive ways. Learn more about the natural world with our array of programs for schools and groups. Teachers can also complete the Mass Audubon Teacher Survey, to learn more about our virtual science lessons and grant funding opportunities.

Request more information about local programs by emailing Dale Abrams, Education Manager for Western Massachusetts.

Mass Audubon education programs reach students in the following districts:

  • Berkshire Hills Regional School District

  • Farmington River Regional School District

  • Hoosac Valley Regional School District

  • Lee Public Schools

  • Lenox Public Schools

  • Mount Greylock Regional School District

  • Pittsfield Public Schools

  • Richmond Consolidated School

CONTACT: Dale Abrams, (413) 728-4855


Fall 2020 exhibitions

All grades

MASS MoCA's fall exhibitions will include:

Curriculum Takeover with artist Shaun Leonardo (for high school students)

The "Curriculum Takeover" will invite a group of 10 Berkshire County youth to work with artist Shaun Leonardo to co-develop an arts-based Black Lives Matter curriculum intervention inspired by his drawing series, The Breath of Empty Space, on view at MASS MoCA. The "Curriculum Takeover" will be a virtual teaching resource where students can direct their own and their peers' learning around racial injustice and Black Lives Matter. High school students can apply to participate here, by September 11th, 2020.

"Wendy Red Star: Apsaalooke: Children of the Large-Beaked Bird" Kidspace virtual tour (for grades 3 and up). More curriculum-specific details coming soon.

MASS MoCA education programs reach students in the following districts:

  • BART Charter School

  • Hoosac Valley Regional School District

  • North Adams Public Schools 

  • Northern Berkshire School Union

  • Pittsfield Public Schools

CONTACT: Amanda Tobin, (413) 664-4481 x8165

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