Arts & cultural education programs for schools, 2020-2021
Fall 2020 exhibitions
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:
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:
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
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
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.
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.
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)
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:
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
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:
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:
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.