Arts & cultural education programs for schools, 2020-2021

Are you a school leader or teacher looking for a program for your school or classroom?

Check out these great offerings!

Cultural organizations: does one of your programs on this page need a refresh? Fill out this form with your updated information!

B4 The Other Creations

Spring 2021 course

High School; Faculty

Pedagogy of Play: Options and Opportunities course

The Play mindset allows us to have an evolving mindset. Throughout these Play sessions we will explore what B4 The Other’s Pedagogy Of Play and how it can open up the participants point of view of their lives, and the seen/unseen opportunities before them. Using devised theater, improvisation games, creative prompts, written/oral reflection, and mindfulness training.
Play comes in two forms as defined by the leading expert on Play, Dr. Stuart Brown MD. The act of play and the idea of play. B4 The Other is exploring what is necessary to navigate the feeling of Play.
B4 The Other’s pedagogy focuses on six buoys of Play: Great Effort, Conscious Vulnerability, Bold Choice, Grounded Acceptance, Grateful Surrender, and Easeful Buoyancy. Each week we will explore one of these six buoys and their anchoring counterparts, to support your personal Play revolution. We do not see them as “pillars” because they are not immovable. We do see these six components as points on a horizon. They offer us a foundational level of ease in every situation. The idea creates our reality, not the other way around. Living in a time of so many “unknowns,” B4 The Other would love to offer you an abundance of opportunities and options through our Pedagogy of Play.

This course is of service to both students and adult faculty. For students, this course can be held in school or after school and is adaptable for remote learning as well as in person. We offer these courses monthly for adults as professional development or we can cater to one specific community. Find more information on

B4 The Other Creations reaches students in the following Berkshire districts:

  •  BART Charter School

  • Mount Greylock Regional School

CONTACT: Malia'Kekia Nicolini, (352) 584-7460

Barrington Stage Company

Playwright Mentoring Project,

KidsAct!,  and KidsAct! Jr.

All grades

Playwright Mentoring Project

PMP is an award-winning theatre program for young people ages 13–19 who have stories to share and things to say. Groups meet once a week from October–April. No prior theatre experience is required! Together your group will create and perform an original play based on stories and experiences from your own lives. A stipend will be paid to those who participate. Learn more

Master Classes

In Spring 2021 Musical Theatre Master Classes, students will perform for Broadway professionals and receive one-on-one coaching. Sign up for one or all of these classes to meet and perform for some of the industry’s best! Learn more

KidsAct! and TeensAct!.

In search of a fun and creative in-person outlet for your young people this summer? Look no further than Barrington Stage Company’s renowned TeensAct! and KidsAct! camps. We’re back in action for summer 2021, and we’re better than ever! 

TeensAct! is a beloved theatre program, designed for ages 12–14, which is focused on building performance skills through ensemble-based work, improvisation, and individualized coaching. Students will create an original musical with their peers to be performed on the final day of the program. Students will also experience master classes from professional theatre and performing artists! TeensAct! will run from June 28 through July 16. Tuition for this three-week program is $750.

KidsAct! is an exciting theatre program for students ages 7–11, which is focused on building acting and communication skills through fun theatre games. Students will create an original musical with their peers to be performed on the final day of the program. Students will also experience master classes from professional theatre and performing artists! KidsAct! will run from July 26 through August 13. Tuition for this three-week program is $750. Learn more

General Education Programs information:

Barrington Stage Company education programs reach students in eight Berkshire County districts including Pittsfield Public Schools.

CONTACT: Jane O'Leary, (413) 997-6117

Berkshire Botanical Garden

Young Learner Programs

Early Childhood

Garden Sprouts — Berkshire Botanical Garden’s Toddler Program
For children ages 2 - 5

Offered the last Thursday of every month April - October 2021, 10 - 11:30 am. No July Program.

Visit Berkshire Botanical Garden for Garden Sprouts, a one-on-one early childhood program for toddlers and their caretakers where you will build new skills, have fun, and explore! 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 month for you to enjoy. Sessions allow for individualized instruction and discovery. Included in Garden admission; follow-up self-guided activities for independent exploration are provided.

Roots, Shoots and Boots — Berkshire Botanical Garden’s Homeschool Program 
For children ages 5 - 12

Offered March 1st- May

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!

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

Single Sessions: $12 for members

Four Sessions: $45 for members

Program fees include Garden admission.

Farm and Garden School Programs

Berkshire Botanical Garden brings hands-on programming to schools and community sites, both during and after school. We offer year-round, site-based cirricula and instruction for elementary through middle school students. Working in tandem with our educators, students engage in challenging and meaningful work both in the classrooms and in their school gardens, with each program uniquely catered to the needs of the school community. Students participating in these programs learn plant and ecosystem science through hands-on activities focused on the food system and its effect on our environment, our health, and our communities. Experiential and service learning models are emphasized as students design and implement projects using both horticultural and entrepreneurial skills.Through innovative lessons, students explore a range of topics including Next Generation Science Standards, food systems, leadership and social-emotional learning, with programs running from five weeks to 12 months. For more information about how to bring BBG's programming to your school or site please contact BBG Education coordinator

CONTACT: Bridgette Stone, 413-354-8410

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

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

The Mastheads

Spring 2020

All grades

Fireside, a collaboration between The Mastheads and the Pittsfield Public Schools, provides poetry programming at the elementary through high school level that connects students to the literary heritage of their city. Learn more at:

The Mastheads' Fireside program reaches students in the following districts:

  • Pittsfield Public Schools

CONTACT: Sarah Trudgeon, (973) 534-1960

Tanglewood (Boston Symphony Orchestra)

Spring 2020 concert

Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School

2021 Youth Concert: I Really Thought I Couldn’t: A Musical Look at Self-Doubt

Available to view Friday, March 5 at Noon through April 30

The concert will be available free of charge to Berkshire County School districts with support from the Tanglewood Business Partners. Please be on the lookout for communication from school administrators who will share concert links with you in early March.

Each concert program delivers universal and positive life messages through a musical lens.

I Really Thought I Couldn’t: A Musical Look at Self-Doubt
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Thomas Wilkins, Artistic Advisor, Education and Community Engagement

Germeshausen Youth and Family Concerts Conductor

PROKOFIEV (arr. Wilson OCHOA) March in B-flat, Op. 99
SCHUMAN Be Glad Then, America, from New England Triptych
DVOŘÁK Slavonic Dance No. 1, Op. 72
STILL 2nd movement (Sorrow) from Symphony No. 1, Afro-American
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS March: Seventeen Come Sunday, from English Folk Song Suite BEETHOVEN 1st movement (excerpts) from Symphony No. 7
TCHAIKOVSKY 1st and 4th movements (excerpts) from Symphony No. 5

Lesson plan and curricular connection materials for the concert can be found here.

The BSO's school-year education programs have served students in the Greater Boston area for many years.

CONTACT: Jenna Goodearl, (617) 638-9302

County-wide Arts Education

A 2017 snapshot of arts education in Berkshire County school districts