MassDevelopment stands with the Baker-Polito Administration against racism and injustice. Read more

A message from MassDevelopment regarding COVID-19. Read more


Cultural Facilities Fund Supports Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, a National Historic Landmark in the Berkshires

February 11, 2014


Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)
Mariclare Hulbert, Jacob’s Pillow, 413.243.9919 x130

The Ted Shawn Theatre at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival; photo Christopher Duggan

The Ted Shawn Theatre at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival; photo Christopher Duggan

MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council have provided a $122,563 Cultural Facilities Fund grant of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Inc., the iconic 220-acre National Historic Landmark home to the longest-running international dance festival in the U.S. and recipient of the National Medal of Arts, awarded by President Barack Obama. Jacob’s Pillow is using grant funds to renovate, repair, and maintain historic buildings on the property and support the long-term stewardship of the Pillow grounds. Elite dance companies from around the world perform at the Pillow during its three-month summer festival, considered to be a destination by both tourists and the cultural field at large.

The Pillow hosts more than 90,000 visitor experiences annually at performances and over 200 free public events. Jacob’s Pillow is the largest employer in Becket, and has an estimated economic impact of $7.4 million on the local community. Jacob’s Pillow programs also include year-round work in local schools; a presenting partnership with MASS MoCA; rare and extensive dance archives; a professional School for dancers; a year-round intern program; a scholar and fellow program; and creative development residencies for dance artists.

“Jacob’s Pillow provides invaluable economic contributions to the Commonwealth while nurturing an appreciation for international dance,” said MassDevelopment President & CEO Marty Jones. “We are pleased to award this grant to help Jacob’s Pillow maintain its facilities and allow dance, in all its forms, to be shared, appreciated, and preserved.”

Ella Baff, Executive and Artistic Director of Jacob’s Pillow, said, “The Cultural Facilities Fund provides unique and critical support to arts organizations. It is essential in helping to sustain and improve our National Historic Landmark site as an international destination in the Berkshires. We take great pride in belonging to a prestigious community of cultural organizations nearby and across the Commonwealth, as well as the civic leaders who champion them. We are deeply grateful to MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.”

Among the 42 buildings on the campus are three unique theaters, a professional dance training school and studios, the archives, and on-site housing for visiting artists, students, faculty, interns, scholars, and dance companies. Projects made possible through this grant include the expansion and renovation of on-campus housing, and furnace replacement to improve energy efficiency in the historic Derby House and the Doris Duke Theatre.

MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council administer the Cultural Facilities Fund, an initiative of the Commonwealth to increase public and private investment in cultural facilities throughout the state. Created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2006, the Fund offers capital, feasibility, technical assistance, and systems replacement grants for eligible nonprofits engaged in the arts, humanities, or interpretive sciences. The Fund has awarded more than $55 million in grants to cultural organizations across Massachusetts. For more information, visit the MassDevelopment and Massachusetts Cultural Council websites.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2013, MassDevelopment financed or managed 350 projects generating investment of more than $2.4 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 7,000 jobs and build or rehabilitate 800 residential units.