Jacob’s Pillow To Expand Facilities After Most Successful Season On Record

[Becket, MA] – Following the record-breaking attendance and ticket sales of Festival 2014, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival moves into a new season of exciting activity. The year-round international center of dance breaks ground this month on an expansion project which will triple the areas for storage and public access to its rare and extensive dance Archives.

The Pillow also announces four companies that will perform at Festival 2015: the legendary modern dance ensemble Martha Graham Dance Company, launching its 90th Anniversary Season; Jessica Lang Dance in The Wanderer, created in part during a Creative Development Residency at the Pillow; New York Theatre Ballet in a family-friendly production of Cinderella; and tap superstar Michelle Dorrance, her company Dorrance Dance, and composer Toshi Reagon and her band BIGLovely in a return engagement of The Blues Project.

Festival 2014 Attendance

Festival 2014 was the most successful season on record for Jacob’s Pillow, a National Historic Landmark, National Medal of Arts recipient, and home to America’s longest-running dance festival. The Pillow hosted more than 96,000 visitor experiences in just ten Festival weeks, comprised of ticketed performances, free performances, free talks, tours, dance classes, film screenings, exhibits, and various other community events.

The Pillow’s free, outdoor Inside/Out performance series was particularly popular, serving more than 22,500 audience members of all ages, the highest Inside/Out attendance on record. In addition to landmark attendance at more than 200 free events, Jacob’s Pillow sold more than 48,000 tickets, marking the most tickets sold in the organization’s history and totaling more than $2.1 million in ticket revenue.

Blake’s Barn Archives Expansion

2015 marks the 20th anniversary of public access to the Pillow’s dance Archives, one of the most significant and accessible collections of archival material within the dance field.

Jacob’s Pillow is expanding Blake’s Barn, home of the Archives, to manage the growing dance Archives and increase access for the public, artists, students, researchers, and scholars. The expansion breaks ground this month and will be completed by June of 2015, adding more than 700 square feet to the Reading Room and effectively tripling space for both public access and climate-controlled storage. The new Reading Room will feature additional space for the extensive dance library and new visitor reading areas, additional HD video viewing stations, and a dedicated area for small groups to gather for communal video viewing.

The lower floor of Blake’s Barn will increase by 1,200 square feet to accommodate additional archival storage and documentation workspace. The Archives expansion is possible due to financial support from individual donors as well as the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund, a program of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, administered through a collaborative arrangement between MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

[Photo of Blake’s Barn at Jacob’s Pillow by Yana Kraeva.]


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