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Jacob’s Pillow Cancels Summer Festival For First Time In History

The entrance sign at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts
Jim Levulis
The entrance sign at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts

Becket, Massachusetts dance center Jacob’s Pillow has canceled its summer festival for the first time in its 88-year history.

The festival – slated to run from from June 24th to August 30th – regularly attracts dance companies from around the world. It’s just the latest arts world victim of the coronavirus pandemic.

Jacob’s Pillow Director Pamela Tatge says the center is also reducing its full-time staff of 45 to 27, with some employees taking pay cuts and others moving to part-time. 40 seasonal staff members will not be hired, and its 33-person international internship program has been canceled.

“These decisions were some of the most excruciating decisions of my professional life," said Tatge. "They were the most excruciating decisions. This is a team of people do exceptional work, demand so much of themselves, have shared values, and to see this team disbanded in this way is one of the most tragic byproducts of the festival being canceled.”

Jacob’s Pillow intends to roll out a program of digital content instead.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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