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Pittsfield Moves!

2017 - 2018


Pittsfield, Berkshire County

Long-term Engagement

Project Type:

Pittsfield Moves!

From 2017-2018, Angela's Pulse used collaborative dance and performance practice to support and connect local Berkshire County stakeholders and amplify their stories on stage. This yearlong project was designed and facilitated by AP, and commissioned by Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in partnership with the resident-driven initiative Working Cities Pittsfield.

Our process included facilitating monthly listening sessions, participating in local events and meetings, leading dance and storytelling workshops, and establishing a group of local core collaborators. The core group -- which included grandparents, immigrants, non-binary youth, recovering addicts, community organizers, dancers, poets, and singers -- came together across a range of race, economic reality, and geography to build more common understanding and collective vision.

And they built a show. For Angela's Pulse, performance is a community-building strategy, giving us a chance to test our collaborative muscles as we invite audiences to witness our stories. We performed at Jacob's Pillow's famed Inside-Out stage, at the local NAACP's annual Gather-In Festival, and the annual Harvest of Hope.

Important to AP's work is that it builds lasting, vital connections -- beyond our engagement period. Pittsfield Moves laid a foundation for continued community-led efforts, including the group's engagement with other guest artists and new collaborations among community leaders who participated in the project.

The project was led by Paloma McGregor, with AP Collaborators MK Abadoo, Christine King, Rosa Navarrete, and Adelaide Matthew Dicken. Lizzy Cooper Davis served as dramaturg and documenter. Key Berkshire County community partners throughout this initiative include Working Cities, Youth Alive!, NAACP Berkshire County Branch, Manos Unidas Multicultural Education Cooperative, Railroad Street Youth Project, Berkshire Children & Families, and Transformative Development Initiative, among others.

“I’ve heard a lot of people involved say that this has been one of the most empowering experiences of their lives - It allows people to go into their own stories.” 
- Anaelisa Jacobsen, contributing artist, Manos Unidas
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