The beautiful, mountainous, Berkshire County of Massachusetts, may seem at first glance like an odd location to be an arts center, but in fact, it is home to a rich and complex arts community, a tradition that goes back a very long way.
Tanglewood Musical Center is arguably the most famous concert venue in the state of Massachusetts. Located in Lenox, it is the summer home of the Boston Pops, and also features the annual summer Tanglewood Music Festival. All summer long, a wide variety of musical acts perform at Tanglewood, from folk to classical, jazz to reggae.
Very near to Lenox is Stockbridge, Massachusetts, famous for a musical location and a musical mention. Stockbridge is the home of “”Alice’s Restaurant,”" it is the town where Arlo Guthrie was arrested for littering by “”Officer Opie”" in the famous anti-war story-song. In addition, Stockbridge is mentioned in the song “”Sweet Baby James”" by James Taylor.
Also nearby is Great Barrington, best known for its many fine art galleries, and for the tiny alternative education school called Simon’s Rock.
North and west of Berkshire County is Franklin County, the most rural county in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Village of Turners Falls is an historic mill town that is the home for the RiverCulture Project cultural center. Also in Franklin County is Shelburne, the home of the Deerfield Valley Art Association (DVAA), which fosters the work of visual artists (mostly painters).
Franklin County also is home to the annual Green River Festival, in Greenfield, MA, the biggest hot air balloon and music event of the year. This event, founded in 1986, draws amazing, top-level music acts such as Emmylou Harris, Cake, Toots and the Maytals, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Lucinda Williams, Neko Case, and Buddy Guy. The event features balloon rides, children’s activities, and craft vendors in addition to music.