Hancock Shaker Village

  Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, MA is open for the with Baby Animals on the Shaker Farm, running daily, 10 am to 4 pm, through Sunday, May 8.

Home to several hundred Shakers from the 1780s to 1960, Hancock Shaker Village is now an outdoor-history museum dedicated to preserving the Shaker legacy.

Right now, the barns are full of chicks, ducklings, lambs, kids, and calves.

We went to Hancock Shaker Village earlier this week and spoke with Shawn Hartley Hancock, Director of Marketing and Communications. After oooing and awwwing at the baby animals, including two lambs born within half an hour our my arrival, we parked ourselves on one side of the round stone barn and talked about what is going on at the Village now - and about some things upcoming over the course of the summer.

This is a picture of Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The leader of Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield is stepping down in November at the end of the 2016 season. Linda Steigleder has spent five years as president and CEO of the historic cultural attraction.

This is a picture of Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The president and CEO of Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield is stepping down at the end of the 2016 season.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Two well known educational attractions in the Berkshires are looking to work together to share audiences, spaces and themes.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Museums have been trying to offer interactive and engaging activities for visitors in hopes of shaking their sometimes stuffy reputation among the digital hungry generation coming of age in the 21st century. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Jim Levulis takes us to a place where things are most definitely hands on, but it’s simply a replica of how things have been done for centuries.

New York State Museum

    The New York State Museum, in collaboration with the Shaker Museum in Mount Lebanon, Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, and the Shaker Heritage Society in Albany, as well as the State Library and State Archives, will present a major exhibition, The Shakers: America’s Quiet Revolutionaries, detailing one of the most significant and influential communal religious groups in American History.

Artifacts from these preeminent Shaker collections will be exhibited together for the first time at the New York State Museum and the exhibition opens tomorrow, November 15th.

    Rachel Urquhart's debut novel, The Visionist, is based in real life: the Visionists were young Shaker girls who began to suffer mysterious fits, thought to be in communication with the spirit world.

The Visionist tells the story of 15-year old Polly Kimball who kills her abusive father in a fire. Her mother leads them to seek shelter in The City of Hope, a nearby shaker Settlement. She is anointed a visionist upon her arrival, where she is - by turns - worshipped and questioned.

Hancock Shaker Village

Apr 11, 2014

    The 750-acre Hancock Shaker Village operates as a living-history museum open to the public with 20 authentic Shaker buildings, costumed interpreters, rich collections of Shaker furniture and artifacts in rotating exhibits, a full schedule of activities and workshops, a mile-long hiking trail and picnic areas, a Village Store and Village Cafe, and a working farm with extensive gardens and heritage-breed livestock.

They kick of their busy season this Saturday, April 12th with Baby Animals!

Shawn Hartley Hancock is the Director of Marketing & Communications at Hancock Shaker Village and she joins along with Shaker Singers - Todd Burdick, Margaret Carlough, Jim Day, Stephanie Guelpa, and Julie Smith.

Local Museums Embracing Technology

Aug 15, 2013
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Despite their reputation as repositories for the past, many regional museums are embracing technology to adapt to the 21st century.

“One of the things that museums are challenged with is to assert our relevance in a modern era," said Betsy Feathers, the Research and Grants Officer at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield.