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Expand Your Mind

Posted on March 02, 2020Written by Lindsey Schmid

No matter what piques your curiosity or ignites your passion, you’ll find unique ways to indulge your desire to learn, create, and explore while visiting the Berkshires!

JP Jofre performs at the TLI TASTE Concert (Hilary Scott photo)If you love music and the visual arts, there’s no better place to immerse yourself than the Tanglewood Learning Institute’s (TLI) Linde Center for Music and Learning. This season’s TLI schedule offers weekend celebrations of Isaac Stern, Beethoven, and film alongside a full calendar of dynamic live performances, thought-provoking talks, and master classes with world-renowned musicians, innovative artists, and emerging literary voices. You’re sure to head home feeling inspired, entertained, and, quite possibly, with a new perspective. 

Girl at IS183's pottery wheelEver want to learn jewelry making, ceramics, or sculpture? Do you enjoy drawing or painting but want to hone your skills or create with fellow artists? Looking for a Friday night craft session with your creative friends? IS183 Art School in Stockbridge offers all that and more! Berkshire-based artists are your teachers and beginners are welcome. The only requirements for most classes are imagination, creativity, and the desire to have a fun learning experience. Whether you’re trying something new or sharpening your skills, this is a low-key place to do it, and it’s right in the heart of the Berkshires, near some of the area’s most popular attractions.

If you like the idea of sharing experiences and exchanging ideas, and you’re age 50 or up, the OLLI: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is a great place for you. Classes are open only to members, but once you’re registered, you’ll have access to engaging programs in a range of topics from art to science, meditation to history, and more. OLLI offers more than 100 programs each year at arts venues and college campuses around the Berkshires, so it’s likely you’ll find something near you that will captivate your attention and help you learn, grow, and discover.

Those looking to increase their fitness or health acumen can take a class or workshop at Berkshire South Regional Community Center. In addition to a full schedule of aquatics, boot camps, cross training, and kickboxing,  among other physical activities, you’ll also find classes in dance, writing, arts, cooking, and even forgeigh language. So if you’ve ever wanted to learn the Foxtrot, prepare Lebanese sweets, dust off your high school French, or increase body awareness, check out their community enrichment offerings.

painting at EastoverVisitors interested in holistic wellness and lifestyles will have many options in the Berkshires, including Eastover Estate & Eco-Village, a 600-acre retreat center located minutes from downtown Lenox. In addition to rejuvenating accommodations and spacious yoga studios and meditation rooms, Eastover schedules an array of workshops and retreats designed to help you recharge through mindfulness, martial arts, energy work, and cooking classes, among many other options. 

So, what have you always wanted to learn about, practice, or experience? This summer, find it here in the Berkshires! 

Nancy Macy is a freelance writer and editor based in the Berkshires.

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