Many people think of museums as a static environment, where art can be quietly and casually admired, but as the times have changed many museums are transforming to become more dynamic spaces, attracting visitors who are seeking fun and entertainment, as well as art.
MASS MoCA, in North Adams, is constantly finding new ways to engage people. The massive warehouse-sized galleries are a rejuvenating way to explore art installations where you can view the art from above and below, as well as engage with interactive multi-dimensional displays. This allows visitors fresh new ways to enjoy art. Getting lost in the seemingly never-ending galleries can also be a blast and children seem to especially enjoy investigating these giant spaces. Kidspace at MASS MoCA offers young minds a brilliant area to create their own masterpieces, and the grown-ups can often be seen having just as much fun as the kids! Music is also a big part of the culture at the museum, and there are live music performances throughout the year. MASS MoCA makes it a bit easier to take pleasure in visiting there, with its ‘Free on the 3’s’ days, opening their doors to North Adams residents for free on the third of every month through June 2019.
One museum that never fails to entertain is Hancock Shaker Village. This historic village brings the Shaker life alive, giving a hands-on experience in daily life on the farm. One moment you could be turning wool into yarn and the next, petting the softness of a newborn lamb. Hancock Shaker Village stays busy with events throughout the seasons and includes things like Goat Yoga (where goats literally roam around a yoga session!) and timber framing workshops. The coming months will see ‘The Best and the Wurst,’a day of entertainment paired with tasty local sausage, and also ‘Haunted Hancock,’, which is the museum’s spin on a Halloween walk.
An often overlooked museum in Lee, Animagic Museum of Animation offers personalized tours that never fail to delight. Dedicated mostly to cinematic special effects, this museum gives visitors a peek at original artwork used in movies and comics, as well as an actual Academy Award! After the tour, you can choose to take a workshop to make your own animated movie, making it a great place for a small party!
Staying relevant in the modern world is not easy, but the Berkshires’ museums are proving themselves to be a significant part of that change.