MASS MoCA Winter Spring

Upcoming Exhibitions and Performances.

By: - Dec 14, 2015

MASS MoCA presents a jam-packed season of live music, documentary film, comedy, a highly anticipated artist talk, boundary-breaking dance, and a host of high-profile residencies culminating in first-time work-in-progress performances. Five community free days for North Adams residents take place on the fourth day of each month through May, and the museum’s annual Free Day (open to all visitors, kids especially) returns on January 30. Brooklyn-based band The National lights up Joe’s Field live in concert on June 11.
In the Galleries
Anthropologist-turned-artist Richard Nonas fills MASS MoCA’s signature Building 5 Gallery with an ambitious exhibition of quietly powerful, floor-bound sculpture on February 13. For five decades, Nonas has created work whose terse, reduced vocabulary belies its capacity to fundamentally alter our sense of landscape and architecture, and at MASS MoCA, he presents both a survey of existing sculpture and a major new site-specific installation. Neo-pop rising star Alex Da Corte explores themes of love, family, death, and sex when he transforms the museum’s second floor gallery with carpet, tile, brightly painted walls, neon lighting, and a colorful mashup of consumer objects, electrifying videos, and new sculpture on April 16. Sarah Crowner makes her solo museum debut on April 16 in an exhibition of her colorful, patterned works — including sewn paintings, benches, and a monumental tile mural — that mine the legacy of abstraction in both the fine and applied arts. The show’s centerpiece functions as a stage, offering visitors a chance to share the spotlight. On April 16, group exhibition The Space Between examines overlooked transitional spaces on, around, and outside the museum campus, staging art in these “in-between” areas to explore memory, history, and transformation.
On April 12, artist Nick Cave shares his ideas for Until, his most ambitious exhibition to date, in a not-to-be-missed dialogue with curator Denise Markonish. Until will transform MASS MoCA’s largest gallery into a dazzling, socially-relevant, immersive environment, opening October 2016.
MASS MoCA kicks off its summer concert series on June 11 when alt-rock quintet The National takes Joe’s Field. The National, lauded critically and commercially for its “perfect track record” (The Independent) of acclaimed albums and live performances, brings over 15 years of beloved hits to MASS MoCA’s largest venue. The outdoor performance (which takes place on the heels of the spring 2016 release of the band’s much-anticipated Grateful Dead tribute album) is the group’s only 2016 headline concert in the Northeast.

World music icon Angelique Kidjo brings her beautiful lyrical phrasing and passion for social justice to the Hunter Center on February 13. NPR Music raves, “The power of Kidjo’s unflappable voice, the range of her emotional expression, the stellar, genre-bending musicians who back her and the infectious, activist energy that courses through her songs all transcend any native tongue.”

Film with Live Music
Wilco’s Mikael Jorgensen returns to team up with art historian and curator James Merle Thomas (his partner in intergalactic music project Quindar), performer and composer Nick Hallett, and guitarist William Tyler, combining Quindar’s otherworldly sonic waves, folk fingerpicking, and Fred Engelberg film in a film with live music presentation on March 19.

On March 5, Ken Winokur of Alloy Orchestra provides a live soundtrack to Ken Brown’s Psychedelic Cinema, an epic mashup of Super 8 films from the 60s, which audiences will recognize from Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone’s video shows.

Up in the Club
MASS MoCA’s more intimate shows in its Club B10 begin on January 23 with Birds of Chicago, a groovy, soulful Americana collective that left crowds breathless at the 2015 FreshGrass Festival. On February 20, sublime vocalist Jason Walker promises an affecting performance of passionate, gospel-infused soul. Rising star and Grammy nominee Ruby Amanfu gets hearts racing with transcendent soul-rock on April 2. Relive Ethiopia’s golden era of afro-pop when the iconic Debo Band gets audiences grooving on April 16. Fierce drummer Allison Miller and her smokin’ band bring propulsive rhythm and melody in Boom Tic Boom! on May 7. On January 30, audiences will recognize stand-up comedian Chris Gethard from turns on Louie, Broad City, The Office, and Parks and Recreation, as well as his own notoriously wild comedy show.
MASS MoCA knows comedy, and this season is no exception. Following Chris Gethard’s January appearance, the inaugural High Mud Comedy Festival takes place on March 11 and 12 in a jam-packed weekend of stand-up and funny film featuring the best and brightest in the industry, as well as a bevy of regional rising stars. This might be the start of something big.
Works-in-Progress: Something for Everyone
“See it here first” when MASS MoCA hosts an impressive lineup of works-in-progress this spring. All season long, a top-notch assembly of premiere musicians, filmmakers, dancers, and artists of all kinds convene and collaborate at the museum to develop never-before-seen masterpieces that debut to MASS MoCA’s audiences in workshop performances.
On February 27, the stars align when theater-maker Rinde Eckert, Oceanic Verses composer Paola Prestini, director Julian Crouch, instrument-maker Mark Stewart, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and producer Beth Morrison collaborate on the extraordinary production The Aging Magician, which tells the peculiar and delightful story of an aging man’s journey through Coney Island. Hold on to your hat on April 9 when the outrageous theater artist Taylor Mac presents the latest installment of his wildly popular performance series, A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, in a 6-hour performance covering music from 1836 through 1896. On January 16, audiences embark on a multi-sensory journey during Daniel Wohl: Holographic, in which composer Wohl’s dreamlike music is synched in real time with lush visuals, conjuring hidden sonic landscapes. On March 26, cellist Jeffrey Zeigler, composer and percussionist Andy Akiho, and poet Roger Bonair-Agard present M is Black Enough, a thought-provoking program of spoken word and music. On May 19 and 20, audience members get earbuds to use with their cell phones, and follow instructions to uncover a choreographed journey through MASS MoCA in Projet Situ: The Round.
Dance gets plenty of attention this season when MASS MoCA and Jacob’s Pillow Dance present two cutting-edge work-in-progress events. On February 10, 12, and 13, see the galleries in a new light when Big Dance Theater serves up an interactive, performance-based museum audio tour created by Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar that changes how we experience a museum. On April 23, beloved NYC choreographer Zvi Gotheiner reworks Kerouac’s classic in ZviDance: On the Road, a multimedia piece that grapples with the enduring importance of 1960s social rebellion.
Documentary Film Series
Young love; forbidden love; love of dog; love of country: explore the many sides of the human heart in the four films that comprise our documentary series, Love is Complicated. In Laurie Anderson’s Heart of a Dog (January 21), Above and Beyond (February 11), Love and Marriage in Kabul (March 10), and How to Dance in Ohio (April 21), love is complicated, no matter how you look at it.
For Families
Go behind the scenes during MASS MoCA’s annual Free Day on January 30, when the museum opens its doors to welcome all visitors, free of charge. Enjoy live elevator music, pop-up performances, and gallery tours, and step up to Kidspace’s ArtBar for some off-the-walls art-making fun. On February 15, photographer Dana Hoey, whose work, which lets viewers step into the action of a kickboxing ring, is now on view in Artists’ Choice: An Expanded Field of Photography, teams up with professional fighters Joe Falanga and Alex Stagi to present a kickboxing and cell phone photography workshop for ages 11 and up. On April 29, celebrate creativity at the 6th annual Teen Invitational, which features the work of students and teachers from seven North Berkshire high schools.
MASS MoCA continues its successful “Free on the 4s” program through the spring, throwing open the museum doors free of charge to its neighbors in North Adams on the fourth of the month through May 2016. 01247 residents can present an official ID or utility bill with a current address to get free gallery admission on the 4th of January, February, March, April, and May. 
Summer Art Camps
Don’t miss out: members can pre-register for summer Art Ninjas Camps (August 8 – September 2, 2016) through January 31; public registration begins February 1.
Buy Now, Save Money
MASS MoCA discounts tickets 25 percent for spring 2016 performances when purchased by January 4. Discounts do not include festivals, camps, tickets to The National, or $5 member tickets. Discounts do not combine.
Tickets for all events are available through the MASS MoCA box office located on Marshall Street in North Adams, open 11am to 5pm every day except Tuesdays through spring 2016. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 x1 during box office hours or purchased online at All events are held rain or shine.

The National
Onsale and Presale ticket info to be announced shortly. Check for updates.  
Season at a Glance





January 16


Daniel Wohl: Holographic

Multimedia + Music

January 21


Laurie Anderson’s Heart of a Dog

Documentary Film

January 23


Birds of Chicago

Bluesy Soul

January 30


Free Day

For Families

January 30


Chris Gethard


February 10, 12, & 13

12pm and 3pm each day

Big Dance Theater with Jacob’s Pillow Dance

Gallery Performance

February 11


Above and Beyond

Documentary Film

February 13


Richard Nonas

Exhibition Opening Reception

February 13


Angelique Kidjo

World Music

February 15


Kickboxing and Cell Phone Photography Workshop

Art Meets Sports

February 20


Jason Walker

R&B-Infused Music

February 27


The Aging Magician

Music + Theater + Video + Puppetry

March 5


Psychedelic Cinema

Film with Live Music

March 10


Love and Marriage in Kabul

Documentary Film

March 11-12

Check the Web.

The High Mud Comedy Festival

Two-Day Festival

March 19


William Tyler
Nick Hallett

Film + Live Music

March 26


M is Black Enough

Music + Spoken Word

April 2


Ruby Amanfu

Live Music

April 9


Taylor Mac

Strange Music History

April 12


Nick Cave

Artist Talk

April 16


Alex Da Corte: Free Roses
Sarah Crowner: Beetle in the Leaves
The Space Between

Exhibition Opening Reception

April 16


Debo Band

Live Music

April 21


How to Dance in Ohio

Documentary Film

April 23


ZviDance: On the Road with Jacob’s Pillow Dance

Multimedia Dance

May 7


Boom Tic Boom!

Live Music

May 19 & 20

Check the Web.

Projet Situ: The Round

Theater Meets Acoustiguide

June 11


The National

Outdoor Concert