Excitement is building for this year’s Pro Vita.
Berkshire’s week-long winter session kicks off on Sunday, March 1, and features more than 50 unique classes, four off-campus trips, and a full schedule of evening events to both entertain and educate.
“I'm really excited about the diversity of courses and field trips being offered this year by our faculty, students, parents, alumni and local entrepreneurs,” said Pro Vita Director Donald Anselmi.
Created over a decade ago to honor Berkshire’s commitment to the school’s motto—Learning—not just for school but for life—the Pro Vita Winter Session provides the community with an opportunity to explore a passion, or try something entirely new.
Beginning Monday morning, students will attend two 2-hour sessions each day on a range of subjects. Class highlights this year include Nola Vita, a course led by New Orleans native Dr. April Burch that will explore the history and culture of "The Big Easy"; The Importance of Manned Spaceflight, an interactive class taught by current Berkshire parent Dan DeMars P’21 which will touch on the history, science, and training required for space exploration; and No Process Here: The Local World of Farm-to-Fork, a class that will introduce students to the local culinary movement in and around Berkshire County, led by Chris Perkins and Heidi Woodworth.
This year's Pro Vita catalog also features a dozen courses led by students themselves.
"My Pro Vita class is all about how to create digital animation with Adobe Photoshop,” said Wakaba Aihara ’22, who will teach Introduction to Digital Animation: Get Imaginations Out Of Your Head! "Not only am I super excited to teach students the knowledge of how to develop original Gifs and animations derived from their drawings, but also how to make their imagination skills get working."
Pro Vita will get underway on Sunday evening with A Cappella Palooza, as Berkshire welcomes singers from local colleges to perform on the Allen Theater stage. This year’s event features three alums: Andrea Cass '17 with the NU Downbeats (Northeastern University), Martin Dimo '19 with the Dear Abbeys (Boston University), and Izzy Maher '18 with the Skidmore Sonneteers (
Off-campus, small groups of students and faculty chaperones will be exploring a coastal village in the Domincan Republic, flying planes in Houston, dogsledding in Minnesota, and visiting a school in Hawaii to learn about place-based initiatives there.
The week-long schedule of events also includes the return of Telluride MountainFilm, which this year will highlight women making an impact on environmental stewardship, as well as the Speaker Series: Bears, Camera, Action!, an event that will feature three alumni returning to Berkshire to share their stories of success in the entertainment industry in Hollywood.
"The evening events are always the icing on the cake for the magical inspiration that comes from everything happening during Pro Vita week, both in and outside of the classroom,” said Anselmi.