Museum Rental Program Policy

Date confirmation, Payment of Fees and Cancellation Policy

  • Prospective clients must submit a Berkshire Museum Facility Rental Application.
  • Prior to the submission of a Berkshire Museum Facility Rental Application and receipt of a Calendar Booking Fee ($250. For Ellen Crane Memorial Room and Museum Theater / $50. for Classrooms) a tentative date may be held for seven days. This $250 / $50 fee is non-refundable.
  • After event approval, a contract and estimated invoice will be issued.
  • The event date will be confirmed upon receipt of a signed contract and a non-refundable deposit of 1/3 of the estimated invoice within 10 days from the date of the contract. Failure to meet this deadline will result in the removal of the tentative date from the Museum’s calendar and forfeiture of the Calendar Booking Fee.
  • An additional 1/3 deposit will be due no later than 60 days prior to the event.
  • Final payment is due within 30 days of the event date.
  • Should a change in plans be necessary due to unforeseen emergencies, the $250 / $50 Calendar Booking Fee and deposits may be applied to a new date within one year pending availability.
  • Cancellations made by the client after the contract has been signed will require the forfeiture of the Calendar Booking Fee and deposits paid.

Note: A 30% discount will be granted to not-for-profit institutions on facility rental fees only.

Regulations for use of Facilities

The Berkshire Museum is foremost a natural history and art Museum and the following policies are guided by the Museum’s mission, the need to ensure the safety of its collections and exhibits,
care of the building and its high standards of hospitality. Therefore, its facilities are made available under very specific conditions.

The event host must be a Museum member at the minimum level of $250 ($100 for not-for-profit organizations).

The Museum may be used for cocktail receptions, luncheons, dinners, meetings, seminars, presentations, wedding ceremonies and wedding receptions and corporate events.

The Museum may not be used for fund-raising or benefit purposes for any organization other than the Berkshire Museum. This includes soliciting guests beforehand or afterward to subsidize the event.

The not-for-profit status of the Museum prevents the rental of Museum facilities by political, religious or other advocacy groups.

The Museum reserves the right to refuse rentals on the basis of availability, safety or inappropriateness of the proposed event as it pertains to the Museum’s mission and standards of quality as determined by Museum representatives.

Use of the Museum’s name

In all press releases, public service announcements and printed materials, the Berkshire Museum
must be listed as such.

The event host should be specific in referring to the Museum’s address and the location of the event within the Museum (i.e. the Theater, Ellen Crane Memorial Room, etc.)

All press releases and printed materials related to the event must receive approval from the Museum’s Director of Communications and the Special Events Coordinator.

The client is not to promote the event as a Museum-sponsored event.


Events will be scheduled contingent upon availability. The Museum is open daily from 10am until 5pm Monday through Saturday and 12 noon to 5pm on Sunday.

All after hour events may be scheduled with at least 1 month’s advance notice.


During Museum hours, the Museum’s Theater, Ellen Crane Memorial Room and classrooms are yours exclusively and will be closed to all other Museum visitors. All common areas will be available to all other Museum visitors.


One person from the event hosts’ party must be identified as the person in charge and must be present at the event from beginning to end. The event host shall conduct the event in an orderly manner in full compliance with all acceptable laws, ordinances and regulations and in accordance with all policies established by the Museum.

The Museum reserves the right to conclude any event at any time due to inappropriate or undesirable behavior by the event host or guests as determined by Museum Staff. Such closure will result in the forfeiture of all monies paid to the Museum by the client.

Museum Staff

Museum staff is required at all events. Their primary function is to assist the event host and guests, to ensure their safety and the successful completion of the event. Their interpretation of Museum policy must be accepted and adhered to by the event host and guests. Museum Staff will be present from event set up through clean up.


Deliveries may be made only on the event date during designated hours so as not to conflict with Museum activities and operations. All deliveries must be scheduled with the Special Event Coordinator’s assistance.

Vendors must be prepared to deliver rental items to the Museum’s second floor if necessary and should arrive with the necessary staff and equipment (hand trucks, dollies and carts) to accomplish this.

Museum Staff will not be responsible for the movement of rental items or other event related items upon delivery or pick-up.


All plans for décor are subject to approval and are limited to the designated event spaces. Nothing may be affixed to any interior or exterior surface of the Museum. No signage or banners may be placed on Museum grounds. (This includes Wally the Dinosaur who may not be altered or dressed in any manner.)

  • No open flames are permitted anywhere in the Museum. LED battery operated candles are an acceptable alternative.
  • All decorations must be fireproof.
  • No wild flowers or plants may be used within the Museum.
  • No flowers, plants or decorations may be added to the fireplace mantle or fountain in the Ellen Crane Memorial Room.
  • Decorations must be removed immediately following the event’s conclusion.
  • The throwing of rice, confetti or birdseed is not permitted within the Museum or on its grounds.
  • Artwork and exhibits in the galleries and the Ellen Crane Memorial Room are subject to change at any time without notice.

Museum Furnishings

Furniture in the Ellen Crane Memorial Room will remain. It may be repositioned but not removed from the room. Protective pads for the Crane Table and smaller wooden table will be provided so that these may be used for serving tables or bars. The small console tables may not be used for food or drink.

Music / Entertainment

When a band or amplified music is planned, sound levels will be kept at an acceptable level as determined by Museum Staff. Power needs for amplified music must be communicated to the Special Events Coordinator no less than two weeks prior to the event in order to insure that sufficient power is available.

All entertainment is subject to approval by the Special Events Coordinator.


Dancing may only take place in the Ellen Crane Memorial Room.


Children are always welcome at the Berkshire Museum but should be attended by an adult at all times.


Smoking is not permitted in the Museum or on its grounds.

Alcoholic Beverages

In order to ensure the safety of its collection, exhibits and care of the building, the Berkshire Museum does not allow red wine to be served without special permission. This allowance will be determined on a case by case basis.

One individual representing the event host will regulate the consumption of alcoholic beverages by all guests attending the event.

The Berkshire Museum reserves the right to refuse alcohol to any individual or group without notice or to remove from the premises anyone who appears to be inebriated or behaving in an inappropriate or destructive manner.

The event host acknowledges and understands the Berkshire Museum is not licensed for the sale of alcoholic beverages.

The event host is advised that he/she or his/her caterer must comply with all applicable laws and liquor regulations and acquire all permits required by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or other government agencies. In this regard, the event host is required to indemnify, protect and hold harmless the Berkshire Museum and its respective officers, agents and employees from and against any and all losses, costs, claims, demands and expenses arising out of the event host’s use of the Berkshire Museum’s facilities resulting from the provision of alcoholic beverages at the event.

All caterers are responsible for providing a licensed bartender (TIPS Safe Certified) for those events where alcoholic beverages are served.

All caterers are responsible for obtaining a one-day special event liquor license for those events where alcohol is served. Contact the City of Pittsfield Licensing Board, 70 Allen Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201 (413) 499-9363 – Mon. – Fri. from 8:30am – 4:00pm.

Bartenders and all personnel serving alcoholic beverages are advised to be particularly careful not to serve alcohol to a minor (anyone under 21 years of age) or anyone showing signs of inebriation. Such persons should be advised that they are subject to Massachusetts law on such charges.

Guests must be advised that alcoholic beverages may not be brought onto or removed from the premises.

Hold Harmless Policy

In order to be considered for use of the Berkshire Museum facilities, the event host must agree to assume financial liability for any damage to or loss of objects or property belonging to the Museum and for any personal injury incurred as a result of such use. Toward that end, you, at your expense, agree to obtain insurance with a company authorized to do business in Massachusetts and satisfactory to the Berkshire Museum, against claims for bodily injury or property damage under a policy of general public liability insurance in an amount not less than $1,000,000 for bodily injury and $1,000,000 for property damage.*

Such policy shall include host liquor liability coverage if liquor is served and shall insure you and shall name The Berkshire Museum, its officers, trustees, employees, and agents as additional insured.

You shall furnish the Museum with a certificate of such insurance at least 14 days prior to the date of your event.

*If your current insurance limits are not adequate, contact your insurance agent to temporarily increase your coverage for the day of your event.

Caterer’s Operating Procedures

Caterers must be approved by the Museum’s Special Events Coordinator prior to the event.

A catering supervisor must remain with his/her staff throughout the event, including set-up, break down and clean-up.

Caterers should exercise caution when bringing materials into the Museum. Specifically, no tables, boxes, or other equipment is to be placed against walls or objects.

Catering personnel may only use areas specified by the Museum.

Caterers will supply tables, chairs, linens, glassware, china and other items required to properly service the event.

No museum furnishings may be moved without approval and once moved must be returned to their original locations.

No materials, objects or equipment belonging to the Museum may be used without the approval of Museum Staff.

Caterers must remove everything brought onto the premises including trash, debris, bottles and unused bags of ice immediately following the conclusion of the event. The Museum’s dumpster may be used by caterers for a fee of $100 payable prior to the event.

Unless prior permission has been granted, all materials, objects and equipment must be removed from the Museum immediately following the conclusion of the event.

At the conclusion of the event, the rooms are to be returned to their original order. Kitchen and work area floors will be broom swept, mopped, or vacuumed as needed.

The cost of repairing lost or damaged equipment attributed to the caterer will be billed to the event host.

Berkshire Museum Rental Program Fee Structure

  • All those wishing to entertain at the Berkshire Museum must be current Museum Members at the $250 level or above.
  • IRS recognized not-for-profit organizations must be current group members at the $100 level or above.
  • The Museum is not available to organizations for fundraising events.
  • Rentals may be scheduled from 8am – 10pm unless prior approval has been granted for extended hours.

Ellen Crane Memorial Room – (Approximately 40 x 60 = 2400 square feet)

Berkshire County’s only Art Deco Special Events venue can accommodate up to 150 guests for a seated dinner or up to 250 guests for a cocktail reception. Food and drinks must be confined to the Ellen Crane Memorial Room.

  • $250. / event Calendar Booking Fee
  • $250. / hr. Minimum of three hours (includes ½ hour for set-up and ½ hour for break-down)
  • $100. / hr. Security – before 10 am and after 5pm
  • $100. Housekeeping Fee

Museum Galleries – visit the Museum’s exhibition galleries and enjoy its permanent collection and special exhibitions

  • $100. / hr. / gallery
  • Minimum of 2 hours. Additional Security costs may be required.
  • Gallery Tours, led by a Museum professional may be arranged for an additional fee.

Berkshire Museum Theater – Newly updated with state-of-the-art digital broadcasting capabilities. Maximum capacity = 250 guests. No food or drinks permitted in the Theater.

  • $250. / event Calendar Booking Fee
  • $500. / use Does not include rehearsal time
  • $150. / hr. Rehearsal time
  • $250. / use Piano rental and tuning fee
  • 20% / ticket per ticket surcharge if sold through the Berkshire Museum
  • $100. / hr. Security
  • $100. Housekeeping Fee

Fees for the Museum Theater’s projection booth and its equipment will be determined on a case by case basis.

When a power point presentation is required, The Berkshire Museum asks that the event host provides the necessary lap top and projector.

Classrooms (2) – Maximum capacity = 25 / room. Food and drinks permitted.

  • $50. / event Calendar Booking Fee
  • $100. / use Minimum of 3 hours (includes ½ hour for set-up and ½ hour for break-down)
  • $50. / hr. Security – before 10 am and after 5pm
  • $50. / use Housekeeping Fee

Concessions / Cash Bars – Concessions and cash bars may be operated by the event host while at the Berkshire Museum and are subject to one of the following charges:

  • $200. / event flat fee for concessions / cash bars operated by event host
  • 20% of total concession / cash bar sales

Please note that the Museum’s Rental information / policies / fees may change without notice.

Thank you for considering the Berkshire Museum a suitable venue for your special event. We are committed to providing you and your guests with the highest standards of hospitality.

Click here to download the Museum Rental Program Policy (PDF)

Click here to download the facility rental application (PDF)

Please direct further inquiries to:

Allegra Chin
Development Associate
Berkshire Museum
39 South Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
413 443 7171 ext. 319
[email protected]