dino on poets seat.square.bandcamp
Jonathan Mirin introducing fossils to 60 1st graders at Deerfield Elementary
Jonathan Mirin introducing fossils to 60 1st graders at Deerfield Elementary
Student preparing her artwork during a fossil visit
Student preparing her artwork during a fossil visit

Fossil Visits

In 2016, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association asked Piti Theatre Company to collaborate on the creation of the Great Greenfield DinoFest which has become a popular annual event in Greenfield, MA. The Festival celebrates our local dinosaur history as presented on PVMA's award winning educational website: dinotracksdiscovery.org

Piti is a touring troupe based in Shelburne Falls who has held many successful residencies and performances in elementary schools around New England. One school-based activity that is now available all year long is a "fossil visit." Piti's teaching artists visit one or more classes with fossils from PVMA's collection and lead an interactive 45 minute session that provides some of the context for the fossils which the students are allowed to examine.

Topics covered include:

  • Why is the Pioneer Valley an ideal place for discovering fossils?
  • Who is Dexter Marsh? How did he become a "citizen scientist" and contribute to the birth of paleontology?
  • How are fossils formed?
  • How did the dinosaurs become extinct?

Taking extinction as a theme, Piti's teaching artists will lead a brainstorming / creativity exercise circling around questions like:

If you were going to make a drawing/painting/poem that inspires the viewer to take care of our earth, what would you make, draw, paint, create . .  .?

Related questions include:

What animals and plants are facing extinction now?

What are some of the causes?

What are people trying to do about it?

What can we do about it?

How can art and creativity help?

Teachers are invited to be full participants and collaborators in the process. Student art could then be hung in school or the classroom and/or downtown Greenfield during the Festival and participating student artists will be applauded at DinoFest.

Teacher Reference: Elizabeth Kolbert's Pulitzer Prize winner The Sixth Extinction which compares our current period of extinction with those from the past, including the dinosaurs.

The Sixth Extinction on Goodreads

from dinotracksdiscovery.org

from dinotracksdiscovery.org

Festival Day: October 10, 2020

in downtown Greenfield

DinoFest, presented by Piti Theatre and Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, is a celebratory day of performances, interactive exhibits and activities for children, dino films with live music and more starting at 9:30 am at the Second Congregational Church on the Town Common! . . . Stay tuned for this year's schedule of events!

Thank You DinoFest Sponsors!





Better World Auto Club

Greenfield Savings Bank

Katalyst Kombucha

Molly Cantor Pottery

Real Pickles

Tire Warehouse


Bear Meadow Apiary

Pro-Tech Automotive

Natural Roots Farm

Trolley Stop Antiques

WTE Recycling



This program  is supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council's Community Investement Portfolio Projects Program. The original DinoFest was also supported by the Greenfield Cultural Council.

PrintThe original DinoFest was also funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Special Thanks to the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce and Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association

Contact us about Sponsorship and Raffle Prize Donation Opportunities!

Want to volunteer?

info"at"ptco.org or 413-625-6569