CATA Summer Newsletter 2022

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Creativity comes alive at

CATA! See how YOU are making a difference for CATA artists Summer 2022 Don’t miss the amazing work of CATA artists like Sam (above) in our Annual Art Show!

YOUR Gala Support is fueling AMAZING programs for CATA artists!

is year for the very rst time, we hosted our joyous Gala and Annual Performance both in-person and online. We knew we had an amazing event to share with the community—with stunning performances by CATA artists. But we needed YOU, our audience and supporters, to make it a success. And WOW, did you ever!

e result? A CATA event unlike any other. With your support fueling our every move, CATA artists and faculty worked with lmmaker Ben Hillman to create an unforgettable lm showcasing the talents of artists with disabilities. Record numbers of supporters joined us to take a stand for inclusion and support CATA artists.

“CATA supporters stepped forward and opened their hearts to make a HUGE difference for CATA artists,” says Margaret Keller, Executive Director. Your generosity is keeping our programs going strong, helping us innovate so we can respond to the needs of 800 people with disabilities!”

 CATA actors from Riverbrook Residence performed in our Gala film—alongside more than 75 artists with disabilities from across the Berkshires. Watch it again at!

Here’s what YOU are making happen now for CATA artists:

YOUR DONATIONS ARE LAUNCHING A NEW SERIES OF SUMMER ARTS WORKSHOPS for people with disabilities in acting, dance, collage and mask-making. Each of these workshops is being provided completely free of charge, thanks to you.

YOU ARE BRINGING MORE SUMMER SCHOOL PROGRAMS THAN EVER BEFORE to children and teens with disabilities in local public schools.

YOU ARE SUPPORTING OUR ANNUAL ART SHOW I AM A PART OF ART, where 150 artists with disabilities have their artwork professionally matted, framed, and hung at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts and Clark Art Institute. Now the community has the chance to enjoy their incredible work!

See the CATA film that everyone is raving about!

“One of the most upbeat and uplifting performances I have seen in a LONG time. CATA ROCKS!!”

There’s still time to watch our electrifying new CATA film “And…” You’ll be blown away by CATA artistry!

Haven’t seen it yet? Visit our website and get ready for the best 40-minutes of your day, with dazzling performances by artists with disabilities—plus unforgettable behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with CATA artists.

Already watched and loved it? Help us spread the word by sharing with friends and family. Wouldn’t it be awesome if as many people as possible could see the talents of CATA artists?

HOW TO WATCH: Visit, click PLAY, and get ready to have your heart blown WIDE open!

Creativity INTHE Classroom!

You’re giving young students with disabilities an outlet for their talents

It’s Tuesday at Pittsfield High School. Students in the special education classroom are excited for their favorite part of the week. CATA faculty Olivia Martin arrives and everyone smiles—moving together in a fun dance warm-up. “It’s CATA time!”

For hundreds of students with disabilities, CATA is a vital part of their school curriculum. Children and teens from Great Barrington to Dalton to Pitts eld to North Adams count on CATA as a way to express themselves and build essential life skills.

“RIGHT NOW, DEMAND FOR CATA IS AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH—especially in the schools,” says Je Gagnon, CATA Co-Program Director. “Students in special education and alternative learning programs are craving creative outlets a er one of the most challenging times in their lives.”

“CATA classes in dance, drumming, singing, yoga, and painting are nurturing students’ mental health and well-being,” adds Je .

In the last few years, CATA’s school programs have expanded dramatically to meet the growing needs of students. is year, CATA reached over 300 students in local elementary, middle, and high schools across nine school districts.

CATA artists let their creativity fly in dance, painting, u drumming, and more. You make CATA happen!


t Students at Pittsfield High School—and across the community—are finding joy through CATA, thanks to you!

“WE WORK WITH EACH CLASSROOM to tailor programs to the interests and goals of the students,” says Je . “CATA faculty engage every student and help them reach their potential: In dance, students work on balance and coordination. In yoga, students relieve stress and anxiety. In painting and drawing, students build dexterity. And in music, students develop rhythm and build communication skills.”

“CATA dance classes have signi cantly increased the mobility of my students,” says Erin Landquist, a special education teacher at Pitts eld High School. “CATA gives them something fun and enjoyable to look forward to. I really see the impact on their social and emotional learning.”

WHEN SCHOOL IS OUT FOR THE SUMMER, CATA DOESN’T STOP. is summer, thanks to the support of donors like you, 150 students with disabilities in summer programs at local public schools will express themselves in dance, painting, yoga and more.

“Teachers have shared that students are eager to come to school on ‘CATA days,’ ” says Je , “so we’re working to bring fun and creative experiences to students all summer long.”

“ART IS FOR EVERYBODY,” says Daniel Sperrazza, Special Education instructor and Accountability Coordinator at Pitts eld High School. “ e joy in my student’s faces when they’re participating in CATA is a daily reminder of why I got into this eld. To see this is amazing.”

“CATA OFFERS SUCH GREAT EXPERIENCES FOR OUR STUDENTS,” says Ellie Rizzo, Special Education teacher at W.E.B. Du Bois Regional Middle School. “It’s amazing to see the many, many smiles during and a er CATA workshops. We value our partnership!”

Your support makes CATA’s programs in the schools possible. THANK YOU!

“CATA faculty know how to meet students where they are—to challenge them, support them, and celebrate them,” says Kara Keegan, special education teacher at Wahconah Regional High School.

Because of you, students are tapping into their talents u and building life skills in powerful arts classes.

CATA Supporters Shawn and Travis Mille: “When You Give to CATA, the Entire Community Benefits”

Shawn and Travis Mille have seen CATA’s impact rst-hand. Shawn’s brother Brent is a CATA artist who has a passion for painting. When his work was featured at the Clark Art Institute in CATA’s Annual Art Show last year, Shawn and Travis saw the joy and pride it brought to him and to hundreds of CATA artists. ey knew they wanted to get involved.

“CATA MATTERS BECAUSE it gives people with disabilities an opportunity for artistic expression,” says Shawn. “CATA allows them to be who they are.”

“Brent expresses who he is through collage and painting,” adds Travis. “We get to know him a little bit better through his artwork.”

Seeing CATA’s work up close makes Shawn and Travis proud to be donors.


Shawn and Travis are glad to know that their support is going a long way to make a di erence for CATA artists.

“When we make a donation to CATA, it’s going to purchase supplies, to pay the faculty artists, and to support the programs,” says Travis. “It’s really great knowing that our gi is going directly to the source.”

“CATA lets people with disabilities

be who they are.”

“WE’VE BEEN TALKING UP CATA ever since getting involved!” say Shawn and Travis. “We really encourage everyone to learn more about what CATA is doing in the community and to support their work.”

For Shawn and Travis, it’s not just people with disabilities who bene t from CATA.

“THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY BENEFITS because we get beautiful dancing, paintings, drumming, and more. It’s a win-win. You cannot lose with CATA.”

CATA programs are only possible because of the generosity of people like you. Please make a gift today.


What do CATA artists LOVE about sharing their artwork?

CATA’s Annual Art Show I Am a Part of Art is now open at the Clark Art Institute and the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts. Here’s what CATA artists love about sharing their talents!

PS: Don’t miss all the exhibit details on the back of this newsletter!

am an artist! I’m proud of my art.” Corinne (BFAIR)
CATA I get to express how I feel and what I can do.” - Roman
love painting, and I love CATA!
feel happy, I’m doing things my way.” Connie (BCArc)

“I Am a Part of Art” CATA



CATA artist

VisitCATA’s Annual Art Show:

LICHTENSTEIN Center for the Arts

Exhibit Celebration:


1 -


Lunder Center at Stone Hill

Meet the Artists & Art-Making:

20 / 1-4pm



2 -

a Part of







Emily Rechnitz,



Sandra Baron

Beverly Hosokawa







Margaret Keller, Executive Director

Katie Clarke, Administrative Director

David Dashiell, Administrative Associate

Jeff Gagnon,

Kara Smith,



Norma Stobbe, Program

Alexandra Heddinger, Development Director

Kate Harding, Development

Chris Watford,


Eleanor Stewart, Studio Workshop

Sandra Newman, Founder

Heather Wells Heim, President
Mozian, Vice President
Vice President
Grossman, Treasurer
Rice, Secretary
· Liz Costley
· Sarah Hunter
Morin · Rich Petrino
Radiss · Carol Riordan
Russell · Stephen Shatz
Sheridan · Ben Silberstein
420 Stockbridge Rd, Suite 2 Great Barrington, MA 01230 (413) 528-5485 ·
has a new address! Please update your records.
Annual Art Show
the work of CATA artists in our biggest exhibit of the year—and join us to celebrate the artists at our fun and free events! PS: Buy beautiful art and support CATA artists!
piece in our Annual Art Show is available for sale—and your purchase provides a commission to the artist. These stunning works sell quickly, so don’t wait!
July 13 / 5-7pm / FREE!
28, 2022 (Pittsfield, MA)
Sept 5, 2022 (Williamstown, MA)
Art” is funded by Berkshire Life Charitable Foundation, October
Financial Advisors, Berkshire Magazine, Frames
Cultural Council—and supporters like you!
Tre (BFAIR) shows off his painting. u See it now in our Annual Art Show! Rory Adams “Untitled” (2022)