CATA NEWS Spring 2020

Page 1


You’re bringing joy to artists with disabilities in a time of crisis

Spring 2020

Without your support, we can’t provide life-changing programs CATA artists count on. Every May, we bring our community together at our Gala and Annual Performance to celebrate the talents of CATA artists with disabilities. Our artists look forward to their performance all year, singing, dancing, and rehearsing for their moment in the spotlight. YOU are the essential final ingredient to this exciting celebration: You provide the audience for our artists. And your generous Gala donations make our year-round programs possible, plain and simple. With the health and safety of our artists and community as our guiding light, we aren’t able to gather this year in person—but we’re not going to miss the chance to share our artists’ creativity with you. So we’re doing what CATA has always done best: adapting and innovating! That’s why we’ve reinvented our annual May event as CATA’s first-ever, online Virtual Gala & Performance. “Even in difficult times, our mission is clear,” says CATA Executive Director Margaret Keller. “To bring joy to people with disabilities through the arts—and to share their creative spirit with you, our community.” 2

photo by Bill Wright

Why CATA Artists Need YOU at Our Virtual Gala

p Your support is bringing CATA programs now to artists with disabilities like Katrina (BFAIR).

We need you now more than ever. Without your support at our Gala, we simply can’t provide the life-changing programs that hundreds of people with disabilities across our community count on.

“CATA offers people with disabilities connection and opportunity. That’s why we have to keep CATA’s mission going.” “People sometimes think of the arts as an ‘extra,’ an enhancement to basic everyday needs” says Margaret. “But for CATA artists, art is essential to their everyday lives. It’s how they connect to other people. It’s who they are in the world. It’s how they express themselves as unique individuals.” “CATA artists need us,” says CATA Board member and Gala Co-chair Heather Wells Heim. “What CATA offers to people with disabilities is connection and opportunity. This isn’t optional. That’s why we have to keep CATA’s mission going.”

u Your generosity is creating meaningful connections for CATA artists like Andrew when they need it most. We need your support to keep CATA programs going.

“People sometimes think of the arts as an ‘extra.’ But for CATA artists, it’s essential to their everyday lives.” As a small nonprofit, CATA relies on our gala to raise funds to support year-round programs—including the online programs we’re delivering now to CATA artists isolated by the pandemic. “It all comes down to one night,” says Margaret. “Each year, we raise one-third of our annual budget at our Gala. We need your support to sustain programs for CATA artists– to keep them connected, inspired, and fulfilled. Without you, CATA simply can’t happen.”

So what can you expect at CATA’s Virtual Gala? “We’ve got a great night planned!” says Dawn Lane, CATA’s Artistic Director. “Since we can’t bring CATA artists together on stage, we’re working with local filmmaker Ben Hillman to reinvent our live performance as an imaginative, one-of-a-kind evening that will take you behind the scenes and connect you with our artists like never before. It’s a unique chance for you—our audience and supporters—to see the work you make possible every day.” “We’re using every resource we have to bring the talents of our artists straight to your home,” says Margaret. “And of course our lively, paddle-raise auction will be reinvented online for everyone to take part in—in real time. We won’t give too much away, but we promise your heart will be bursting with CATA joy! You won’t want to miss it!”

Please join us for this one-of-a-kind fundraising campaign. We need your support now more than ever.

Your Guide to CATA’s Virtual Gala We’re bringing our joy-filled CATA Gala straight to your home with a special online performance on May 9.

Here’s how you can participate: 1) Visit now to RSVP— it’s free! Enter your email address and we’ll keep you up to date on our Virtual Gala plans. 2) Stay tuned for special updates to get you in the spirit! Starting May 5, we’ll send you exclusive digital teasers and performances by CATA artists. 3) Go to on May 9 at 5pm, to tune in to our online event and participate in our lively virtual paddle-raise auction.

Want to make a difference as soon as possible? Visit to make a gift now. All gifts and pledges

made now will count toward the Virtual Gala goal and will support CATA programs for people with disabilities during the current crisis. Your generosity makes these programs possible right now, when they’re needed most. 3

You’re bringing joy to CATA artists across distance. Now more than ever, your support brings meaningful connection to people with disabilities. The social isolation caused by the coronavirus crisis is falling especially hard on CATA artists and their families, caregivers, and agencies. Many people with disabilities are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 and are now separated from their loved ones. Others have lost a valuable sense of routine and community. In these challenging times, CATA’s mission is even more important. For so many people with disabilities, CATA is a lifeline for connection and self-expression. That’s why 4

we’ve moved quickly to adapt our programs and launch innovative, online workshops serving people with disabilities across our community. YOUR support is making these programs possible. Every gift you send brings creative stimulation and meaningful connection to people with disabilities at a time when they need it most. “CATA workshops are vital to combating isolation for our artists,” says CATA Program Manager Jeff Gagnon. “So we’re working to help CATA artists connect across distance, and engage people with disabilities in stimulating, fun activities. It’s the most powerful way we can support our community in this difficult time.”

t Thanks to your support, people with disabilities are connecting across distance through online CATA programs in music, dance, yoga, and more.

What is social distancing like for CATA artists?

Over the past few weeks, your support has helped us launch interactive online workshops in dance, singing, painting, creative writing, drumming, yoga, and more. From one-on-one workshops for CATA artists in middle and high school, to dance programs streamed live for dozens of artists, your generosity is bringing joy to CATA artists wherever they are.

“When our artists paint, sing, and dance, they feel such joy, and it connects them with who they are and what they are capable of.” “It doesn’t surprise me in the least that CATA is thinking creatively now,” says Debbie Caiola, Director of Berkshire County Arc’s Center for Development, where many residents with disabilities count on CATA workshops for creativity and connection. “These are difficult times for the individuals we serve, and so many of them need uplifting right now. CATA is bringing our folks a sense of normalcy and relief. When our artists paint, sing, and dance, they feel such joy, and it connects them with who they are and what they are capable of.”

Eric Schumann:

“It’s been hard not going to CATA. I hope we can eventually go back. I miss being with everyone. That’s why the online CATA classes have been good. I get to see people.”

“CATA workshops are vital to combating isolation for our artists. So we’re working to help them connect across distance. It’s the most powerful way we can support our community in this difficult time.” “This is an unprecedented time for all of us,” says CATA Artistic Director Dawn Lane, “and especially for our CATA artists. That’s why we have to stay true to our mission. We owe it to our artists and our community.”

We need your support to continue reaching CATA artists in this time of unprecedented need. Please visit and make a gift today.

Cathy Marden (Oakdale Residences):

“I want to come back to CATA. I miss everyone. I miss poetry and juggling. And dancing with Dawn. But singing online with CATA is good! It’s nice to see everyone on the screen.” 5

Why CATA needs our support now Donors Pat and Dennis Hogan know first-hand why CATA matters. Having seen how the arts make a difference in the lives of CATA artists, Pat Hogan— an accomplished artist and teacher, known for her work in watercolor— joined CATA’s faculty in 1997. And soon after, she and her husband Dennis became donors to make sure people with disabilities across our community had access to CATA programs.

“It’s more than just giving back,” says Dennis. “CATA gives us the opportunity to support people with disabilities in finding their creative voice.” “And that’s part of why we also included CATA in our wills,” says Pat. “We want to help make CATA’s work go on. I can’t think of a better use in the community.”

Now during this time of crisis, with CATA artists longing for connection and a creative outlet, that need is more clear than ever. “I see how deeply CATA artists appreciate our programs—how much joy we create for them. Each day I spend at CATA, I come home happy. Anyone who comes to CATA feels it.” “People with disabilities have often been overlooked and underserved,” says Dennis. “CATA connects them with the community.” For Pat and Dennis, making the leap from being CATA fans to donors was easy. 6

p Your support makes it possible for CATA artists like David (BCArc) to find joy in the arts

What is social distancing like for CATA artists?

p Your gift supports creativity and connection now for artists like Roman.

As a Faculty Artist, Pat sees exactly how support like theirs makes a difference for CATA artists. “A few months ago, I was working with a CATA artist named Connie. I could tell when she came in that she wasn’t having a great day. But when she left she was on cloud nine. You can’t walk out of a CATA workshop without a smile on your face.”

Ali Flynn (Riverbrook):

“I miss dancing in the Moving Company with my dance partner Olivia. But I like that I get to see her in the online CATA workshops. I just prefer performing to a live audience.”

“CATA’s mission matches our own: to make the community a better place for everyone.” “CATA makes joy happen,” says Dennis. “Seeing CATA artists stand proudly next to their artwork, or the smile on their face when they’re on stage. We’re lucky to have CATA in our community.” “I wish I could take anyone who doesn’t know CATA— or thinks they know CATA— and bring them to a workshop. Or the gala or an art show. Any place to see the work in action— the connection and happiness we create. To see we’re all in this community together.”

We need your support to keep bringing life-changing programs to CATA artists. Please make a gift today.

Sam Gogel:

“I really miss going to CATA. It’s so fun being there with friends and singing together. I hope we get to go back soon. The CATA class online was AMAZING! I liked seeing everyone on the screen and can’t wait to do it again.”

Thanks to CATA’s Virtual Gala Sponsors! We’re grateful to the following businesses and individuals who are sticking by us as underwriters for our virtual gala. Without your support, our work simply can’t happen. LEAD UNDERWRITERS Allegrone Companies The Feigenbaum Foundation Will Osborne & Mary Pope Osborne The Claudia Perles Family Foundation Emily Rechnitz Leslie & Steve Shatz Dr. Robert C. & Tina Sohn Foundation

p Your support brings joy and connection to CATA artists like Matt (Oak Lodge)

UNDERWRITERS Blue Q • Linda Greenhouse & Eugene Fidell • Greylock Federal Credit Union • Joan & Jim Hunter • Joyce Linde • Kate & Joel Millonzi • Linda O’Connell • Liz & Mark Williams PRODUCERS Sandra Baron & Gregory Diskant • Berkshire Bank • Berkshire Health Systems • Berkshire Magazine • Canyon Ranch • Jami & Ira Grossman • MountainOne • Linda & Frank Russell • The Schnesel Family Fund • Ben & Elaine Silberstein • Danielle & Dan Stern SPONSORS

Stephen Shatz, President Emily Rechnitz, Vice President Heather Wells Heim, Vice President Ira Grossman, Treasurer Elaine Radiss, Secretary

Sandra Baron · Kathryn Burdsall Beverly Hosokawa · David Hosokawa Melissa Lydon · Neal Maxymillian Sharon Mozian · Rich Petrino David Rice · Linda Russell Ben Silberstein · John Whalan



Apella Capital • Bill Wright Photography • Judy & Tim Boomer • Neil & Kathleen Chrisman • Anne G. Fredericks & Marc Fasteau • Heather Wells Heim & Matthew Heim • Ann & Peter Herbst • Jane & Charlie Johnson • Marisa Labozzetta & Martin Wohl • Lee Bank • Mezze • Dr. Sharon Mozian, MD, PC • Elaine Radiss & Rich Petrino • Carol & Michael Riordan • Maria Sirois • Tim & Ana Suffish • Willow

420 Stockbridge Rd, Suite 2 · Gt. Barrington, MA 01230 · · 413-528-5485 ·

Margaret Keller, Executive Director Dawn Lane, Program & Artistic Director Katie Clarke, Administrative Director Jeff Gagnon, Program Manager Kara Smith, Program Coordinator Alexandra Heddinger, Development Director Kate Harding, Development Associate Chris Watford, Communications Manager Natalia Bystrianyk, Administrative Coordinator Bianca Gigli, Studio Assistant Sandra Newman, Founder

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.