CATA Spring News (2023)

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It’s SHOWTIME! We need YOU to make it happen...

Artists like Dan are ready for the spotlight in CATA’s Annual Performance!


It’s SHOWTIME for CATA artists...

“This is big, everybody! We’re about to be on stage!” Roman is rehearsing with his fellow CATA artists. Soon, they’ll take their places on stage for their moment in the spotlight—and you can help cheer them on!

“All year, CATA artists have been learning lines and writing song lyrics, practicing juggling tosses and trying out new dance steps,” says Margaret Keller, CATA Executive Director. “Now, they’re taking the stage for our Gala & Annual Performance to share their talents with YOU, our community!”

“This is CATA’s biggest moment of the year—and you are the essential, final ingredient!,” says Heather Wells Heim, CATA Board Chair. “You provide the audience— and your support at our Gala makes our year-round programs possible.”

As a small nonprofit, CATA relies on funds raised at our gala to keep our work going. One-third of our budget comes from this one event.

“CATA’s gala is the cultural highlight of our year,” say Gala Co-Chairs Mitch and Caitlin Nash. “Witnessing CATA artists performing on stage—empowered and expressing themselves—is magical. We support CATA because everyone should be on equal footing in the world.”

“CATA provides a pathway to creativity,” say Co-Chairs Eva and Kip Sheridan. “They have the formula for turning your donations into BIG impact. Donors at every level make

every CATA’s work possible.” And

Your generosity supports year-round programs and makes an impact for so many people: A classroom of children with disabilities will express themselves through juggling and theater games. A teenager with a developmental disability will discover her love of dance. And adults with brain injuries will give voice to their emotions in a songwriting class.


And YOU are the final ingredient!

At the heart of our gala weekend is a one-ofa-kind performance by CATA artists in dance, juggling, acting, drumming, and much more.

“This year’s show Finding New Rhythms explores all of the rhythms that make up our vibrant community,” says Kelly Galvin, CATA Program and Annual Performance Director. “CATA artists will take the audience on a powerful, shared journey—and find a new rhythm together by the show’s end.”

Just 2 chances to see Finding New Rhythms

CATA’s Gala & Annual Performance!

at Shakespeare & Company’s Tina Packer Playhouse 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, MA

GALA EVENING: Saturday, May 13 @ 5pm

A dazzling performance by CATA artists—plus cocktails, dinner, and dancing! Call CATA at (413) 528-5485 or visit for tickets.

“After three years of virtual and film performances, CATA artists are thrilled to be back on stage and sharing their talents for a live audience,” says Margaret Keller. “It’s an unforgettable show that will stay with you long after the final bows.”

When the curtain goes up on May 13 and 14, we’re counting on YOU to be cheering in the audience! Join us and get ready to have your heart blown wide open!

MATINEE PERFORMANCE: Sunday, May 14 @ 1pm

Tickets start at just $5 (Pay-What-You-Will pricing). Buy tickets at or call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353.

Dance Juggling Drumming
Shakespeare and more!

“I can dance away my shyness!”

You’re giving CATA artists an outlet for their talents

A joyful sound fills the halls at Berkshire County Arc’s Center for Development—a day program for adults with disabilities. CATA artists are gathered in a circle, sharing their love of music in a CATA drumming workshop. Myles beams as he keeps the beat on the dun-dun drum. Connie sings along, her voice soaring with the group.

With your support, hundreds of children, teens, and adults with disabilities are tapping into their talents and building community in vibrant arts programs. And right now, the demand for CATA is greater than ever.

“Artists with disabilities, caregivers, and our program partners are asking for more CATA than ever before,” says Jeff Gagnon, Program Director.

“We’re working closely with our community to learn about challenges they’re facing and programs they’re craving—then tailoring our workshops to meet their needs.” That includes new pilot programs and adaptive workshops in dozens of art forms.

“New all-abilities classes in juggling, yoga, dance, drumming, and songwriting are giving CATA artists more ways to express themselves,” says Kara Smith, Program Director. “And we’ve launched sensory-friendly classes with added accommodations for artists on the autism spectrum or who prefer a calmer environment to explore their talents.”

Supporters like you are also helping meet a critical need in public schools—where many students with disabilities rely on CATA as an outlet to express themselves.

A student at Pittsfield High School builds skills in juggling Myles at Berkshire County Arc taps into his musical talents

“In just a few years, we’ve tripled the programs we’re bringing to students in schools,” says Jeff. “Passionate, dedicated teachers in eight school districts welcome CATA into their classrooms every week. Through CATA, students are building skills in problem solving, coordination, and communication. And most of all, they feel pride and a sense of achievement.”

“Students in our high school special education program benefit so much from CATA,” says Kate Burdsall, Special Education Director at Berkshire Hills Regional School District. “After each session, we see so much growth in their selfconfidence, self-esteem, and social skills. Our students practice and develop skills—and then build on their successes from week to week.”

In a dance class at Pittsfield High School, CATA Faculty Artist Beth Liebowitz leads students in movement exercises. “How does dancing make you feel?” asks Beth. Benedicta raises her hand: “I can dance away my shyness!”

Recently, parents were invited to a “CATA Sharing” to see all that their students were learning. “They were blown away by how much their students had accomplished,” says Beth. “One mother hugged her son and said, ‘I never knew you were such a beautiful dancer!’ It meant so much for every student to be celebrated.”

Want to learn more about CATA workshops? Prospective CATA artists, families, and caregivers can learn about our programs and start signing up by calling (413) 528-5485 or visit CATAarts.

CATA artists at UCP of Western Massachusetts express themselves and have a blast in CATA dance workshops!

CATA supporters Danielle and Dan Stern:

is like a beautiful web connecting our community.”

When Danielle and Dan Stern first moved to the Berkshires, a friend invited them to CATA’s Gala & Annual Performance. By the end of the show, their hearts were overflowing: They knew they had found their community.

“Our experience at the CATA gala affirmed that we had chosen the right place to live and raise our family,” say Danielle and Dan. “We knew right away that this was a community that was nurturing, accepting, and loving of all its members.”

“CATA isn’t just a place,” says Danielle. “It’s an ethos. It’s about being seen for your unique, individual gifts and talents—and seeing through a lens of mutual love and respect.”

“At CATA, you enter this world of seeing the way life should be,” she adds. “How we should be treating each other— and how to be in community together.”

“CATA is a reminder of how a beautiful society can function,” says Dan. “We feel grateful to live in a community that supports an organization like CATA—and makes sure it thrives.”

Danielle and Dan see their values reflected in CATA’s work. And that makes them proud to be donors.

“We both come from families that always talked about the importance of giving back—of being part of a community and thinking outside of yourself,” says Dan. “We want to leave the world a better place.”

From their first moments with CATA, they were “swept up in a swirl of joy.” They immediately felt compelled to donate to keep CATA’s work going—from weekly workshops to exhibits, readings, and performances.

“What excites us about being part of CATA is sharing the joy and goodness of their work with others,” says Danielle. “We invite people to the gala every year, to join us in the joy and connection. You can’t help but want to be part of it!”

“People who find their way to CATA have a heart for seeing the best in humanity. CATA is like a beautiful web connecting our community–and we’re so proud to be part of it.”

Danielle and Dan and make a gift to support the talents of CATA artists.

What CATA artists LOVE about programs YOU make possible!

“I look forward to painting and dancing. I like that we all work together.”

- Jeri (BCArc Nu-Opps Brain Injury Program)

“I love drumming and playing together. It’s relaxing and makes me feel good!”

- Richard (BFAIR)

“CATA is a great place to be! We treat people kindly and we don’t judge.”

- Izzy (BCArc Transitions)

“I like to paint from my memories. I use my own imagination in my art.”

- Laurie (Cadmus)

Thank you CATA Gala Underwriters!

We’re grateful to the following individuals and businesses who are making a difference for CATA artists. Without you, our work simply can’t happen.


The Feigenbaum Foundation

Berkshire Bank

Fallon Health

Greylock Federal Credit Union

Joan & Jim Hunter

Buzz & Robin McGraw, The Donald C. McGraw Foundation, and Black Rock Foundation

Will Osborne & Mary Pope Osborne

Dr. Robert C. & Tina Sohn Foundation


Canyon Ranch

Virginia & James Giddens

Emily Rechnitz

Allegrone Companies

Nathan Casto & Terri Chegwidden

Stephanie Gittleman

James Marden & Jennifer Press Marden

Leslie & Stephen Shatz


Eva & Kip Sheridan

PRODUCERS: Balance Rock Investment Group

Berkshire Health Systems

Berkshire Magazine

Linda Greenhouse & Eugene Fidell

Lenox Glass & Door, Inc.

Seth & Mary Nash

Anne Smith & John Goodhue

Donna A. Bernstein

Liz & Tom Costley

Ira & Jami Grossman

Sarah Hunter

Neuberger Berman

Marcia Walsh & Eric Block

Liz & Mark Williams

Sandra Baron & Gregory Diskant

Neil & Kathleen Chrisman

Heather Wells Heim & Matthew Heim

Martino Glass Company, Inc.

Elaine Radiss & Rich Petrino

Linda Smothers & Richard Gregg

Julie & David McCarthy

David Rosenthal

Danielle & Dan Stern


Berkshire Photo Booth

Bottleshop & Provisions

Greenhouse Yoga LLC

One Mercantile

Blue Spark Financial

Berkshire Mountain Distillers

Dana Bixby Architecture

Domaney’s Liquors & Fine Wines

Guido’s Fresh Marketplace

Interprint, Inc.


Park Square Financial Advisors of Raymond James

SPONSORS: Camilla Bennett

Cindy & Jeff Caminiti

Janet & John Egelhofer

Elizabeth & Jay Bikofsky

Anthony & Elizabeth Cassano

Tom & Anne Flynn

Beverly Hosokawa • Jane & Charlie Johnson

Gary & Jeanie Knisely

Kate & Joel Millonzi

Judy & Tim Boomer

The Dobbins Foundation

Carol Glazer

Susan W. Gold

Phyllis Patti Klein

Marisa Labozzetta & Martin Wohl

Natalie & David Neubert

Carol & Michael Riordan

Harvey Shapiro

Linda & Frank Russell

Ben & Elaine Silberstein

Shawn & Travis Mille

Nancy & Bernie Picchi

The Schnesel Family Fund

Wendy Strothman & John Bishop

Judy & Mark Usow • Suzannah & Pieter Van Schaick


Kwik Print, Inc. • Mahaiwe Tent Company

List as of April 12, 2023

E.E. Winters & Chris White

Mezze Catering & Events

Margaret Keller, Executive Director

Je Gagnon, Program Director

Kelly Galvin, Program Director

Kara Smith, Program Director

Courtney Maxwell, Program Associate

Beth Liebowitz, Dance Faculty & Performance Projects Manager

Wes Buckley, Music Specialist & Faculty Artist

Katie Clarke, Administrative Director

James To en, O ce Manager

Alexandra Heddinger, Development Director

Kate Harding, Development Associate

David Dashiell, Development Associate

Chris Watford, Communications Director

Heather Wells Heim, President

Emily Rechnitz, Vice President

Eva Sheridan, Vice President

Ira Grossman, Treasurer

David Rice, Secretary

Sandra Baron · Judy Boomer

Liz Costley · Carol Glazer

Sarah Hunter · Mindi Morin

Rich Petrino · Elaine Radiss

Carol Riordan · Stephen Shatz

Ben Silberstein · John Whalan

Sandra Newman, Founder

420 Stockbridge Rd, Suite 2
Barrington, MA 01230 (413) 528-5485 · BOARD STAFF
Blue Q
Granville House LLC
Lee Bank
photos by: Christina Lane, Bill Wright, David Dashiell, and CATA
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