Community Access to the Arts Selected for the Barr-Klarman Massachusetts Arts Initiative

Community Access to the Arts Selected for the Barr-Klarman Massachusetts Arts Initiative

Community Access to the Arts Selected for the Barr-Klarman Massachusetts Arts Initiative

A $25 million investment in 29 arts organizations from across Massachusetts over six years to strengthen their financial health and “adaptive capacity.”

We are pleased to announce that Community Access to the Arts (CATA) was selected to participate in the Barr-Klarman Massachusetts Arts Initiative – as announced earlier today on the Barr Foundation’s blog. A partnership between two Boston-based foundations – Barr and The Klarman Family Foundation – the initiative is a $25 million, six-year investment in 29 arts and cultural organizations from across Massachusetts. Participating organizations receive flexible, multi-year operating support grants, in addition to training and technical assistance from TDC, a nonprofit consulting and research firm. CATA’s engagement in the initiative begins with two grants totaling $312,000 over three years, which is the largest grant CATA has received to date and a ringing endorsement of CATA’s innovative work nurturing and celebrating the creativity of people with disabilities.

“This grant comes at a pivotal moment for CATA, as we expand our transformative work in the community,” says Margaret Keller, CATA Executive Director. “We see every day that art has the power to spark new connections and new ways of seeing. This important initiative will help us expand opportunities for our artists with disabilities and inspire our community through their artistry.”

“Organizations like CATA are the cultural hearts of their communities,” said San San Wong, Director of Arts & Creativity for the Barr Foundation. “They are sites of public assembly and dialogue, often working to foster understanding and connection across cultural differences. It is our privilege to support CATA in this journey to further strengthen its financial health and capacity to adapt to change – that it might deepen and continue this work for years to come.”

“Arts organizations, including CATA, play a critical role in the health of our communities,” said Laura Sherman, Director, Greater Boston Grantmaking for The Klarman Family Foundation. “We are committed to strengthening this cohort of 29 arts organizations across the Commonwealth that have the ability to connect and enliven communities through culture, tradition and creative expression, and we are proud to be a part of this initiative.”

Representing diversity across artistic disciplines, geographic reach, stages of organizational development, and budget sizes, the 29 organizations participating in the Barr-Klarman Massachusetts Arts Initiative are:

·​ ​Academy of Music Theatre (Northampton)
·​ A Far Cry (Boston)
·​ Barrington Stage Company (Pittsfield)
·​ Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (Boston)
·​ Boston Modern Orchestra Project (Malden)
·​ Cape Ann Museum (Gloucester)
·​ Community Access to the Arts (Great Barrington)
·​ Community Art Center (Cambridge)
·​ Community Music School of Springfield (Springfield)
·​ Company One Theatre (Boston)
·​ The Dance Complex (Cambridge)
·​ Design Museum Boston (Boston)
·​ Double Edge Theatre (Ashfield)
·​ ​Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts (Boston)
·​ Featherstone Center for the Arts (Martha’s Vineyard)
·​ Fitchburg Art Museum (Fitchburg)
·​ Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center (Great Barrington)
·​ Merrimack Repertory Theatre (Lowell)
·​ New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks! (New Bedford)
·​ New Bedford Symphony Orchestra (New Bedford)
·​ Norman Rockwell Museum (Stockbridge)
·​ Now + There (Boston)
·​ Payomet Performing Arts Center (North Truro)
·​ Provincetown Art Association and Museum (Provincetown)
·​ Raw Art Works (Lynn)
·​ The Record Co. (Boston)
·​ SpeakEasy Stage (Boston)
·​ Worcester Art Museum (Worcester)
·​ Zeiterion Theatre (New Bedford)

Community Access to the Arts and each participant in this initiative will receive multi-year, unrestricted operating grants. Additionally, through a grant to TDC, a nationally recognized nonprofit consulting and research group, organizations will also receive customized training and technical assistance, and be eligible for supplemental funds for targeted research, capacity building, and/or pilot projects. Last week, the foundations made the first set of three-year grants under the new initiative, marking the beginning of what is expected to be a six-year journey of learning, collaboration, and growth.

For more information about the Barr-Klarman Massachusetts Arts Initiative page, including the ideas underlying the effort, key elements of the experience for participating organizations, selection criteria, and evaluation findings, visit

“We’re thrilled to be recognized among an exceptional group of arts organizations from across the state,” says Keller. “This is evidence that CATA’s cutting-edge, artistically excellent programming is resonating even beyond the Berkshires.”

About Community Access to the Arts​: ​Now in its 26th year, Community Access to the Arts (CATA) nurtures and celebrates the creativity of people with disabilities. Through dynamic arts workshops and public events, CATA artists tap into their potential, explore new talents, and share their unique points of view with the wider community. CATA collaborates with 49 partner organizations to bring visual and performing arts programs to 700 people with disabilities across Berkshire County, Massachusetts and Columbia County, New York. Learn more at

About the Barr Foundation: The Barr Foundation’s mission is to invest in human, natural, and creative potential, serving as thoughtful stewards and catalysts. Based in Boston, Barr focuses regionally, and selectively engages nationally, working in partnership with nonprofits, foundations, the public sector, and civic and business leaders to elevate the arts, advance solutions for climate change, and connect all students to success in high school and beyond. Founded in 1997, Barr now has assets of $1.7 billion, and has contributed more than $838 million to charitable causes. For more information, visit or follow @BarrFdn on Twitter and Facebook.

About The Klarman Family Foundation: The Klarman Family Foundation seeks to identify areas of unmet need and advance solutions to addressing them. Underlying all of the Foundation’s work is a passionate belief in the promise and importance of creative thinking, strategic leadership and strong organizations to help bring about change. As a way to learn and create greater impact, the Foundation values acting in partnership with other funders. Its work spans regionally, nationally and internationally and focuses on advancing understanding of the biological basis of health and illness; supporting the global Jewish community and State of Israel; expanding access to vital services and enrichment opportunities in Greater Boston; and ensuring a healthy democracy. Established in 1990 by Beth and Seth Klarman, the Foundation is located in Boston, MA. For more information, visit

Community Access to the Arts Media Contact​:​
Chris Watford
Communications Coordinator
[email protected]
413-528-5485  x106

Barr Foundation Media Contact:
Stefan Lanfer
Director of Communications
[email protected]