“Love Your Life More” by Giving to CATA

“Love Your Life More” by Giving to CATA


CATA Donor Maria Sirois Finds Magnificence in Generosity.


It only took one visit to a CATA workshop before Maria Sirois was hooked.

CATA donor Maria Sirois at CATA’s Annual Art Show at the Clark Art Institute.

“It was incredibly powerful—everyone creating together, with this working assumption that we’re all the same. I was just blown away by the generosity of everyone in the room.”

That sense of connection is what Maria was looking for when she moved to the Berkshires.

“Not long after I arrived, I heard about CATA and sent in a donation. Right away I got a call from [CATA founder] Sandy Newman inviting me to a workshop. I was still new to the area and didn’t really know anyone—I thought, ‘This is so wonderful.’ “

More than two decades later, Maria is a CATA superfan.


“CATA inspires us to show up as our better selves, to greet each other with love and generosity.”



CATA artist Connie Most sees her artwork on display at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts. (photo by Christina Lane)

“I see it in the CATA artists, the faculty, and everyone that attends a CATA event. Anytime someone goes to an event, they leave feeling touched and inspired to be fuller in their own heart and mind.” 

For Maria, this is what makes CATA’s work important, especially now.

“There is a dignity that CATA imbues in our community. That in spite of our faults, we can still be generous human beings that bring something to the world that changes how we see each other.”

Knowing this has fueled Maria’s support as a donor. “I wanted to lead a life in which I felt like I was making an impact. So I decided to focus on local causes that I deeply believed in. I feel proud about that. And what has returned to me from CATA has been a gazillion-fold.


“We are a better county because of CATA’s work.”


So what does supporting CATA mean for her, personally?

“Being connected to CATA helps you love your life a little more. It engenders a kind of magnificence in us. We are a better county because of CATA’s work.”


Join the CATA movement! Click here to find out how.