April 2, 2019
Contact: Chris Watford
(413) 528-5485
Digital images available

A powerful and joyous event showcasing talents of local artists with disabilities.

​GREAT BARRINGTON, MA—Community Access to the Arts (CATA) presents NEXUS, its Annual Performance & Gala on Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12, 2019 at Shakespeare & Company’s Tina Packer Playhouse in Lenox.

CATA’s Annual Performance is the culmination of hundreds of performing arts workshops which serve over 800 people with disabilities in Berkshire and Columbia counties. CATA artists hone their talents throughout the year, then take the stage to share their artistry with the community in a powerful performance weekend that includes a Gala evening, CATA’s largest fundraising event.

“The story of CATA is a story of the Berkshires,” says CATA’s Executive Director Margaret Keller. “Since CATA’s founding, the Berkshire community has stood with us to create incredible opportunities for people with disabilities. Over 26 years, our community has helped bring more than 20,000 arts workshops to over 2,000 people with disabilities. Our Annual Performance and Gala brings those experiences together for a powerful showcase, celebrating the artistry of people with disabilities. The range of work is astounding. There are moments that are moving and provoke tears, and others that are side-splittingly funny. It’s a full artistic experience!”

“The mixing of art, advocacy, and community is constantly creative and creatively constant,” says Dawn Lane, CATA’s Artistic and Executive Director. “This year’s NEXUS theme is the perfect opportunity for connection and overlap. We’re mixing our faculty, performers, and art forms into one brilliant show unlike any CATA performance you’ve ever seen!”

This year’s Annual Performance, NEXUS, features more than 50 local performers with disabilities sharing their talents in dance, theater, music, comedy, and more. Since September, CATA artists having been using the theme of “Nexus” to inspire their artistry and create new collaborations through the arts and across the community. For the first time ever, three of CATA’s musical groups, including singers, drummers, and ukulele players, will join forces for a large-scale musical performance honoring the voices and stories of dozens of Berkshire Healthcare residents. The piece is inspired by CATA’s Art Cart program, which brings art, poetry, and song to local nursing homes to reconnect elders with their life stories.

Saturday’s Gala festivities begin at 5 p.m., with a performance at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and dancing. The Sunday matinee begins at 1 p.m. Tickets for both performances are available online at or by calling CATA at (413) 528-5485.

The annual performance is attended by nearly 800 people from the Berkshire community and beyond. CATA’s performing arts workshops for people with disabilities and the culminating performance are made possible by many generous individuals, businesses, and foundations, including:

LEAD UNDERWRITERS: Dr. Robert C. & Tina Sohn Foundation, The Feigenbaum Foundation, Will Osborne & Mary Pope Osborne, Emily Rechnitz & John Paladino, Leslie & Steve Shatz — UNDERWRITERS: Berkshire Bank, Blue Q, Anne G. Fredericks & Marc Fasteau, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Joan & Jim Hunter, Joyce Linde, The Family of Louisa Millonzi — PRODUCERS: Allegrone Companies, Berkshire Health Systems, Berkshire Magazine, Canyon Ranch, Sandra Baron & Gregory Diskant, Linda Greenhouse & Eugene Fidell, Jami & Ira Grossman, David & Julie McCarthy, Merit, MountainOne, Linda & Frank Russell, Anne Schnesel, Danielle & Dan Stern, Liz & Mark Williams, Kathleen & John Zutter — CORPORATE SPONSORS: Alexandra Dest Capital Management, Annie Selke Companies, Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Brava, CMC: Berkshires, Hillcrest Educational Centers, J.H. Maxymillian, Inc., Lee Bank, Dr. William O’Donnell, Martin & Oliveira, LLP, Park Square Financial Advisors of Raymond James, TD Bank — SPONSORS: Black Rock Foundation, Neil & Kathleen Chrisman, John & Lois George, Brett & Eve Goldberg, Heather Wells Heim & Matthew Heim, Ann & Peter Herbst, Jane & Charlie Johnson, Marisa Labozzetta & Martin Wohl, Taryn & Mark Leavitt, Eleanor Lord & Margaret Wheeler, Robert Mathews & Mary Graziano, Mary Ann & Bruno Quinson, Elaine Radiss & Rich Petrino, Martha Sauer & David Rosenthal, Maria Sirois, Tim & Ana Suffish, Ben & Elaine Silberstein — IN-KIND SPONSORS: Berkshire Photo Booth, Bill Wright Photo, Domaney’s Liquors and Fine Wines, Kwik Print, Inc., Mahaiwe Tent

About Community Access to the Arts: 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 800 people with disabilities across Berkshire County, Massachusetts and Columbia County, New York. Learn more at​