April 2, 2021
Contact: Chris Watford
(413) 528-5485
Digital images available here

COMMUNITY ACCESS TO THE ARTS PRESENTS ITS VIRTUAL GALA & PERFORMANCE ON MAY 8—A dynamic, live-streamed event celebrating the talents of people with disabilities.

GREAT BARRINGTON, MA—Community Access to the Arts (CATA) presents its Virtual Gala and Performance, Artistic Liberties, on Saturday, May 8, beginning at 6pm sharp. The evening kicks off with a “Red Carpet” pre-show, followed by the premiere of a short film featuring performances by CATA artists with disabilities, and culminating in a live fundraiser to support CATA’s programs. The free event, which runs approximately 75 minutes, will be streamed live at

“As we continue to confront the challenges of the pandemic, CATA’s mission remains essential,” says CATA Executive Director Margaret Keller. “To bring creative opportunities to people with disabilities—and share their talents and voices with our community. The gala is a critical fundraiser for CATA: one-third of our annual budget comes from gala donations. Every dollar raised supports life-changing programs for people with disabilities.”

Over the last year, CATA has helped people with disabilities push back against the devastating impacts of the pandemic through robust, online arts workshops in dance, painting, creative writing, music, yoga, juggling, acting, and more—as well as delivering free care packages of art supplies to CATA artists in isolation. Funds raised from CATA’s virtual gala are critical to sustaining these programs.

The centerpiece of CATA’s virtual gala is the premiere of a powerful short film produced by local filmmaker Ben Hillman and featuring performances by CATA artists with disabilities exploring the theme of Artistic Liberties. Rehearsing remotely over the course of several months, CATA artists developed innovative, new performances in dance, singing, theater, comedy, juggling, and more. The film now brings their pieces to life through professionally shot footage along with stunning moments filmed by CATA artists and community members. The performance will be followed by a live virtual fundraiser to support CATA programs, hosted by local actor and CATA faculty member Eddie Allen.

CATA’s virtual gala is free and open to the public. Attendees are asked to RSVP at The event will be broadcast live on May 8 starting at 6pm sharp at The event is produced in partnership with Community Television for the Southern Berkshires (CTSB-TV).

The CATA Virtual Gala is made possible through Lead Underwriting support from The Feigenbaum Foundation, Will Osborne & Mary Pope Osborne, Emily Rechnitz, Leslie & Stephen Shatz, Dr. Robert C. & Tina Sohn Foundation, and Underwriting support from Allegrone Companies, Berkshire Bank, Blue Q, Neil & Kathleen Chrisman, Fallon Health, Linda Greenhouse & Eugene Fidell, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Ira & Jami Grossman, Joan & Jim Hunter, Elizabeth & Robert McGraw, The Donald C. McGraw Foundation, and, Black Rock Foundation, Claudia Perles & Gerry Fultz, Anne Smith & John Goodhue, and Liz & Mark Williams.

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—now taking place virtually—CATA artists tap into their potential, explore new talents, and share their unique points of view with the wider community. CATA collaborates with 50 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