While working as a dance therapist for adults with disabilities, CATA founder Sandra Newman was inspired to strengthen community through the arts. In 1993, she founded Community Access to the Arts (CATA), a non-profit arts organization that gives people with disabilities powerful opportunities to express themselves creatively and share their talents with the public.
Beginning with one workshop in 1993, CATA has since grown to over 2,200 workshops annually, actively involving hundreds of individuals and many partner organizations from across Berkshire and Columbia counties.
Following a three year transition process, Margaret Keller became Executive Director in 2014, and CATA has continued to flourish. In 2020, the organization harnessed its exceptional community support to complete a highly successful capital campaign and create a beautiful, fully accessible arts center in Great Barrington, MA. The building now serves as the nonprofit’s home base, where CATA artists come for workshops in dedicated studios for the visual and performing arts, and where staff work to coordinate programs at partner organizations throughout the Berkshires and Columbia County, NY.