CATA’s Commitment to I.D.E.A.

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility


CATA nurtures and celebrates the creativity of people with disabilities through shared experiences in the arts. At its heart, CATA is an arts organization deeply committed to social change: We strive to expand public perceptions of disability and to open minds to the powerful creativity of people with disabilities.


We advocate with program partners and disability-based agencies for the right of all people with disabilities to express themselves creatively and artistically. And we advocate to our cultural partners—museums, theaters, and cultural institutions—for the full inclusion of people with disabilities as artists as well as audience members.


We believe every person, regardless of race, ability, economic status, neurodivergence, gender identity, sexual orientation, immigration status, religion, or any other group identity, deserves self-expression as a human right. Every human being has a deep well of creativity inside them, along with an innate desire to express who they are and what they feel, think, believe.


We cannot fully deliver our mission without committing to antiracism and the principles of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion.


In order to support people with disabilities and their families, we are committed to building upon CATA’s history of inclusive art practices and to acknowledging the barriers to artistic engagement that many people face due to race, disability, and income. People with disabilities have traditionally been excluded from mainstream arts opportunities—and structural barriers have been even greater for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) with disabilities and those at the intersection of multiple subordinated group identities.


As an arts organization, we acknowledge the structures of racism and ableism that have excluded people from accessing the arts as artists and art-lovers. We acknowledge that the arts sector, disability sector, and nonprofit fundraising sector have all been shaped by structural racism and systems of inequality. As a community arts organization, we commit to championing and implementing policies and practices that create a just, inclusive and equitable society.


CATA works proactively to create a community that is inclusive and equitable for every person. We commit to putting this at the center of our work at all levels.


We value the perspectives of others and work to incorporate diverse perspectives into all facets of our work—our leadership, our planning, our programs—to build a stronger and more relevant organization.


CATA is committed to:


      • Placing antiracism and cultural equity at the core of our organizational culture through substantive learning and formal, transparent policies.


      • Developing a more racially diverse, culturally relevant arts curriculum that explicitly acknowledges the contributions of BIPOC and underrepresented artists across all fields and genres.


      • Engaging and recruiting people with disabilities from underrepresented groups as CATA artists, and ensuring that opportunities are provided equitably to BIPOC and to people across the spectrum of wealth and income.


      • Centering the voices of people with lived experience of racism, disability, and inequity and making them co-leaders in our work through authentic partnerships.


      • Building relationships with BIPOC leaders and organizations that center the voices of people of color to drive strategic planning and growth.


      • Recruiting artists with disabilities and BIPOC artists as faculty and guest artists.


      • Expanding training in cultural competency and antiracism to include all staff, board, faculty and volunteers.


      • Expanding underrepresented voices and authority on the board and in senior leadership positions of the organization, as well as in staff, faculty, and volunteers generally.


We recognize that this work must be ongoing and that the list above is just a beginning. We are committed to leading with our mission, to make good on the promise of inclusion that is at the heart of all we do. The vision of an inclusive, equitable and just community drives us forward as we continue on this path. We will share our progress and we invite the community to hold CATA accountable and to join us as partners in this vital work.