Great Barrington, MA—Community Access to the Arts (CATA) has been awarded a $200,000 Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF) Capital grant from MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council— the largest grant award level this year.

The grant supports CATA’s purchase and renovation of a new facility to establish a permanent home for the organization--one that is fully accessible and allows CATA to continue growing innovative arts programs for people with disabilities. The award is one of 64 Capital grants awarded statewide by the CFF. Other 2019 awardees in the Berkshires include MASS MoCA, Hancock Shaker Village, Norman Rockwell Museum, and Chesterwood Museum and Estate.

Margaret Keller, CATA’s Executive Director, comments:

“This exciting grant from the Cultural Facilities Fund comes at a pivotal moment in CATA’s history, on the heels of our work to dramatically expand the number of artists with disabilities we are serving in our community. Our beautiful and accessible new home will give CATA artists the space they deserve to nurture their creative talents. To be funded at the highest level possible by the CFF is so significant for CATA and an important stamp of approval for us as we launch our first major facilities project and our first-ever capital campaign.”

Since 1993, CATA has brought over 20,000 life-changing arts workshops to more than 2,000 people with disabilities throughout Berkshire County. With support from the CFF, CATA’s new home will double existing studio space, establishing two separate arts studios—one for visual art and writing, and the other for dance and performing arts. The home will embody the principles of Universal Design, making the facility accessible to every person.

CATA has launched the CATA Forward Capital Campaign to raise funds to support the purchase and renovation of the new facility, and to support pilot programs serving artists with disabilities across Berkshire and Columbia counties. A Groundbreaking for the new facility will he held on June 10, 2019 at 420 Stockbridge Road, where the organization will announce more details about the project and campaign.

The Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund provides highly competitive major improvement grants to nonprofit cultural organizations, in recognition of their profound economic impact on communities across Massachusetts. Since 2006, the Fund has encouraged sound growth, supported important development projects, played a crucial role in the growth of local tourism, created thousands of jobs, and driven millions of dollars in private investment.

In addition to the Capital grant, the CFF has also awarded CATA a $7,000 Systems Replacement Plan (SRP) grant to support long-term planning for the new facility.

(press release sent to WSBS from Sarah Carpenter of CATA for online and on-air use, article image taken from CATA's Facebook page