Community Access to the Arts (CATA) announced in a press release the appointment of two new full-time staff members. Dorothea Oakes joins CATA as the organization’s new Administrative Associate, and Norma Stobbe joins as Program Associate. The appointment of Oakes and Stobbe comes as CATA works to strategically expand its innovative arts programming for people with disabilities, many of whom have been deeply impacted by the pandemic.

Executive Director, Margaret Keller made the following statement:

Now more than ever, CATA’s work is meeting a critical need in our community for people with disabilities. We’re thrilled to welcome Dorothea and Norma to our team. They’ll apply their extensive experience and skills to further CATA’s mission and help ensure CATA artists can continue accessing programs they rely on for meaningful connection and creative stimulation.

Dorothea Oakes comes to CATA from Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM), a top architecture and design firm in New York City where she served as Executive Assistant. Oakes and her family have relocated to the Berkshires from Brooklyn for her position at CATA. Prior to her time at SOM, Oakes served as an Executive Assistant at Oxford Properties Group (OMERS Worldwide).

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Norma Stobbe is a recent graduate of Brandeis University where she coordinated the “Brandeis Buddies” program in collaboration with the local Arc serving people with disabilities, completed research for the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy, and directed theater performances centered around social justice, disability, and identity.

Dorothea Oakes said the following:

It is great to work for such a fabulous organization. I believe deeply in fostering the power of creativity. It is important to recognize and nurture the creativity in everyone.

Norma Stobbe added the following statement:

As someone with both a disability and a performance background. CATA’s mission of creating inclusive and accessible spaces for artists is something I’ve been interested in for a long time. I’m thrilled to be joining the CATA community, and for all that I will experience here.


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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 by going here.

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