CATA Names Kelly Galvin Program Director, Promotes Jeff Gagnon and Kara Smith

GREAT BARRINGTON — Community Access to the Arts (CATA) announced the appointment of Kelly Galvin as program director. She joins current CATA staff members Jeff Gagnon and Kara Smith, who have been promoted to the program director position, to create a new, three-person arts leadership team at the nonprofit, reporting to Executive Director Margaret Keller.

CATA strategically restructured staff roles to develop a shared program leadership model, following the retirement of long-time staff member Dawn Lane, coupled with vigorous growth in CATA’s arts programs serving people with disabilities. The three-person arts leadership team will work closely with Keller to seize opportunities and provide inclusive arts programs for people with disabilities across the Berkshires and Columbia County.

Galvin joins CATA as an accomplished director, producer, and teaching artist. She has been a company member with Shakespeare & Company since 2008 and served as the artistic associate at WAM Theatre. As a director and producer, she has led acclaimed productions at Shakespeare & Company, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, the Theater at Woodshill, and Gloucester Stage, and assisted at regional theatres including the Guthrie and Asolo Repertory Theatre. She is the founder of the rig, an organization in Western Massachusetts working to create connections through the arts and to redistribute cultural resources to a larger portion of the community.

CATA’s new trio of program directors will work collaboratively to expand opportunities for local artists with disabilities and to nurture and build partnerships with community-based organizations, with each director leading specific projects and initiatives. Galvin will oversee performing-arts programs for artists with disabilities and will direct performances showcasing the talents of CATA artists, including CATA’s annual gala performance. Smith will oversee programs and partnerships connected with CATA’s studios in Great Barrington and lead visual art events, including exhibits at local galleries, museums, and community spaces. Gagnon will oversee CATA’s programs and partnerships for students with special needs in local schools, which have more than tripled over the last five years.

“This new shared-leadership model will allow CATA to build on dramatic recent growth and provide more programs for artists with disabilities,” Keller said. “Kelly has extensive experience as a director, teacher, producer, and artistic administrator. She is an innovative theater maker and stage director, and she has a deep commitment to relationship building, collaboration, equity, and inclusion in her work as a community-focused artist-educator. We feel very lucky to have her taking on this new and important role at CATA. With this trio leadership model, we see exciting potential for new program levels and art forms, new performances of all scopes and sizes, and cross-disciplinary explorations in workshops and public events.”

Added Galvin, “I’m overjoyed to be part of the CATA team and to support their remarkable arts programming. The work here exemplifies the profound impact that arts can have in a community. Being both an audience and faculty member at CATA has been artistically and personally transformative and has fueled my passion for cultivating art that’s based in equity. I’m honored to join this leadership team and have the opportunity to contribute to this work, and I’m especially excited to collaborate with the faculty, community partners, and vibrant artists that call CATA home.”