Shiny salute for CATA's 20 years of service

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Sunday April 7, 2013

GREAT BARRINGTON -- Community Access to the Arts has the bling.

For 20 years, CATA has nurtured and celebrated the creativity of people with disabilities through visual and performing arts.

To commemorate the group's two decades of service, board members and local jewelers have collaborated to make a necklace representing CATA's cause.

The necklace pendant is the CATA logo -- two opposing arrows wrapped in a rectangular shape, a symbol of the group's endeavors with artists with disabilities.

"We're not just helping people with disabilities," said Liana Toscanini, the development and marketing director at CATA who also oversaw the necklace's development. "They're giving us as much as we give."

CATA, based in downtown Great Barrington, provides services for about 600 people with developmental, physical, emotional and/or mental disabilities, nurturing and showcasing their creative talents through performance and visual arts.

Toscanini said money raised in the jewelry program will help fund future CATA projects.

Gold necklaces are $189, and silver necklaces are $79. A bronze CATA lapel pin is also available for $39. Last week, at least one necklace was sold within the first hour of an email being sent out.

Toscanini said it was a "no-brainer" to create a necklace for the anniversary since board member Stephanie Iverson is a jewelry designer.

Iverson collaborated on the project with James Kennedy, an art teacher at IS183 Art School in Stockbridge.

"It was marrying everyone's strength," Iverson said. "I wanted it to represent my style, but also fully represent CATA's style."

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All of the chains are sterling silver, but the CATA arrows pendants are either sterling silver or 14-karat gold.

"That's something I like to do in my own work," Iverson said. "I like to mix."

Iverson and Kennedy, who have previously collaborated on other projects, looked through previous work done by CATA artists to come up with a design that represented the past 20 years. They decided the arrow logo was the best representation.

Kennedy created the pendants by using an original model cast to make the logo. Ten gold and 10 silver necklaces have been made, with plans to sell them all.

"It's quite a bit of work," Kennedy said. "It's an old, traditional jewelry method."

To reach Adam Poulisse:,
or (413) 496-6214.
On Twitter: @BE_Poulisse

If you go

n What: 20th anniversary CATA gala and annual performance

n When: 6 p.m. May 11, 1 p.m. May 12

n Where: Tina Packer Playhouse at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox

How to help

To purchase a necklace or a
pendant, visit the CATA website or call (413) 528-5485.


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