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CATA is preparing for a virtual gala fundraiser on May 9.

Community Access to the Arts to Host Virtual Gala

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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Community Access to the Arts presents its virtual gala and performance on Saturday, May 9, from 5 to 6 p.m. 

The event is free to attend and takes place entirely online here. Prior to the event, CATA launches a weeklong celebration with videos and digital performances beginning Monday, May 4. The celebration culminates in a gala evening, which includes the debut of a short film showcasing the talents of people with disabilities as well as a virtual paddle-raise auction to support CATA programs.

Each May for more than 20 years, CATA has presented a live performance and gala at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox that shares the talents of artists with disabilities in acting, dance, singing, drumming, juggling, and more. When CATA suspended its in-person programs and rehearsals in early March due to the COVID-19 crisis, the organization quickly worked to reinvent their flagship public event as an online performance.

"Even in difficult times, our mission is clear," said CATA Executive Director Margaret Keller. "To bring joy to people with disabilities through the arts — and to share their creative spirit with our community. We knew we couldn't skip that. And the gala is a critical fundraiser for CATA — one-third of our annual budget comes from gala donations."

Since the pandemic began, CATA has launched a series of dynamic online programs to reach people with disabilities isolated by the pandemic. Funds raised from CATA's virtual gala will go to support those programs.

"These online workshops are vital to combating isolation for CATA artists," Keller said. "We need our community's support to sustain programs for people with disabilities, to keep them connected, inspired, and fulfilled. Without those donations, CATA simply can’t happen."

For the gala evening, CATA has been working with local filmmaker Ben Hillman to reinvent their live performance as an imaginative film that will take viewers behind the scenes and share the talents of artists with disabilities. The film will be followed by a virtual paddle-raise auction to raise money for CATA programs.

"It's a unique chance for our audience and supporters to see the work they make possible every day," Artistic Director Dawn Lane said. "Our virtual gala will take viewers behind the scenes and connect them with CATA artists like never before."

CATA’s virtual gala is free and open to the public. Attendees are asked to RSVP here.


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Doctor Returns to CHP Barrington OB/GYN

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Community Health Programs welcomes Dr. Jill Samale in her return to the staff of CHP Barrington OB/GYN. 

Dr. Samale provides comprehensive obstetrical and gynecology care to women of all ages. She is affiliated with Berkshire Medical Center and Fairview Hospital's Family Birthplace. She practiced previously with the CHP team and then joined Berkshire OB-GYN, a Berkshire Medical Center practice.

From 2006-2014, Samale practiced at South County Hospital Center for Women's Health in Wakefield, R.I. Earlier, she practiced at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital in Lebanon, N.H. From 2000-2005, she worked in private practice at Baystate OB/GYN Group.

A magna cum laude graduate of Amherst College, she earned her medical degree at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. She completed her residency at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.

At UVM Dr. Samale earned the 2000 Award for the Excellence in OB/GYN Clinical Clerkship, and served on the UVM Women’s Mentoring Program Executive Committee. She is a diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

She is a graduate of Monument Mountain Regional High School.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with a CHP Barrington OB/GYN clinician, call 413-528-1470.

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