Following a three-year transition process, Margaret Keller to succeed founding director Sandra Newman as leader of pre-eminent arts organization for adults with disabilities
Great Barrington, Mass. (Feb. 10, 2014) – Following a three-year transition and planning process, Sandra Newman will retire from her longtime role as executive director of Community Access to the Arts, and her successor has been named.
Margaret Keller, a Lenox resident, brings 15 years of experience in nonprofits, most recently as foundation relations manager at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Prior to that, she directed programs at the Chicago Humanities Festival, working closely with the city’s most prominent cultural organizations. In 2002, she was named a Chicagoan of the Year by the Chicago Tribune. She takes over leadership of CATA on Monday, February 10.
Newman will assume the title of founding director and will continue to serve as an ambassador to the organization she founded, bringing the visual and performing arts to people with disabilities throughout the community.
“We are especially grateful to Sandy for her foresight in initiating the transition to new leadership, in a manner that allows her to play a vital role in the selection and mentoring of her successor,” said John J. Whalan, president of CATA’s board of directors. “Sandy has a history of investing in the aspirations and outcome of others, and is particularly suited to mentor and support Margaret.”
Newman established CATA in 1993, and the organization has grown to serve 600 adults throughout Berkshire County with programs in visual arts, dance and public performance.
Under Newman’s leadership CATA was recognized through the region and state for her work. Last year CATA received The Massachusetts Cultural Council’s 2013 Commonwealth Award.
Said Newman, “I am so excited to welcome Margaret, and to have a dynamic and vibrant new leader holding the essence of CATA’s mission and vision into the future, and maintaining our creative approach to enhancing the lives of people we serve.”
Keller added, “Sandy’s vision and leadership have nurtured CATA over its 20-year history and made it one of the most innovative organizations in our community—a jewel of the Berkshires. I am tremendously excited to uphold her legacy, and to bring my own talents to bear so that CATA can continue its trailblazing work.”
Community Access to the Arts nurtures and celebrates the creativity of people with disabilities through shared experiences in the visual and performing arts. For information visit communityaccesstothearts.org