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Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute

For 25 years, the Community Arts Training Institute (CAT) has successfully worked to develop a robust regional network of people trained to use the arts as a tool for positive social change.

The CAT Institute provides a professional level, comprehensive training program to prepare artists of all disciplines and their community partners to collaborate in creating and sustaining significant arts programs, primarily in under-resourced community settings, such as neighborhood organizations, social service agencies, development initiatives, and education programs. The fellows grapple with program planning and adaptability, partnership development, and hands-on projects–some of which may be designed during their fellowships.

To date, more than 350 social workers, educators, community activists, policymakers, and artists of all disciplines have completed this cross-sector training and are using their knowledge in communities around the world.

To learn more about the program, sign up for more information.

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Introducing the Community ArtS Training Institute 2023 Cohort

Our deepest thanks to all who applied for this year’s CAT Institute program. We are pleased and proud to present the CAT class of 2023.

With this cohort, the CAT Institute enters Its 26th year of training artists and community practitioners in cross-sector collaboration to affect positive social change.

We are excited to continue this important work with this dynamic group of creatives and community caretakers. We look forward to embarking on this learning journey together and thank the CAT alumni network for its support in carrying on the institute’s mission.

If you have any questions about the program, please email cat@racstl.org.

Experience the Arts

The CAT Experience

The CAT Institute provides professional level, comprehensive training to prepare artists of all disciplines and their community partners to collaborate in creating and sustaining significant arts programs, primarily in under-resourced community settings such as neighborhood organizations, social service agencies, development initiatives, and education programs. The fellows grapple with program planning and adaptability, partnership development, and hands-on projects, some of which may be designed during their fellowships.

CAT Institute Fellows participate in a total of 120 hours of training. Fifty-six (56) hours of in-session training is conducted over the course of five months, which occurs during intensive one-day sessions held from February to June. Fellows also complete an additional 60+hours of learning between sessions in the form of readings, team assignments and meetings, and field study/site visits. Full attendance and participation in class sessions and assignments is required.  

 

Powering Positive Social Change Through Art

Through a rigorous application process, the program identifies dedicated participants that seek to learn about the use of the arts in community settings, to develop their collaboration skills, and to explore new concepts and ways of working. The Community Arts Training Institute is the oldest sustained training program of its kind in the country.

CAT is for everyone. Our participants come from a wide range of artistic and cultural practices, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, ages, and identities. After completing the program, many go on to establish arts and community-based programs. Others become changemakers in social justice movements or helped shape public policy. Some guide youth through teaching artistry or have elevated their social and community arts practices using the CAT “with not for” approach.

CAT Graduation 2020