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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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How to Apply

Sixteen (16) CAT Institute Fellows will be selected for the 2023 cohort. Roughly half (8) will be artists of all disciplines, and the other half will be community practitioners. Fellows are selected through an application and interview process. Selection will be based on individual qualifications as well as with respect to the cohort as a whole. The institute will run Feb. 17 – June 10, 2023. Applicants must be 18 years or older and must live within St. Louis city or county.

Applications open on Nov. 11. The deadline to apply is Friday, December 16, 2022, at 11:59pm.

  • All applications are reviewed by a panel of CAT Institute leaders and alumni.
  • A selection of applicants will be invited to the interview.
  • Interview invitations will be issued beginning January 6, 2023.
  • Interviews will be held the week of January 9 – 20, 2023, with day and evening times available.
  • Interviews will be conducted at the Regional Arts Commission, 6128 Delmar Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63112.

To request a paper-copy of the application or if you need further assistance, 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.  

 

CAT Session Dates

CAT Institute sessions will generally take place at the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis office and occasionally may be held at other locations in the St. Louis region. Absenteeism from class sessions, absenteeism from team meetings, and/or not completing theassignments may result in my being dropped from the program.

The 2023 Regional CAT Institute schedule of training sessions in 2023:

  1. Friday, Feb. 17: 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
  2. Saturday, Feb. 18:  9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  3. Saturday, March 4: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  4. Saturday, March 18: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  5. Saturday, April 1: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  6. Saturday, April 15: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  7. Saturday, April 29: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  8. Saturday, May 6: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  9. Saturday, June 3: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  10. Saturday, June 10: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

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
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