Deadline: Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at 11:59pm

Before you begin, a word of advice: We recommend that you compose your responses in a place where you can save your work. (Microsoft Word, for example.) Then, copy-paste your answers when you're ready to submit your application. This will help keep you from accidentally losing your work if your browser has a problem before you hit "submit". It's rare, but it can happen! 
IMPORTANT INFORMATION - About the CAT Institute and Application Process
Please read before responding to the application questions.
ABOUT THE CAT INSTITUTE: The Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute is an innovative training program centered on the belief that art has the power to be an agent for positive social change. Founded in 1997, the CAT Institute is the longest sustained training program of its kind.  The five-month training curriculum is designed to foster successful partnerships among artists of all disciplines, social workers, educators, community leaders and activists, policy makers, and more. CAT Institute graduates go on to develop relevant arts programs in community settings such as neighborhood organizations, social service agencies, development initiatives, and after-school programs.

The CAT Institute is a rigorous program that demands a lot from its participants. Through a competitive application process, we aim to identify dedicated participants that are seeking 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. Successful participants are eager to collaborate with their fellow participants and faculty; approach the experience with an open mind; and are committed to collaboration, communication, community, and creativity.

PROGRAM STRUCTURE: CAT Institute Fellows participate in a total of around 120 hours of training. About 60 hours of in-session training is conducted over the course of 5 months, which usually occur during intensive two-day sessions held once per month. Fellows also complete an additional 60+ hours of learning between sessions in the form of readings, team assignments and meetings, and field study including site visits. Full attendance and participation in class sessions and assignments is required. All CAT Institute Fellows are accepted on a scholarship basis, with the only cost to participants being some books if they choose to buy them.

SELECTION PROCESS: There are approximately 16 CAT Institute Fellows each session. Roughly half (8) are artists of all disciplines and the other half are community practitioners. Fellows are selected through a nomination, application, and interview process and are considered not only for their individual qualifications but also with respect to the cohort, as a whole.
The deadline to apply is Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at 11:59pm.  All applications are read by a panel of CAT Institute leaders and alumni. A selection of applicants will be invited to interview. Interview invitations will be sent out beginning September 13 and the interviews will be held the week of September 23-27 with daytime and evening times available. Interviews are typically held at the Regional Arts Commission, 6128 Delmar Blvd.
APPLICANT INFORMATION

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* Your Name:

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* Contact Information:

RESUME / CURRICULUM VITAE
REQUIRED: All applicants must submit a current resume (or CV) that demonstrates your experience.

OPTIONAL: You may choose to include a portfolio or examples of your work, but it is not required.

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* Upload your resume or CV. (Required.)

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* Upload your portfolio or samples of your work. (Not required. Some applicants, particularly artists, find that they wish to share a brief example of their work especially if it is hard to explain in the application. This is the place to upload it.)

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ESSAY QUESTIONS

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* 1. How did you learn about the CAT Institute? Please be specific. If you learned about it from a friend or colleague, please share their name(s) with us.

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* 2. Why are you interested in dedicating your time and energy to participating in the CAT Institute? Be specific.
  • A) What do you expect to gain, personally, from the effort that you will invest in the training? (When you graduate, what do you expect to be different for you?)
  • B) Why are you choosing to do this, when you could be doing something else?
  • C) What are your goals for your participation in the training?

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* 3. How will the community benefit from your participation in the CAT Institute? Be specific. We want to know how you will take what you learn and put it to use in the Greater St. Louis area.

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* 4. From your perspective, how can the arts and culturally-based programs impact communities?  How can communities impact the arts?

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* 5. The CAT Institute is centered on the belief that art has the power to be an agent for positive social change. How do you define positive social change? How do you believe social change happens?

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* 6. Describe your experience with partnerships and collaborations – such as in a group setting, on teams, etc. What do you see as reasons for working in partnership with others to accomplish a shared goal - including people you may not always agree with? What challenges have you encountered when working in partnership with others? What are some strategies for overcoming these challenges?

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* 7. If selected, you will be part of a circle with 15 classmates and many faculty and presenters, all of them with unique, personal perspectives, experiences, and wisdom. What do you hope to learn from them?

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* 8. If selected, your classmates and faculty/presenters will be looking to learn from you, as well. You would share in the responsibility of creating an open, collaborative, and constructive learning environment for all participants - including sharing some of your personal perspectives, experiences, and wisdom that others may learn from. What do you, as an individual, bring to the group?

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* 9. Describe a time when you were in a group discussion about a subject that is important to you, and someone in the circle made a statement that you believed to be wrong. How did you feel? How did you act? Briefly describe.

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* 10. Think about a situation that you were in that, in retrospect, you wish you’d handled differently. Briefly describe the situation and what happened. If it were to happen again, what you would do differently and why?

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* 11. Tell us about a time you learned something about yourself from someone different than you. What did you learn? In what ways was the lesson welcome? In what ways was the lesson challenging?

APPLICANT'S COMMITMENT: Read and Sign
All applicants must make the following commitment and be able and willing to fulfill it should they be selected for this class. If you have a question or concern about the commitment or are unsure about your ability to fulfill it, contact us before you sign it. We will hold you to it. (Our contact information is located at the end of the application form.)

I understand that if I am selected for the 2019-20 Regional CAT Institute, my participation involves a commitment to attending all of the training sessions in their entirety, including on-time arrival, as well as actively participating in approximately 60 hours or more of additional reading, assignments, team assignments, and team-centered field study, including site visits. I understand that, if selected, I share the responsibility for creating an open, collaborative, and constructive learning environment for all participants. I am willing and able to make the CAT Institute a top priority in my life and I understand that this may require me to turn down other opportunities that conflict with the CAT Institute-related classes, meetings, and homework assignments.

CAT Institute sessions will generally take place at the Regional Arts Commission building (6128 Delmar Blvd) and occasionally may be held at other locations in the St. Louis region. I am aware that absenteeism from class sessions, absenteeism from team meetings, and/or not completing the assignments may result in my being dropped from the program, so if I am unable to make this time commitment, I should not apply at this time.
The 2019-20 Regional CAT Institute schedule of training sessions:
 
1.       Thursday, November 14, 2019, 5:30–7:00 p.m. (Introduction & Reception)
2.       Friday, November 15, 2019, 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
3.       Saturday, November 16, 2019, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
4.       Friday, December 13, 2019 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
5.       Saturday, December 14, 2019, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
6.       Friday, January 10, 2020, 1:00p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
7.       Saturday, January 11, 2020, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
8.       Friday, February 7, 2020, 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
9.       Saturday, February 8, 2020, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
10.     Friday, March 13, 2020 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
11.      Saturday, March 14, 2020, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

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* By signing below and submitting my application, I affirm that I agree to the above commitment and that I am willing and able to fully commit to the CAT Institute if I am selected. I have discussed the possibility of being accepted into the CAT Institute with my employer and I have my employer’s full support for this commitment.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS
About our selection process: Each CAT Institute cohort has spots for about 16 people. Like most cohort-based training programs, we receive more quality applications than available spots. That means that we aren’t able to accept every individual who would be a good fit for the program. With this in mind, the CAT Institute selection panel follows an intentional selection process with the goal of assembling a well-balanced group. We encourage you to be yourself in your application and, if you find yourself in the position of not being part of this year’s CAT Institute, we encourage you to consider applying again next time.

About our locations(s) and transportation: We recognize that transportation may be a limiting factor for some applicants so there will be an opportunity for the selected CAT Institute Fellows to set up ride sharing or carpools with each other. In addition, the Regional Arts Commission building is located near many public transit options including the Delmar Metrolink station, which is also served by multiple bus lines.

If you have additional concerns, we’d be happy to discuss them with you. Please use the contact information below to reach us.
QUESTIONS? More information about the CAT Institute is available on our website  http://racstl.org/art-community/community-arts-training-cat-institute/ or contact Sarah Frye at sarah@racstl.org or (314) 863-5811 x1014.
DEADLINE:  Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at 11:59p.m.

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