News & Events

CATS: Mission to Movement

Published: June 10, 2020

Dear CATS Community,

Throughout history, it has always been the young people who have blazed the new trails that have changed our world in extraordinary ways. For most Americans, their understanding of the role race and racism plays in America has radically shifted over the past several weeks. At Cincinnati Arts and Technology Studios (CATS), we condemn racism, hatred, oppression, and injustice. We stand in solidarity with the worldwide Black Lives Matter movement. To us, silence is not an option. We pledge to use our collective voices to continue our work for meaningful change and to redouble our efforts to create a better future.

“A Black Man’s Story”, I. Mills

“Freedom”, B. Pearson

Since 2003, we have worked to unlock, equip and nurture our students in ways that honor their individual and collective visions, challenges, and opportunities. We honor their struggles, as many elements of their daily lives are interwoven with the constant challenge of being black or being black and impoverished in America.  While we mourn for those lost, we also commit to continue our work with students whose art showcases both their struggles and their triumphs at overcoming adversity with art that enlightens by sharing their perspective with the world.

At CATS, we inspire young adults to discover their self-worth and dignity through the transformative power of art. We develop our students to share their unique perspective through their art so their voice can be shared with the world.

As our city and our nation act on their beliefs that racism is wrong and at the root of senseless and unprovoked killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean, Sam Dubose, and others–CATS is doubling down on its mission to combat the impact of generations of promise left to wither, talent untapped, and personal value denied. We were formed specifically to break down systematic racism by helping at-risk students earn credit to graduate high school and prepare for a career, for college, or both.

Cincinnati is a caring community, but—as is the case with most American cities—Cincinnati is a troubled community that is struggling to understand the real impact of decades of systemic racism.  Yet, Cincinnati is not standing still.  We invite you to put aside your fears of change. Put aside your implicit unconscious bias. Look outside your circle for ways you can help to build community, starting with learning from and about the whole community outside your doors.  You can start here:

– Submit your ideas for an art project that engages our students to share their perspective of a new and more inclusive community.

– Explore the CATS student gallery via Instagram @catscincinnati

– Read, listen, learn more about Black Lives Matter and the anti-racism movement. 

Together we can inspire a generation to discover themselves through individual expressions and the transformative value of art.