What is RAW? at Real Art Ways

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An early group photo of Real Art Ways team members circa 1990s

Ten Things You Should Know About Real Art Ways

1. We’re unique

We have a reputation for exceptional programming, but it’s our relaxed vibe and inclusive environment that keep people coming back. The flow of people, art and ideas makes RAW a comfortable place for people from different backgrounds to share experiences and create new memories.


2. We were founded in 1975

Real Art Ways started during a moment when alternative ideas were spreading across the country. A group of visual artists and musicians created a space to live and work. Later, RAW evolved into a non-profit organization with a mission to support innovative artists and connect people with new ideas.


3. We work with living artists

Unlike a traditional museum, we don’t have a permanent collection – new music, performance and art are always coming through our doors. We present all kinds of creative expression, and support new ideas, experiments and risk.


4. We rely on our members

Individual support is crucial to our mission of supporting new and innovative art of all forms in Hartford. Members receive discounts to our events as thanks for literally making Real Art Ways possible. Are you a member yet?


5. We do more than one thing

Gallery exhibitions, independent cinema, innovative performances, social events, education programs, spoken word – you get the idea. Sign up for our weekly enews and you’ll always know what we’re up to next.


6. Our building used to be a typewriter factory

Hartford has a lot of old industrial buildings – ours was an Underwood typewriter factory. Anybody remember typewriters?


7. We like it when you hang out here

People know us for our social events – like Creative Cocktail Hour – but you might not know that you can come here and just…be here. Come at a quiet time to be alone with the art, meet up with friends in the Loading Dock Lounge after a film, or just grab your laptop and show up for a change of scenery and free WiFi.


8. We want to hear from you

There’s a Yelp review that begins: “I have at least a few good stories that start with ‘Remember that time at Real Art Ways…’ If you can think of a few of your own, we want to hear them! Find us on Facebook or Twitter, email us or pick up the phone and call.


9. The art is for sale

Most of the art we show is for sale. If you see something you like, ask us about it.


10. And, well, you can drink in our movie theater

We offer wines and local beers. And as always, the popcorn is fresh and the butter is, appropriately, real.