The Real Art Ways Expansion at Real Art Ways

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Expansion Project

In 2021, Real Art Ways purchased the Underwood typewriter building that has been our home for more than thirty years.

The expansion will revitalize this historic building which is also home to artists, designers, photographers, dance studios, non-profit organizations, and many other creative businesses.

Artists: Founded by and for artists, Real Art Ways has always been about people connecting through art and ideas. This project ensures a future focused on artists, neighbors, youth, and community.

Economic sustainability: The expansion will broaden the base of Real Art Ways’ earned income through the cinema, expanded programming, and a new cafe. Owning the building also provides secure rental income through consistent tenancy with a steady occupancy rate of 97 percent.

Neighborhood and Region: Real Art Ways will make a deeper commitment to our community as we offer more youth programs, bring more visitors to Hartford, create more jobs, and enhance the vibrancy of the region.

Join us in the exciting journey ahead – discover the features of our space, track our progress, and learn how you can be part of the campaign.

FEATURES

See what’s in store for you in the expansion.

IMAGINE MORE

Our expansion will include:

  • Three New Cinemas– growing from Real Art Ways’ successful single screen, we will add three cinemas of varying sizes, with a dynamic schedule of new films, conversations, expanded education offerings, and specialty programming
  • Live Arts Space – a flexible theatrical space, used to present innovative theater, performance art events, music, and literary arts
  • Cafe – encouraging visitors from various backgrounds to gather and interact with each other around good food
  • Galleries – all five galleries will be reimagined and redesigned
  • Learning and Engagement Spaces – workshop space will connect people, young and old, with creativity and each other
  • Outdoor Performance, Event, and Garden Space
  • Capital Improvements to 56 Arbor Street building

Real Art Ways’ purchase and expansion project has a goal of long-term sustainability, guided by diversification of income, economies of scale, and conservative business practices.

CAMPAIGN

You’ve brought us this far. Learn about ways to Come Together and Imagine More.

Come Together

Real Art Ways has received generous support from the State of Connecticut, the Federal government, corporations, foundations, and dozens of individuals.

Since its inception, Real Art Ways has been about people – the artists we nurture, the community we serve, the neighbors we live with, and the patrons who engage in conversations, share laughs, and exchange ideas.

Real Art Ways is here for you, and at this time, we hope we can count on you to be here for us.

Donate

Thank you for your interest in supporting Come Together, Imagine More: A Campaign for Real Art Ways.

As you consider the Campaign gift that is right for you, please note that membership and unrestricted donations that support operations and programming are Real Art Ways’ greatest needs.

Gifts to the Campaign should be considered in addition to maintaining your current membership and support of Real Art Ways.

MAKE A CAMPAIGN GIFT

You can provide the energy and resources to strengthen our place in the community by making a gift to the capital campaign.

Visit our secure portal to make your gift

SPECIAL RECOGNITION

Have a Seat

Leave your mark on the movie-going experience by donating a seat in one of the four theaters.

Visit our secure portal to make a donation to inscribe a cinema seat.

Naming Opportunities

See the spaces that can be named with a major gift to the capital campaign.

Underwood Typewriter Building - 56 Arbor Street

$3,000,000

A pace-setting gift of $3 million could be recognized with the ten-year, renewable opportunity to have a name associated with the 1917 historic property that houses Real Art Ways and nearly one hundred creative enterprises.

Underwood Building Lobby

$125,000

The understated and elegant lobby of the 1917 Underwood Offices will create the first powerful impression of a creative incubator and a welcoming landmark for visitors to Real Art Ways and the building’s entrepreneurial tenants.

Real Art Ways Warehouse

$1,500,000

A lead gift of $1.5 million could be recognized with the ten-year, renewable opportunity to have a name associated with the 17,000 square foot one-story warehouse that houses Real Art Ways.

Main Gallery

$350,000

The centerpiece of the art programming at Real Art Ways, the Main Gallery accommodates flat art, sculpture, video projection, performance art, and large-scale installations. It manages to be both a commanding space and intimate.

Middle Gallery

Named

Far Gallery

$125,000

A space for solo shows, group shows, performance events, and gatherings, the intimate gallery will be refreshed to enhance our ability to support artists and bring people together around ideas.

Real Room

Named

Video Arts Gallery

$150,000

A space for single-artist video installations, performance documentation, and contextual material for gallery shows, the video gallery will continue to bring video art to Real Art Ways with improved sound and projection technology.

Live Arts Space

Named

Greenroom (1)

$100,000

The Greenroom offers guest performers a warm and welcoming space to prepare before their performance, refresh between sets, and relax at the end of their performance. It is the principal space were Real Art Ways shows its hospitality and gratitude to these valued artists.

Greenroom (2)

$100,000

The Greenroom offers guest performers a warm and welcoming space to prepare before their performance, refresh between sets, and relax at the end of their performance. It is the principal space were Real Art Ways shows its hospitality and gratitude to these valued artists.

Lobby

Named

Lawn and Outdoor Performance Space

$350,000

The reimagined south lawn will function as the welcome space to Real Art Ways, greeting visitors as they arrive and also as a performance space for events such as our monthly Creative Cocktail Hour.

Café

$300,000

In many ways, the centerpiece of the expansion, the café in the nexus of values of social interaction, community building, dialogue, engagement with ideas, and fun.

“RAW” Bar

$175,000

Since its founding, Real Art Ways has been about bringing people together. The bar in the new café will be lively extension of that core part of our mission. Before and after events, the bar will be a magnet for patrons from various backgrounds to gather, and interact with each other.

Café Terrace

Named

Cinema (1)

Named

Cinema (2)

Named

Cinema (3)

Named

Cinema (4)

$250,000

Expanding on Real Art Ways’ successful single screen operation, and taking advantage of economies of scale, we will have four cinemas of varying sizes, with a dynamic schedule of new films, conversations, expanded education offerings, and specialty programming.

Box Office

Named

Concessions

Named

Cinema Alley

$125,000

Outside two of the three new cinemas and adjacent to the “Real Room” Gallery, this foyer will serve as a transitional gathering space pre- and post-film for discussion, convivial socializing, and chance encounters with fellow patrons.

Café Operations

$125,000

Headquarters for cafe management.

Lobby Studio

$75,000

Workshop space for art, learning, engagement, and the unexpected.

CONTACT US

For questions or information regarding making a pledge, scheduling a visit or tour, or requesting additional information, please contact Eric Ort, Campaign Director.