Founded in 1975, Real Art Ways is one of the country's early alternative arts spaces. Real Art Ways presents and produces new and innovative work by emerging and established artists, and serves as a crucial connection for audiences and artists regionally, nationally and internationally. The organization has sustained itself through committed support for new ideas and disciplines, and has steadily built a diverse and unique audience that crosses lines of color, sexual orientation, economics and age.
Real Art Ways began when a group of visual artists and musicians took over a rambling upstairs space on Asylum Street in downtown Hartford. The founding members created a bare bones salon in which they lived, worked and presented the work of others. The idea of alternativity to the mainstream is central to Real Art Ways – the organization arose at a moment when alternative ideas were being explored.