Feel at home with the arts!
The Great-Give is on & only 36-hours! May 1 to May 2 (midnight), 2018
We need your support now. You can support us through the 36-hour fundraising event or donate here securely on our site
The Friends of John Slade Ely House of Contemporary Art, Inc. (Friends) was formed out of a crisis in 2015 to preserve an important and essential New Haven arts landmark known as the “John Slade Ely House Galleries” (JSEHG) at 51 Trumbull Street. For over 54 years it had been the arts hub that generated New Haven’s strong identity as a contemporary art friendly city and fostered the start-up of the many arts organization that still exist today. Its excellence and charm is well known to the region as generations of artists, both young and old, have exhibited their work or attended the exhibition of a family member, friend, or neighbor.
This gift to New Haven’s identity was the vision of Grace T. Ely who left her home and estate in Trust has fostered a deep set of traditions, practices, and expectations for our community. Mrs. Ely's intention to present challenging, conceptual, and provocative art within the interior of her beautiful Elizabethan home is a rare model for an art gallery. The non-commercial non-commodity based aspects of curated exhibitions nurtured a strong, diverse, and vibrant community of practicing artists, clubs, friends, and families whose patronage-as-support resulted in a highly creative, barter-based, accessible public art center.
Since its restructuring and opening as the Ely Center of Contemporary Art in June 2016, the Friends has sought to ensure the continuation of the historic activities presented at the JSEHG and to preserve its essential identity. The core objectives of the Friends is to promote a vibrant, just, and healthy creative arts and culture community by facilitating a diverse, inclusive, and nimble art center for artists and their audiences for future generations as Grace Ely intended.