Cape Ann Art Haven is a community space where artists of all ages and abilities are encouraged to develop creativity and confidence through hands on learning and collaboration.
Art Haven is a small nonprofit started on July 31, 2008, in downtown Gloucester with the mission of providing a place for the community to have exposure to the arts. Our immediate goal was to fill an obvious need for children. In the Gloucester Schools there have been many budget cuts, resulting in "Art in A Cart" programs in many Cape Ann elementary schools.
The idea for Art Haven was first conceived in January of 2008. After a season of hard work and preparation, the doors of a newly refurbished studio on Main Street opened for classes on July 31st and the Open House later that night drew a large crowd of supporters. From that first open house until now, Art Haven has been sustained by an abundance of in-kind and financial support from the community, as well as many generous foundation grants. Over forty businesses have donated their resources, totaling over $20,000 to help us fulfill our mission.
At Art Haven we aim to provide opportunities for artists of all ages to have a place to exercise their artistic talents. In July 2008 we started offering after school classes for students in grades 3-8. We also began hosting a weekly class for 15 students from an alternative high school called the Compass Youth Program, an extension of Gloucester High School for at-risk youth.
The following summer (2009), our programs expanded to include mural painting, darkroom photography, pottery, and beginner adult classes in drawing and pottery. As summer came to an end, we made a transition into offering all of these things as after school classes, including an art history class and a home school class. The Art Haven studio now has a fully functioning darkroom (available for classes and open darkroom time), pottery wheels, painting and drawing supplies, and a digital lighting studio.
In addition to our normal class programming, we love offering community events that get kids and adults excited about the arts on Cape Ann. Join us for pumpkin carving, ice sculpture building, buoy painting, and various art events that coincide with downtown block parties throughout the year!
In the summer of 2012, Art Haven expanded! We've taken on an additional 4,000 square feet of space at 11 Pleasant Street called The Hive- a creative community center for high school and adult students. We've always wanted to serve creative minds of all ages, and now we truly can! The Hive includes brand new pottery wheels, an Apple computer lab, classroom space, a fashion design studio, a screen printing facility, a function room and gallery/cinema room, and TAG studios. Take a look at thehivecenter.org to explore The Hive’s class options and register online!
Frequently Asked Questions
How did Art Haven start?
David Brooks, a Gloucester native, and his sister Sarah noticed a need for affordable art classes in the Gloucester area and began making plans for Art Haven in January 2008. They found a landlord who believed in their cause and received a tremendous amount of support from the local community, enabling them to open their doors to the public on July 31, 2008. It's only with the amazing support of the community that this idea has been able to come to fruition.
How can I get involved?
We are always looking for people to volunteer their time in the studio. Call us or stop by to get more information and pick up a volunteer application.
We are also now offering adult classes in painting, clay, and digital art at our teen/adult center, The Hive. If you are interested, check out our adult classes here.
What facilities and supplies does Art Haven have?
Art Haven has 5 pottery wheels, a low-fire kiln, a variety of painting, drawing, and printmaking supplies, a fully functioning darkroom, and a digital lighting studio.
Do I need to sign up ahead of time?
Some of our classes require preregistration, but many are open to walk-ins. Those requiring registration are darkroom photography, youth pottery, and adult open darkroom time. All other classes are open to walk-ins unless the class is full. To be safe, you can always call ahead to check.
If I can't afford classes, what do I do?
Because of the help of our donors, we are able to offer scholarships to youth from low-income families. To see if a child qualifies for reduced class fees, a parent or guardian must print and fill out a registration form online, or stop by to pick up a form. Once we review the application, we will contact you to let you know.
Where is Art Haven located?
The studio is located at 180B Main Street in Gloucester, MA, directly across from the police station.