“Community Mural Program Remembered”

In early 2017 New Haven’s Q” House on Dixwell Avenue was imploded to make way for a new community center. Inside that long-abandoned Modernist building were two murals painted almost forty years ago. They were the last survivors of a small but productive community mural program run for a handful of years in the late 1970s by the City of New Haven with federal funds. The funding was provided through the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA). With the funding, local governments designed programs to train people for jobs. New Haven, under the leadership of Mayor Frank Logue, used some of its funding to create jobs for emerging local artists. This may have been the first time that people of color were both involved with making–and the subject of–public art in New Haven.

Celebrating CETA: A Look Back at New Haven’s Community Mural Program is on view July 20 to September 13 in the Ives Gallery at the New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm Street, New Haven.