Our History

Gateway Arts was originally established in 1973 to provide day services for eight adults.

Former Director Rae Edelson shares the early history of Gateway Arts.

“When I moved to Boston from Manhattan in 1977, I accepted a position as Director of Gateway Crafts, a small program, which combined my interests in the arts and human services.  Gateway had been established four years prior as part of the de-institutionalization of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health state schools.  At that time ten individuals were part of this little gem of a program, housed in a small basement studio in Brighton.  Shortly after, Gateway became part of Vinfen Corporation, a non-profit human service agency with entrepreneurial spirit.  They encouraged me to expand the program.”

The Gateway Timeline

“Gateway Crafts” is established by the Developmental Disabilities Unit of the Massachusetts Mental Health Center to provide day services for eight adults, as a response to the de-institutionalization of state schools.

Gateway Crafts becomes a component of the newly incorporated Vinfen, a leading non-profit provider of human services for New England.

The program begins expanding services and moves from Allston to its current location at 62 Harvard Street in Brookline Village, Massachusetts.

An additional 5,000 square feet of space are added to the program, accommodating an increased demand for services for people with psychiatric disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, head injuries, and visual, hearing, and cognitive impairments.

Additional studio space is developed at 58A Harvard Street, now known as Studio A, accommodating the growing needs of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission to serve people with psychiatric disabilities.

A PBS Special featuring Gateway artist Bohill Wong wins an Emmy Award.

Gateway Crafts expands further, opening a ground floor jewelry studio and a street level retail store at 60 Harvard Street.

A twelve member advisory committee of collectors, art professionals, philanthropists, and artist family members is established.

Gateway Crafts is renamed Gateway Arts!

Emmy Award Winning PBS Special on artist Bohill Wong (1997)