Chapel Haven & the Arts

Chapel Haven Schleifer Center offers a rich curriculum grounded in the visual and performing arts. From teaching and learning to arts appreciation and celebration, we value the creative potential of every adult enrolled in our program and showcase their amazing talents in a variety of ways.

This is no surprise, given our location in the City of New Haven, Conn., a thriving arts community where creative expression is prized and encouraged at every level. We view the City as our classroom and are privileged to enjoy and interact with working artists from all walks of life, as well as renowned institutions such as the Yale Center for British Art, celebrating the work of artists down through the generations.

Chapel Haven is partnered with a host of arts organizations, including:

⦁ Yale Center for British Art
⦁ Yale Child Study Center
⦁ Yale Art Gallery
⦁ Yale Repertory Theatre
⦁ Artspace
⦁ Westville Village Renaissance Alliance
⦁ Madison Fine Arts Cinema (Chapel Haven art exhibit 2019)
⦁ Mitchell Library, Westville (continuous art exhibits)
⦁ Edgewood School Pen and Paint Pal Program
⦁ Autism Awareness Day at Woolsey Hall, Yale University
⦁ Students for Autism Awareness at Yale (SAAY)

UARTS Chapel Haven


UARTS Chapel Haven Schleifer Center, Inc. is an Artisan training program, providing creative skills for adults with developmental and social disabilities. The individuals who participate in UARTS are part of the Chapel Haven Schleifer Center community. The UARTS retail storefront and art studio are located on Emerson Street in the heart of Chapel Haven’s campus, with many products featured at Chapel Haven’s new campus store in the SAIL building. UARTS is currently open for online sales and curbside pick-up, via their website, or

Learn more about UARTS and meet our artisans here:


Lizzy displays Hand Stamped
Reusable Shopping Bag

Rachel W doing bead work

Rachael W doing bead work

Danny demonstrates Screen Printing, Chapel Haven Schleifer Center Spirit Wear

Sam at the Register!

UARTS Screen Printed Chapel Haven Schleifer Center Spirit Wear and Face Masks

Laurel Working on a
UARTS art project

Kimber Showcasing
UARTS Products


Heather McDonald

Heather McDonald

UARTS Chapel Haven Schleifer Center (CHSC) Studio Instructor
(203) 397-1714 – ext. 198

Heather McDonald is the UARTS Chapel Haven Schleifer Center (CHSC) Studio Instructor. Heather has brought her passion for the arts and community development to the UARTS team since its launch in 2014. Heather enriches the participants of UARTS through innovative textile art projects. With a focus on humanity, Heather has spearheaded numerous activities for the UARTS CHSC community. Heather has a background in Liberal Arts from Gateway Community College. She loves cooking and spending time outside with her family.

Art Classes and Experiential
Classes at Chapel Haven

Chapel Haven Schleifer Center’s arts curriculum is led by Tina Menchetti. Tina Menchetti, Art Director at Chapel Haven Schleifer Center, is a true arts hero to the 200-plus parents and adults at Chapel Haven, and she has won many admirers in New Haven’s art circle for her unflagging commitment to art enrichment for all.

Tina has taught art at Chapel Haven since 1995. She also directs Chapel Haven’s theater company. Her affiliations with arts organizations in New Haven continues to grow exponentially. In the latest, Daniel Cress, director of marketing at the Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre, enlisted Tina’s help in creating more sensory-friendly experiences at the theatre, a collaboration that is underway.

In another new development, the Yale Center for British Art has invited Tina’s Out to Art Class to curate its own exhibit from the museum’s permanent collection. This exhibit will be the first of its kind curated by a group of special needs adults celebrating their perspectives on visual art by master artists.

Tina recognizes the power of art to dissolve misconceptions and myths about people with disabilities. Through her gentle leadership, adults at Chapel Haven have won entrée into New Haven’s most vaunted arts institutions and they have, in turn, helped those organizations better understand how to serve special needs audiences.

What people say about
Chapel Haven’s arts curriculum:

“Our son, Josh, had only had very negative experiences with art before he came to Chapel Haven. He wanted nothing to do with it. Once he started with Tina’s class, he never stopped. She just made art come to life for him – ceramics, glass painting. He has loved it all these years and she has encouraged him to do things we never thought he could do. He feels a tremendous sense of accomplishment. She individualizes the participation of each person, according to what their talents are. Everyone is given the chance to shine.”

Chapel Haven Parent Rita O’Neill

“The Out to Art program in partnership with the Yale Center for British Art was the idea of Ms. Menchetti, who wanted to provide opportunities for social, emotional and intellectual growth in a public community setting accessible to her students. Ms. Menchetti’s soft touch encourages her students to try new things – to reach out to someone about their ‘project’, to ask questions for better understanding, and with the help of the Center’s docents, create an artistic response to that day’s gallery activity.”

Linda Friedlaender, Head of Education at the Yale Center for British Art

Sampling of Classes

Chapel Haven Schleifer Center Theater

Tina Menchetti

Be part of the Chapel Haven Theater Group and experience the drama we create as a group project. We will include dialog, music, dance, comedy and improvisation. All cast members will be part of the production in front of a live audience at the end of the semester. Students will be part of the choreography, set design, costumes, music, make-up and more. Come join the fun and be part of a very creative group of actors!

Chapel Haven Schleifer Center Chorus

Come and be a part of the Chapel Haven Chorus! During the first few classes, we will choose the songs that we are going to perform at our concert to be held at the end of the semester. Come to rehearsal each week ready to sing and with your dancing shoes on!

Night of Noise

Chapel Haven’s Night of Noise is a spring talent show presented by the Chapel Haven Family Association and featuring music, songs, singing, dancing and comedy by Chapel Haven students and community members. The event also includes a free art fair featuring paintings, drawings and other original works of art by Chapel Haven artists, along with Chapel Haven’s Uarts.  Venues for the Night of Noise have included Lyric Hall in Westville and the JCC of Greater New Haven.

Out to Art

Tina Menchetti

This class is for the real art enthusiasts! We will be holding our classes every week in the Yale Center for the British Art. Class will be taught in collaboration with the Center’s own education department. We will study famous British paintings and sculptures displayed in the museum and discuss techniques, color, subject matter, history and more. The class will draw and paint with direction and influence from the works we observe and discuss during class. This is a very special opportunity to experience the chance to create and learn about art in one of the world’s finest museums.

Artistic Woodwork

Tina Menchetti

Practical and fun! Create a piece of artwork that’s useful and beautiful! In this class students will learn more about wood pieces and different decorating techniques such as sponging, stencils and decals. During the first class we will discuss techniques and projects.

Basic Ceramics

Tina Menchetti

Students will learn to clean, paint and glaze molded ceramics pieces. Students will also learn different decorating techniques. This is a great opportunity to create useful items for home and gifts.

Expressive Painting

Join us as we experiment with paint and color to express your inner thoughts and feelings. Discover the power of painting. We will study various types of painting including landscapes, portrait and abstract.

Mindfulness through Art

Tina Menchetti

Share your own artwork or your thoughts on your favorite master’s artwork. What inspires you? We will discuss and create some art work from home using different techniques. No paint brushes? No problem-we will use our imagination to create, discuss and share ideas as a group of artists.

Nature Photography

Students in this class will take pictures of landscapes, wildlife and plant life as they are found in their natural environment. At the end of the semester, students will create a collage of the photos they have taken.  Students wishing to enroll in this class must have their own digital camera or a device with a camera option such as a cell phone or an iPad.

Painted Glassware

Tina Menchetti

In this class we will paint glassware, all shapes and sizes. You can drink from these glass pieces or you can have them just to look at and enjoy! These are great gift making ideas for everyone. We will learn special brush stroke techniques that are simple and beautiful. Class is for all levels as long as you love to use a paint brush.

Jewelry Making

Tina Menchetti

In this class, students will create jewelry out of beads, baubles and even elastic bands. We will make key chains, necklaces and bracelets among other things. Test your fine motor skills and try the very popular “Rainbow Loom”; bracelets made of colorful elastic bands. Make gifts or keep them for yourself. Either way, you’ll leave with great jewelry. All supplies included.

Questions about Chapel Haven and the arts? Contact us at: