It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of East City Art’s senior contributor and editorial advisor John Wade Carey, Jr. A longtime supporter of fine arts and performing arts organizations in Washington, DC and former human resources director for the Washington office of the American Bar Association. Wade died Wednesday, September 12, 2018, in Washington, after a sudden and unexpected illness. A native Washingtonian born July 1, 1952, he was the elder son of John W. Carey Sr. and Helen Wade Carey (both predeceased him) and grew up in Alexandria, where he was graduated from T.C. Williams High School in 1969. In the early 1970s, he was a member of several antiwar media collectives in Washington and San Francisco. In 1977, he moved with his partner Edward “Ted” Coltman to Boston, where they lived for two years. On their return to DC, Wade began to work with the ABA’s Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities. At the same time, he began to participate widely in local arts organizations, including the then-fledgling Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, serving on its board of directors for ten years. A longtime resident of Capitol Hill, he also sponsored an artist-in-residence program at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop. He also strongly supported the growth of the Tehreema Mitha Dance Company, which performs both classical Indian dance and contemporary modern dance. For the last 17 years, he hosted students from the Himalayan nation of Bhutan, many of them master of laws candidates at George Washington University who have returned home to prominent roles in the government and judiciary.
Since the inception of East City Art in 2010, Wade participated extensively in the development of the publication. He wrote East City Art’s first published art review on May 28, 2010. In the coming years, Wade conducted extensive interviews with local artists, often transcribing the sessions in Q&A format. From the onset, Wade expressed the desire that the publication’s focus remain artist-centered and sought to ensure that East City Art would continue provide a much needed platform to the regional arts community. After a brainstorming session among the East City Art writing collaborative in the fall of 2012, Wade came up with the name EMULSION to describe what would become the publication’s signature event: an annual all media exhibition synthesizing the most promising local artists from the Washington-Baltimore region in a large exhibition format. He continued to work closely with publisher Phil Hutinet on all matters relating to East City Art from the decision to go into print, the website upgrade and publication’s expansion. Most recently, as a board member of the East City Art Foundation, the publication’s nonprofit arm, he assisted in the creation of a critical writing program to help improve existing writers’ work and to help train new members of the expanding writers cohort. These efforts led to publication of East City Art’s first anthology of critical writing titled CONFLUENCE: Two Rivers One City.
Wade devoted much of his time to championing the arts, ensuring artists could realize their oeuvre and be heard. Unlike many who seek recognition for their work, Wade worked quietly and selflessly behind the scenes. He possessed keen insight and tremendous wisdom, the kind exhibited only by someone who lived a full and adventurous life. Generous and caring, he imparted the knowledge he gained over the years freely and without favor with those closest to him.
Wade is survived by his husband (he and Ted Coltman were married in 2012 after 36 years together); a brother, David B. Carey (wife Neill) of Richmond, VA; and a sister, Jean L. Gudaitis (husband Richard and their son Charles W.) of Falls Church, VA.
There will be no immediate funeral ceremony, but a memorial gathering will be announced later. Memorial donations may be directed to Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, Food & Friends, East City Art Foundation, Whitman-Walker Health, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Vocal Arts DC, SMYAL or Tehreema Mitha Dance Company.