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Season Opens At The Packing House

Courant Community

Eastern Connecticut Center for History, Art and Performance, Inc., known as EC-CHAP, is a large umbrella under which many marvelous things are happening - from concerts by world-class performers to dance, film, and history.

The nonprofit organization is located at The Mill Works, in Willington.

Within the former Gardiner Hall, Jr. Mill is a museum showcasing the history of the Mill Era and The Packing House, now used as a venue to highlight new, upcoming regional talent and to bring world-class entertainers to the region. They perform in an intimate space, with state of the art acoustics.

Also housed within the refurbished mill are many artists' studios, giving the motto "the place to create" a vibrant reality.

There is a kaleidoscope of offerings at The Mill Works, and the entertainment in The Packing House reaches deep into diverse interests.

There are a few changes this season at The Packing House, but what is consistent is the quality of performance and the very popular BYOB&F, the F being food. It is a great way to enjoy music and a favorite wine and food at the bistro tables or for larger groups, comfortable chairs with low tables to spread the delectables. The ambiance is casual, simple elegance.

The changes enhance the already quality experience one has at The Packing House and The Mill Works in general. Tom Buccino, director, and the entire EC-CHAP Board of Directors would like to encourage regional performing artists to participate in the monthly Talent Showcase, on the second Wednesday of the month.

"We are introducing a new 'Special Local Artist Performance Program.' Some of those talented people may be asked back to have their own performances. We are continuously seeking high quality talent to provide a valuable experience for our patrons," Buccino said.

Drawing on local talent is important to him. Don Braden's "Trio of Liberty" is partially underwritten by Arthur Rovozzo, who hosts WECS Saturday Jazz.

"Arthur is an expert in jazz and his grandfather actually worked in the mills," Buccino said.

A portion of the ticket sales will be donated to EC-CHAP. The jazz series which, begins with "Trio of Liberty," is separated into its own genre this season, but there is plenty to enjoy for people who like folk or acoustics, as well as vintage films. The Friday night film series begins Sept. 22, with the film The Doors.

All listings of events can be found by visiting Tickets may also be purchased online, and tables reserved.

For information about everything happening at The Mill Works, visit

There will be four First Sundays at The Mill Works, with the first on Oct. 1. These are free and packed with interesting activities, as well as artists' open studios. The Gardiner Hall, Jr. Museum will be open then, and also every Wednesday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and by appointment. Curator Pamm Summers will be available to answer any questions.

The EC-CHAP Board of Directors invites the public to join for monthly meetings at The Packing House, located at 156 River Road. Willington.

For more information, call 518-791-9474. Feedback is very important for future planning.

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