In 1980, Wesleyan archivist Jody Cormack and her husband, the late musician and teacher T. Viswanathan, purchased a home on a quiet Middletown street with the idea of hosting small house concerts.
"It was partly the location," Cormack says. "I won't take you downstairs, but there's this great finished room downstairs. That was the first spot. And then there's a deck out in the back. We had outdoor concerts in the summer."
The concerts were sporadic. After Viswa's death in 2002, Cormack revisited the idea.
"We made this space," Cormack says, pointing to a tight, square area adjacent to the living room, lined with instruments, books and...