My Windham Project
My Windham Project is a place making exhibition of the arts organized by the Town of Windham, a professional panel of artists and Eastern Connecticut State University. The exhibition will include a range of works, including dance, theater, non - traditional and classical art by local Windham artists. To be held in downtown Willimantic, this art exhibition will transform the town into a city-wide celebration of the arts as Willimantic businesses lend their storefronts. Expressing the life and culture of Windham, Connecticut, the works of thirty five artists will be displayed. Events will be held indoors and outdoors. Specific times and locations are to be listed in the My Windham Project catalog.
Message from Ernest S. Eldridge, Mayor
To All in our Community:
As Mayor, I am pleased to have the opportunity for the Town of Windham to join in partnership with Eastern Connecticut State University to make My Windham a project for community engagement.
This project has brought many people from all aspects of town together to show that the arts can be used as a resource in collaboration with other attractions to promote economic development.
Just two hours from NYC and Boston, passenger trains once came to Town as the economic hub of the region. Willimantic was established in the early 1820's as a mill town in the quiet rural agricultural community of Windham Connecticut where the Willimantic river served as a source of power. The downtown was developed along the Railroad lines that once served as transportation, and hugs the scenic River.
The mills have long since closed, and the passenger trains have discontinued service. Yet Windham and Willimantic remains a diverse town in the process of redefining itself as a youthful and vibrant arts community where creativity flourishes.
A new bridge was built in 2000 with four - eight foot frogs on large spools that welcome visitors, and have become the symbol of this creativity.
We are also blessed with numerous Victorian homes that were built by merchants and Mill owners and these hold the history of the Town and continue to make it a memorable place. Many of the homes in Willimantic have been converted to apartments, and are affordable enough for artists to live and work on their artwork.
Windham has a unique quality that draws people here to enjoy its cultural attractions including festivals, an Arts Magnet schools, street art, occasional pop up Farmer's Market events, a community college, a Boom Box Parade for the fourth of July, and one of Connecticut's premier liberal arts colleges at Eastern Connecticut State University.
Welcome to Windham!
Message from Elsa Núñez
The My Windham Project is another great example of the close relationship that Eastern has maintained with Willimantic for the past 125 years. It is also a reminder of the importance of art in the life of a civilized society and the role that the arts play on Eastern’s liberal arts campus. Eastern students, faculty and staff volunteer more than 100,000 hours of time each year to local community. Over the years, a significant amount of that service has come in the form of pro-bono art and graphic design performed by our visual arts students. They have decorated parks, museums, and other public places with their art; have designed logos, banners and displays for Third Thursday and other community projects; and have also brought art activities to children in Windham Public Schools. My Windham is another occasion to showcase local artists and their work, while providing an opportunity for Eastern students to work with the local community on a common goal. In so doing, this project strengthens the arts on our campus. I am excited to see how the work of 30 artists will transform downtown Willimantic to a living art space. I applaud everyone involved in this project for their imagination and their dedication to Eastern and the town of Windham!