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April First Thursday at the Butler-McCook House & Garden in Hartford In This House World Premiere Evening in Hartford Hartford, CT- On Thursday, April 7th from 4:30-7:30 pm, Connecticut Landmarks’ Butler- McCook House & Garden & Main Street History Center will feature an evening of special opening night activities surrounding the Judy Dworin Performance Project’s world premier of In This House, a lyrical and image-rich multi-media performance piece inspired by the well- documented history of Connecticut Landmarks' 1678 Joshua Hempsted House in New London. The evening will include an informal parlor talk by Allegra di Bonaventura, the opening of Nick Lacy’s In This House exhibition and the popular History Happy Hour featuring wine from Sharpe Hill Vineyard, the Official Wine of Connecticut Landmarks, as part of the Greater Hartford Art Council’s Aetna First Thursday. The event is free with a suggested food and per drink donation of $5. Author and scholar Allegra di Bonaventura, a historical consultant for In This House, will lead an informal parlor talk at 4:30 pm about Adam Jackson, an enslaved African resident at the Joshua Hempsted House. An assistant editor at the Papers of Benjamin Franklin, di Bonaventura
holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and a Ph.D. in History from Yale where her dissertation won the William Egleston Prize for the best dissertation in American history. She is currently finishing a book for W.W. Norton based on the lives of three early New England families: the yeoman Hempsteds, the radical Rogers and the enslaved Jacksons. The opening of the exhibition, In This House, featuring images of the Judy Dworin Performance Project dancers juxtaposed with photographs of the Joshua Hempsted House by Hartford-based photojournalist Nick Lacy will begin at 5 pm. Along with the First Thursday Program, a seasonal prix fixe dinner will be offered at Peppercorn’s Grill, located on Main Street across from the Butler-McCook House. The prix fixe dinner will be available prior to all three nights of the In This House performance. On Thursday night there will also be a dessert reception with the cast following the performance. ~ 3 Courses for $45 ~ 2 Courses for $35 ~ The reception is included with the Thursday 3-course meal. Dessert reception-only tickets can be purchased for $25. For reservations call 860.547.1714 or visit www.peppercornsgrill.com. Special thanks to Day Pitney LLP, Deloitte and Peel Liqueurs for their support of the opening night events. The Judy Dworin Performance Project’s In This House, which weaves live song and dance with recorded voice-overs and projections and probes race relations from the early 18th century to the present day, will premiere at the Charter Oak Cultural Center, 21 Charter Oak Avenue, in Hartford, April 7-9, at 7:30 pm. General admission $25, $15 for seniors and GHAC “Let’s Go!” members, $10 for students. For reservations, call Charter Oak Cultural Center at 860.249.1207. For more information visit www.judydworin.org. For directions to Charter Oak Cultural Center, call 860.249.7041 or visit www.charteroakcenter.org. Creation of In This House was made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, an Arts & Heritage Job Grant from the City of Hartford, The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation, The George A. & Grace L. Long Foundation and the many friends and supporters of the Judy Dworin Performance Project, Inc.
The Butler-McCook House & Garden and Main Street History Center is located at 396 Main Street, in Hartford. Regular tours are available April 1st through December 31st. Hours for April are: Saturday and Sunday, from 11 am to 4 pm. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for students, teachers and seniors, $4 for children age 6-18, and free for members and children under 6. Families with two adults and children receive a special family price of $15. Groups of 10 or more are $5 each. For more information, school groups and special curriculum-based programming, or to book a group tour, please contact the Butler-McCook House at (860) 522-1806.
For 189 years the Butler-McCook House & Garden was home to four generations of a family who participated in, witnessed, and recorded the evolution of Main Street between the American Revolution and the mid-twentieth century. The house’s exterior looks much as it did when it was built in 1782. Behind it is a restored Victorian ornamental garden, originally laid out in 1865. Inside are the original furnishings ranging from Connecticut-crafted colonial furniture to Victorian-era toys and paintings to samurai armor acquired during a trip to Japan. The objects were accumulated over the course of more than 125 years by members of this extraordinary clan, which included physicians, industrialists, missionaries, artists, globe trotters, pioneering educators and social reformers.
The Main Street History Center’s keystone exhibition, “Witnesses on Main Street,” uses the Butler and McCook families’ words and experiences to chronicle their neighborhood’s transformation from a clutch of clapboard dwellings, taverns, and artisan shops into a modern urban enclave of multi-story steel, brick, and stone structures housing major financial, industrial, governmental, and cultural institutions. About Connecticut Landmarks Founded in 1936, Connecticut Landmarks, formerly known as the Antiquarian & Landmarks Society, is the largest state-wide heritage museum organization in Connecticut. The historic landmark properties include: the Amasa Day House, Moodus; the Amos Bull House, Hartford; the Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden, Bethlehem; the Butler-McCook House & Garden and Main Street History Center, Hartford; the Buttolph-Williams House, Wethersfield; the Hempsted Houses, New London; the Isham-Terry House, Hartford; the Nathan Hale Homestead, Coventry; and the Phelps-Hatheway House & Garden, Suffield. Connecticut Landmarks’ mission is to inspire interest and encourage learning about the American past by preserving selected historic properties, collections and stories and presenting programs that meaningfully engage the public and our communities. For more information, please visit www.ctlandmarks.org. In This House. Photo by Nick Lacy, courtesy of the Judy Dworin Performance Project.
Butler-McCook House, photo by Rochelle Simon.In This House. Photo by Nick Lacy.
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