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About Us

The Eastern Connecticut Performing Arts Association engages, entertains, inspires, and challenges audiences with high quality, professional and innovative theatrical productions that range from the classics to new works: we aim to nurture a collaborative community of artists dedicated to revitalizing the region's love for the arts and are committed to training and supporting a new generation of artists through arts education programs that promote life-long learning to the community.

Our Story

The Eastern Connecticut Performing Arts Association (ECPAA) is a 501(c) (3) non-profit arts organization composed of performers, artists, and prominent local business people who seek to improve the state of the arts in eastern Connecticut. 

 

Exposure to the arts builds connections between people, encourages interaction, and challenges perceptions - all vital to a healthy community. ECPAA will entertain and inspire community members of all ages and backgrounds through a full series of high-quality, entertaining, and innovative Main Stage productions. We will nurture a collaborative community of professional artists dedicated to fostering the area's strong love of the arts. Yearlong arts education programs will train a new generation of artists in the fundamentals of theatre and performance while reinforcing core values. ECPAA is deeply committed to enriching lives through the transformative power and joy of live theatre. 

Our Goal

ECPAA proposes to find and renovate a local space to become the new home of the region's premier center for performing arts and theatre education. Help us meet this goal by making a tax-deductible contribution.

Meet the Team

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President

Raymond Churchill

Raymond Churchill serves as President for and is a founding member of the Eastern Connecticut Performing Arts Association.  Ray, along with a wonderful Board of Directors and support staff, are fulfilling their dreams to provide Eastern Connecticut with access to performing arts education and entertainment.  Raymond is also an active performer throughout Connecticut.   Most recently, he has appeared as the Beast in Beauty and the Beast, Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors, Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro, and Javert in Les Miserables. For the past twenty six years, Ray has been employed at Griswold High School as the Choral and Drama Director. Currently, 40% of the school population is involved in the choral program and 50% is involved in the drama program. Ray has been honored by being named the 2005 Teacher of the Year for the town of Griswold and the 2017 National Life Changer of the Year Award.  In addition to his musical duties, Ray can also be found  performing his favorite role, Dad, to his beautiful daughter Sydney.

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Board Secretary

Paula Mikutel 

Paula F. Mikutel has witnessed how transformative, therapeutic and just plain fun the performing arts can be for children in our community.  As a school counselor in the Griswold public school system for over 20 years, now retired, she encouraged students to pursue their artistic dreams.  A theater lover since childhood, Paula makes frequent trips to New York and London and has performed in several plays. She is currently an active member of several choral groups, including the Griswold Players Community Chorus. Paula joined the board of the Eastern Connecticut Performing Arts Association to help harness the passion and creativity of our very talented community, believing everyone deserves a chance to have his or her life enriched by the arts.

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Board Member

Mark DePonte

Dr. Mark DePonte is currently a Family Medicine  physician in  Lisbon Connecticut. As a long time resident of New Haven and New York, Mark has always had a great appreciation for  the performing arts.  Mark believes that ECPAA can foster  the talent of Eastern Connecticut  and provide  needed development, both cultural and economic, in this part of the state.

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Vice President

Terry Cholewa

Terry Cholewa is a business person, educator, professional volunteer and ardent supporter of the arts. As the Vice President and a founding member of the Eastern Connecticut Performing Arts Association, she is excited to be a part of this worthwhile project.  During the past ten years, Terry has served as the adult advisor for the advertising,  marketing, hair and makeup departments for Griswold Drama.  Terry and her husband, Dan, are the proud parents of two grown children. They reside in Griswold with their two content dogs and headstrong cat.

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Board Member

Tracey Wilson

Tracey Wilson joined Eastern Connecticut Performing Arts Association as a Board Member in March 2016.  Tracey has more than 20 years of experience in business development and customized marketing.   She has played as a leading role in fundraising for many local events and has volunteered with various organizations throughout Connecticut and Rhode Island since 1996.  Tracey received the “National Philanthropy Award” in 2008 from the Association of Fund-Raising Professionals.  When she is not at work she enjoys spending quality time with her husband and two beautiful and exuberant boys. 

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Marketing Director; Advisory Board Member

Kayla Hedman

Kayla Hedman is a marketing professional from Griswold, CT. She works full-time as the Marketing Director at Griswold Public Schools. Previously, she has served as the marketing director of Fishers Island Lemonade and the director of client development and brand manager at Miranda Creative. She maintains a roster of freelance clients in the education, performing arts, fitness, and wellness industries. Kayla and her husband stay busy with DIY projects and their 4 pets at their home in Ledyard, CT. 

Get Involved

The Eastern Connecticut Performing Arts Association (ECPAA) is actively seeking motivated individuals with a passion for performing arts to join our Board of Directors and Advisory Board. These volunteer positions require attendance at monthly meetings (in person in Griswold, CT, or virtual), as well as at special events across the region. We would love to welcome those with skillsets including but not limited to: fundraising, grant writing, bookkeeping, event planning, education, volunteer management, and more.

We are also seeking volunteers for our upcoming events!

Please contact us at ecpaa.inc@gmail.com to express interest! We look forward to hearing from you.

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