Monday, August 07, 2006

Chautauqua reborn

The century-old tradition of Chautauqua has come to the city of Grand Forks in the last few days.

What is Chautauqua? According to Wikipedia: "The Chautauqua was a popular educational movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States. When the Chautauqua came to town, it brought entertainment for the whole community, with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers and specialists of the day."

The Chautauqua that's been visiting Grand Forks also has speakers, teachers, and musicians. Daily activities have been going on at the Myra Museum on Belmont Road and nightly activities take place "under the big blue tent" in Lincon Drive Park near downtown. Each night at 7 P.M., a speaker portrays a historical figure and gives a presentation about that individual. On Monday night, former UND professor D. Jerome Tweton will be playing John Jacob Astor (America's first millionaire).

I love seeing something like this come to Grand Forks. This recreation of the Chautauqua experience is a sentimental nod to a more innocent America of 100 years ago. It's also a chance for citizens to learn (the goal of Chautauqua) about the lives of influential Americans and our country's rich history.

I'm going to Monday night's lecture and I hope (::crossing fingers::) to see the place packed.

Update 8/8/2006
I went to Dr. Tweton's portrayal of John Jacob Astor this evening and I thoroughly enjoyed the night. What a great thing having something like Chautauqua pay a visit to our city. There was a good crowd at the lecture so that pleased me. It was such a lovely evening and Lincoln Drive Park is a wonderful place for events like this. The music before the lecture was great too.

There is one more night of Chautauqua left. On Tuesday night at 7 P.M., a man will be portraying York. I encourage you to experience Chautauqua while you still can.


Raggedy said...

I enjoyed my visit here.

jeep said...

I have been 'under the tent' for the last three nights and have really enjoyed it! I would say that attendance has been good, but I note the average age of attendees is pretty high. Perhaps only oldsters appreciate the quiet entertainment that includes a chance to learn some history.

GrandForksGuy said...

It's unfortunate that younger people aren't interested in something like this. I think I was one of the youngest people there...