"A unique combination of theatre and history under a tent - reminiscent of the early 20th century tent Chautauqua"

"A wonderful way to spend a beautiful Colorado evening outdoors. Even the occasional evening shower adds to the atmosphere."

"Great way to spark my kids' interest in history and the humanities."

High Plains Chautauqua 2019 will celebrate its 20th Anniversary August 5-8, 2019 with a lineup featuring audiences' favorite living history portrayals over the years at Aims Community College in Greeley (just 90 minutes north of Denver). All programs are free.

Monday, August 5 Abraham Lincoln (Dennis Boggs) and Harriet Tubman (Becky Stone)
Tuesday, August 6 Louisa May Alcott (Amelia Wagner) and Thomas Jefferson (Bill Barker)
Wednesday, August 7 Henry David Thoreau (Kevin Radaker) and John James Audubon (Brian Fox Ellis)
Thursday, August 8 Eleanor Roosevelt (Susan Marie Frontczak) and Mark Twain (George Frein)

Food trucks offer supper for purchase on site Tuesday - Thursday from 5:30 p.m. Music starts shortly after and evening programs start at 7 p.m. Our outdoor venue and tent offer spectacular sunsets as well. Please schedule your visit now to join us for this family edutainment! Daytime programs feature Young Chautauquans and lectures by visiting scholars, who present first-person iiving history portrayals in the evenings.


2018's theme "Blowin' in the Wind: The 60s" evoked memories of flower children, tie dye shirts, sit-ins, and war protesters as America grappled with one of the most turbulent decades in its modern history. High Plains Chautauqua audiences explored upheaval across the land through the eyes of the following characters who impacted politics, social justice, environmental awareness and the suburban explosion.

Writer and humorist Erma Bombeck (1927-1996) made the middle class American housewife an American Legend - ironically by building a career as a writer, to document the lives of women like herself who made a career of homemaking.

Famous for his support of racial segregation, Governor George Wallace (1919-1998) became a spokesman for those who opposed America's shifting social and cultural mores in the 1960s. Wallace fought against the winds of change as a populist and states' rights activist.

Civil rights organizer and poet Maya Angelou (1928-2014) had two passions: to write and to right wrongs. Her first autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings brought her international recognition and acclaim.

Remembered for his outlandish and bizarre behavior, Russian President Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971) followed a long and very colorful path to become arguably the most crucial figure opposing the West during the Cold War.

Feminist, civil rights activist, and attorney Pauli Murray (1910-1985) was a seasoned mover and shaker in the 1960s. Her analytical mind, her familiarity with legal strategies, and her tireless efforts on behalf of the oppressed made her invaluable to the feminist movement.

Rachel Carson (1907-1964), burst into national consciousness with her blockbuster book denouncing the indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides. Silent Spring is considered a catalyst for the modern environmentalist movement in the U.S.

After serving as Attorney General and a U.S. Senator, presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968) presented himself as an agent of change: for freedom and justice. Looking to guide the nation out of multiple violent crises, Kennedy was himself the victim of an assassin's bullet.

An eye witness to the tumultuous events of the 1960s, Walter Cronkite (1916-2009) became America's most watched and most trusted journalist. As the face and voice of CBS News, Cronkite was a regular television guest in American homes throughout the decade.

Chautauqua offers a unique blend of theatre, history, and the humanities under the big tent where audiences meet and engage in conversation with personalities from the past. The event takes place on the Aims Community College campus in a slightly abbreviated program this year, four days and nights, Monday - Thursday.  All events are free and open to the public and engages all ages. Children's hands-on activities and daytime programs for adults include Weld District 6 Young Chautauqua scholars presenting their living history portrayals as a culmination of months of independent research.

High Plains Chautauqua is made possible thanks to the generosity of sponsors; individual donors; and many, many dedicated volunteers. For more information as the 2018 HPC program is developed, go to www.highplainschautauqua.org or call Visit Greeley (the Greeley Convention and Visitors Bureau) at 970-352-3567.

All events are free. Donations appreciated, all the same!

For a full schedule, visit http://www.highplainschautauqua.org/program-guide.aspx


2018 Evening Big Tent Schedule

Monday, August 6

7:15 p.m. Larry Bounds as Walter Cronkite

8:20 p.m. Becky Stone as Maya Angelou


Tuesday, August 7

7:15 p.m. George Wallace

8:20 p.m. Robert Kennedy


Wednesday, August 8

7:15 p.m. Pauli Murray

8:20 Rachel Carson


Thursday, August 9

7:15 p.m. Nikita Khrushchev

8:20 p.m. Erma Bombeck

Thank you to our sponsors!

Aims Community College

Banner Sponsors
National Endowment for the Humanities

Centennial Sponsors
Greeley-Evans School District 6
Triple S Party Rental

Event Sponsors
City of Greeley Museums
Ghent Chevrolet Cadillac
Richard & Mary Kemme Family Foundation
Point Source Audio
Wells Ranch, LLLP

Benefactor Sponsors-logos
Cables Pub & Grill
High Plains Library District
Roche Constructors, Inc.
Robert A. Ruyle
Weld County Garage

Patron Sponsors
John & Jane Adams
Neil & Joyce Best
Anderson Business Resources LLP, John & Matt Anderson
Atmos Energy
Reva & Dick Bond
Grace Pointe
Guaranty Bank & Trust Company
Sallie Johnson
1310 KFKA Radio
Mosquito Joe's
Pioneer Press of Greeley, Inc.
Pirate Radio
Todd Family Foundation
The Tointon Family Foundation
The Tribune
Waldo & Waldo Attorneys
Wheeler Management Group, Inc.
Stow & Maggie Witwer
Witwer, Oldenburg, Barry & Groom, LLP, Attorneys at Law

Chautauqua Sponsors
Anderson & Whitney, P.C.
Dr. & Mrs. Douglas W. Armbrust
The Bridge and Life Care Center at Greeley
Centennial Rotary Club
The Currier Inn
Ron & Thelma Edgerton
Edward Jones - Brian & Kim Larson
FASTSIGNS of Greeley
Karen & Gary Fentiman
Flood & Peterson Insurance, Inc.
FMS Bank
Karen & Gale Giebler
Greeley Rotary Club
Betty & George Hall
Johnson & Associates, A. Bruce Johnson
Leprino Foods Company
Susanne Miller
Don & JoAnn Mueller
Ken Norem & Sandy Magnuson
Betty & Frank G. Ottesen
Richmark Holdings, Inc.
Sears Real Estate
TBK Bank
Walmart Store #980
Weld Schools Credit Union

Special Contributors
Carrie Bedell
Cache Bank & Trust
Jana & Tom Caldwell
Daddy's Goodness BBQ
Fat Albert's Restaurant
Gunther's Bavarian Grill
Northern Colorado Retired Educators Association
Bill Shade
The Slawpy Barn
Smoke Bomb BBQ
The Success Foundation
Sweaty Moose
Thomas & Tyler, LLC - The Notestine Foundation
UNI Design
The Waffle Lab
Your Place Coffee

Individual Donors
Michael & Mary Adams
Neil H. Allen
Vicki J. Anderson
Bill & Stephanie Arries
Mr. & Mrs. Robert Barzdukas
Robert & Adele Benter
Barry & Susan Berlin
Dede Bischoff
Stan & Marge Black
John & Jan Blake
Carol & Joe Bluestein
Mary Borg
Sherrill Bostron
Carol Brickley
Bruce & Kay Broderius
Doug & Pat Campbell
John & Donni Clark
Karen Clugston
Michael & Pamela Cola
Bryan & Carolyn Cooke
Margaret Coval
Don Cummins
Margery G. Curtiss
John Daly
Noblet & Bill Danks
Marsha L. Davis
Norm & Bonnie Dean
Jim & Priscilla Dech
Brinton & Carolyn Deighton
Corki Cummins-Dietz & John Dietz
Corny Dietz
Joann Dunker
Thomas & Janis Dunn
Phyllis & Larry Eaton
Vivian Epstein
Harold & Carol Evans
Sylvia Falconer
David & Nancy Fehl
Carolyn Figal
David & Fredda Fisher
Kay Fortner
Marlin & Judy Frank
Diane & Herrick Garnsey
Scott & Carolyn Gattis
Wes & Karen Goehring
James Gossman
John Grossman & Kathleen ONeil
Nancy Grushchow
Mr. & Mrs. Darwin L. Guinn
Jay & Sue Hackett
Delia & John Haefeli
Ron & Sally Harms
Donald Harris
Lloyd & Stacia Heikes
Marsha Heineke
Larry Heinze
Alberta Hergenreder
Glen & Lee Hewitt
Dick & Jean Hoffman
Richard F. Hough
Elsie Hunter
William & Susan Hurt
Ted & Marion Jobe
Korwin & Marlyss Johnson
Neil & Shirley Johnson
Roger & Jackie Johnson
Steve & Sue Kading
Monica Kahn
Robert & Mary Kettle
Bernie & Ginny Kinnick
Jim & Vickki Klingman
Barbara H. Knicely
Peggy Koplitz
Ila Leavy
Burr Lloyd
Tess M. Malumphy
Richard & Barbara Maxfield
Russell Mayer & Justine Bartlett
Elinor McGinn
Larry & Bobbie Menefee
Robert & Mary Merz
Diane & Bob Miller
Claudia Milstead

Wynn & Millie Montgomery
Dean & Lee Moore
Helen Moore
Jean & Pete Morrell
Norm & Marty Noe
Joy Nusca
Nancy O'Brian
Neva Ochs
William & Lois Olson
J.P. & Mary O'Neal
Beth & Ken Richards
Linda Reiter
Walt & Judy Richter
Barry & Margaret Rothaus
Mary Rowe
Marian & Alan Ruge
Mary Ryan
Julie Sauter
Gene Schelly
Larry & Kris Scovil
Thomas & Sandra Selders
Jim & Pam Shaddock
Gerald & Jeannine Shadwick
Vivian Sheldon Epstein
Carol Shropshire
Hugh & Aletha Silcox
Joe & Barb Slobojan
Jim & Alice Smith
Myron Smith
A. Arnold Sprague
Pat & Dorothy Sullivan
Daren & Jennifer Suntych
Verniece Thomas
Doriann Thompson
Wayne & Karen Trainor
Sandy Tucker
Jim & Michele Vetting
Wayne & Joan Wagner
Marvin Wahlen
Peggy Ford Waldo & Robert Waldo
Roy T. Wardell
Betty B. Weber
William & Sylvia Webster
Jerry & Nancy Weil
Michael Welsh
Richard & Nadine White
Shairan E. Whitman
Betty Whitson
Ronald Wildeman
Edward Wirick
Ray & Alice Yockey
Patsy Zick

Thanks to sponsor support, all events are free. Donations appreciated, all the same!

The full schedule for daytime, youth and other programs is at http://www.highplainschautauqua.org

The tent Chautauqua that High Plains Chautauqua and the Colorado Chautauqua association in Boulder and the Chautauqua Institution at Lake Chautauqua, New York hold the same ideals of educational enrichment and self-improvement, but their origins and format are quite different.

The first Chautauqua, in New York State, originated in 1874 as a Methodist Sunday school teacher summer training camp and evolved into a popular educational summer camp for families. It is sometimes called the Mother Chautauqua because many independent "daughter" Chautauquas developed after the same pattern, in permanent facilities. At the height of their popularity several hundred existed, including Palmer Lake, near Colorado Springs, and the Boulder Chautauqua.

Keith Vawter, an owner of the Red Path Lyceum, started the circuit, or tent Chautauqua in 1904 as a way to provide rural America with programs similar to those being offered in Chicago's Redpath Lyceum.

A tent Chautauqua stayed in a community from five to seven days and offered a variety of cultural events morning, afternoon, and evening. It then moved on to another community.

Politicians, writers, theologians and distinguished speakers and entertainers such as President Warren G. Harding, the young Edgar Bergen with his puppet Charlie McCarthy, Carl Sandburg, historian Ida Tarbell, William Jennings Bryan, and evangelist Billy Sunday appeared on the Chautauqua circuit. Music was also an important feature of Chautauquas.

The traveling tent shows became an integral part of small town Americana. At their peak, they appeared in over 10,000 communities to more than 45 million people. However, in the 1920's increased mobility, radio and the talking pictures, and a change in the national attitude brought an end to the movement. The Roaring Twenties were a time of fun, frolic, and far less concern about self-improvement and inspirational messages.

In the 1970s, Everett Albers, North Dakota Humanities Council Executive Director, launched the modern humanities Chautauqua as a series of first-person interpretations of historical figures. In costume, the Chautauqua scholar delivers a monologue using the historical figure's words and then answers questions from the audience as that person would have. Finally, the scholar steps out of character to answer questions that often explore how lessons from that character's life and philosophy relate to us today. Several other state humanities councils followed suit.

Colorado Humanities launched High Plains Chautauqua in Greeley in August 2000. It quickly grew to be a full five-day living history festival attracting audience numbers of over 7,000 each year. Colorado Humanities later also partnered with the Grand Junction and Durango communities for two-day festivals in each of those locations.