Maggie's Minute: A Colorado Humanities Update, Jan. 24

Here we go! A new year begins.

The Constitution of the United States demands that the President "shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient," giving rise to the present-day custom in January of the President's State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress and, through the Internet, radio and television, the world. 150 years ago, during the American Civil War, President Lincoln's address included these compelling words:

"Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation. "

To help keep history from escaping the next generation, Abraham Lincoln will be in Colorado this February.  "Meet Mr. Lincoln," our special Chautauqua tour in honor of Presidents' Day, will bring the President, portrayed by renowned Chautauqua scholar-presenter Dennis Boggs, to talk with students at five elementary schools.  He will also meet with the public at the Robert Hoag Rawlngs Public Library in Pueblo to share his unique historical perspective at 6:30 pm on Feb.13.  Stop by!

Incidentally, if you're looking for a speaker or Chautauqua professional to grace an event, check out the 2012 roster for our Chautauqua Speakers Bureau.

Another exciting event, coming up on Feb. 3 at the Colorado Convention Center, is the premiere of Havey Productions' newest documentary on Colorado history, "Centennial Statehouse: Colorado's Greatest Treasure."  A special patron reception will begin at 5:30 pm, and at 6 pm a cash bar reception for general audiences will precede the showing and remarks at 7 pm. Proceeds from tickets sales will help us distribute copies of this engaging film to nearly 2,000 school and public libraries statewide, so we hope you'll come.

In celebration of Black History Month, our annual Black History Live tour will feature famed scholar and performer Hasan Davis, who will return to Colorado, from Feb. 6-13, to portray Angus Augustus Burleigh, a 19th-century ex-slave and Civil War soldier who later became an acclaimed educator and minister. Mr. Davis' stellar performances bring history alive in a way unequaled by any other. Give yourself a truly amazing treat, and make a date for one of them. In addition to Stargazers Theatre in Colorado Springs and The Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library in Denver, Mr. Davis will appear at nine other venues in six communities from Pueblo to Rifle.

I'm excited to announce that the 2012 D.I.N.E. (Dinner, Ideas 'N Exchange) season also begins in February. We hope you'll come eat with us on Thursday, Feb. 16, at Il Fornaio, Denver.  Our special guest speaker will be historian and author Margaret Coel, who has won six Colorado Book Awards.  Ms. Coel, who wrote the Wind River mystery series as well as several nonfiction works including Chief Left Hand, will talk about "From History to Mystery: The Creative Process."  As is our custom, the cash bar will begin at 6 pm, followed by dinner at 6:30 pm. The dinner is $35, and, because seating is very limited and fills up fast, you'll need reservations.

Another past winner of our Colorado Book Awards will be in the public eye as part of our Authors in Community program, on Jan. 31. At 6:30 pm, Colorado University professor Teague Bohlen, who is the author of the coming-of-age novel set in the Great Depression, Pull of the Earth, will give a reading and sign books at the Sterling Public Library.

That's a wrap.  Hope your new year brings you cheer!

Maggie Coval

Executive Director

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