Maggie's Minute July 24

On the road!

With so many of us out and about on summer vacations, I'm reminded of the time-honored practice of sending postcards. What a great combination of art form, documentation and celebration of our adventures to share, while on the road, with friends back home! Since the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago when the earliest known "exposition card" was issued in America, postcards have become a national passion, and deltiology is perhaps one of the most popular collectable hobbies in the world-right up there with stamps and coins. Reportedly, the publishing of postcards doubled every six months from 1906 to 1908, when 667,777,798 of them traveled through the Post Office by the end of June. Pretty amazing, considering that, at that time, the country's population totaled only 88,700,000. But, who doesn't enjoy a postcard in the mail? Postcards track personal journeys as well as changes in popular culture, and are well worth saving. These days, though, with 332 million mobile phone subscribers in the U.S., we might not see too many taped to the fridge.

Road trip: the Havey Productions documentary Centennial Statehouse: Colorado's Greatest Treasure has begun its tour across Colorado. In an effort to promote understanding of the history of our state government and to highlight the importance of historic preservation, the film, which premiered this February in Denver, will show in Stapleton on July 27, then travel to Carbondale and Greeley before reaching Salida on September 13. Tickets are $10.

Chautauqua! Chautauqua, as you may know, originated in the 1800s as a road show, stemming from Lake Chautauqua, N.Y. These early Chautauquas traveled from town to town, setting up a big tent at each new venue for a cornucopia of entertainment, news and educational presentations. Modern day Chautauquas honor the tradition of tent, talent and edification. We're proud of our annual Chautauquas and hope you'll take advantage of these wonderful family opportunities to experience living history at its best. Voices of the Valley Chautauqua, will be in Pueblo from Monday, July 30-Sunday, Aug. 5, featuring Amelia Earhart, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. Are you interested in becoming a Chautauquan scholar? Renowned Chautauquan Mary Jane Bradbury will offer two Chautauqua workshops on July 30, at 1 pm for youth and 5:30 pm for adults. High Plains Chautauqua will be held in Greeley from Tuesday, Aug. 7-Saturday, Aug. 11, when nine exemplars of this year's theme, "Courage and Conviction in America," will include Louis Armstrong, "Mother" Jones, Harry Truman and Sojourner Truth. Presentations will also be given by 36 amazing scholar-performers in our Young Chautauqua program, portraying such intriguing figures as Helen Keller, Bruce Lee, Gene Roddenberry and Queen Liliuokalani. Two Rivers Chautauqua will be Sept. 14 & 15 in Grand Junction. This year's theme is "Inventive Minds," and Henry Ford, Mary Shelley, Albert Einstein and Dr. Seuss are sure to be great company for a lovely fall weekend on the Western Slope.

Also in the works is our 2013 Museum on Main Street traveling exhibit, Journey Stories. We were selected by the Smithsonian Institution to host the tour, and are partnering with the AR Mitchell Museum, Aspen Historical Society, Hayden Heritage Center, Overland Trail Museum, Platteville Library and Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum to bring the exhibit to six towns, opening in Aspen May 2013.

Before closing, I have some great news about Motheread/Fatheread Colorado, which is stronger than ever. The large Social Innovation Fund grant this year from Mile High United Way has helped us expand its reach, and we've traveled statewide to form dozens of program partnerships. Our three-day Motheread+Teacheread training institutes will be held in Denver this August and November; Pueblo in September; and Rifle in October. One-day Story Exploring institutes will be in Denver in August and October; Pueblo in September; Rifle and Lakewood in October; and Colorado Springs in November. All are free to literacy educators and childcare providers. (To attend, register as soon as you can.) We're excited to be rapidly meeting the 1:1 cash match required by the Social Innovation Fund, thanks to several generous gifts since April. We've passed the three-quarter mark, with $54,500 to go, and we'd love to have you join our effort. Any donation will be worth twice the price, and, with your help, we can benefit more than 20,000 children in 2012-2013. Thinking about joining our Colorado Humanities membership? Consider the Ready, Set, Go! level-for those of us especially interested in literacy.

That's a wrap. Happy trails!

Maggie Coval

Executive Director

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