Maggie's Minute: What a Beautiful Month! Sept. 30

What a beautiful month!


One of the interesting conversations around a D.I.N.E. table this September involved the question "What are the humanities?" Here are some thoughts: the humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition; they are a critical component of a healthy and productive society; they convey and help us understand what it means to be human. What are your thoughts? When you think of your life in the context of "The Humanities," what comes to mind?

By the way, we had a terrific turnout for the September D.I.N.E. (Dinner, Ideas 'N Exchange) with Alexander Hamilton - thank you all for coming. This dinner series is such fun! The next one on Wednesday, Oct. 19, will be at Brio's Tuscan Grille in Denver. Our special guest will be Dr. Dave Hnida, a family physician from Littleton who volunteered twice for deployment in Iraq as battalion surgeon with a combat unit and as trauma chief at one of the busiest Combat Support Hospitals. His memoir of those experiences, Paradise General: Riding the Surge at a Combat Hospital in Iraq won a Colorado Book Award this year for creative nonfiction. According to military correspondent for the Washington Post Greg Jaffe, it's a "wonderfully moving and frequently very funny book..." We hope you can join us at D.I.N.E. to hear his talk "Doctoring Through Chaos in Iraq, Living It, Writing It."

Another wonderful success in September was our annual Two Rivers Chautauqua. 2,200 people of all ages flocked to the two 2-day event! Many, many thanks to the Museum of Western Colorado and all the folks who helped bring this great event to the Western slope!

A couple of updates on two of our school-based programs: Our Writers in the Schools program is doubling in size this year, with programs beginning in Adams, Boulder, Pueblo and Mesa Counties, thanks to a National Endowment for the Arts grant we've received. We also have Kinder Morgan to thank for supporting our Young Chautauqua program for about 150 students at five Grand Junction schools. This generosity reminds me of something Jacques Cousteau said: "It takes generosity to discover the whole through others. If you realize you are only a violin, you can open yourself up to the world by playing your role in the concert." I agree! Every little note can make a big sound.

Our fiscal year winds up with the end of October, and during the process of preparing for the next one, I've been reminded of some impressive facts. In our 3 37-year history, we've launched 57 unique program initiatives and awarded more than 1,500 grants. To our great staff, brava and bravo!

Several of our grantee projects are underway, and two in Grand Junction have upcoming dates: The Centennial of the Colorado National Monument celebration will begin on Friday, Oct. 7 with the unveiling of a statue of the Monument's first ranger and promoter, John Otto. The next day, Oct. 8, is the Park's "John Otto Day," and Chautauqua scholar John Stansfield, portraying Otto, will share stories from Otto's life and work. A whole schedule of events is only a click away.

Our program director, Josephine, and Center for the Book program coordinator, Tim, represented Colorado with Gene Hainer, State Librarian, at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., this September, with honorary co-chairs Barack and Michelle Obama. About 150,000 people showed up during the two-day festival. Tim wrote up his impressions for us to share with you.

My one minute of your time is up. Thanks for giving it!

Maggie Coval, Executive Director