Nan Colton as Georgia O'Keefe

2017 Two Rivers Chautauqua: Western Voices

Join us Friday and Saturday, August 18 and 19, at the Avalon Theater, 645 Main Street, in Grand Junction.

See the full schedule here.

Who

Two Rivers Chautauqua got its start in 2006, thanks to the Museum of Western Colorado, Colorado Humanities, and local donors. It is a two-day event held each year on a Friday and Saturday.

You'll probably notice that some of our Chautauquans portray very well-known American icons; others are not so well-known. We believe that part of the fun of Chautauqua is learning more about our country's history through historical figures we may not know so well, or at all. Previous themes have included "The Call of the West," with professionals portraying Kit Carson, Jessie Benton Fremont, Teddy Roosevelt, and Marie Curie; and "Lighten Up", which featured portrayals of American humorists Mark Twain, Dorothy Parker and Will Rogers.

What

Chautauqua takes its name from a movement that began near Lake Chautauqua, New York, in the 1800s. It began with Sunday school teachers gathering for a week of study, but it became a touring program through which local communities could enjoy traveling speakers, politicians, plays, and music. Many communities still have the Chautauqua parks where these outdoor events were held, usually under a big tent. We've been told that at its height in 1924, Chautauqua programs visited over 12,000 towns and entertained over 32,000,000 people nationwide. But new technologies--radio and TV--led to the demise of the old-fashioned Chautauqua.

Why

Today, Chautauqua has been reinvented as a way to bring the humanities, especially history, back to life. Organizations across the country bring in professional scholar-actors (Chautauquans) who portray historical characters then answer questions in and out of character. These modern-day Chautauquas are usually sponsored by state humanities councils.

Where

Avalon Theatre
645 Main Street
Grand Junction CO  81501
970.263.5700

When

Friday, August 18 and Saturday, August 19
Admission: $5 per person or $20 per family; Children 12 and under free