In Colorado Springs, this program is facilitated through a local group that includes the Colorado Springs Conservatory, Colorado Humanities, and the the Pioneer Museum. The 2011-2012 presentation group also includes teachers and student from the Colorado Springs Conservatory, Academy for Advanced and Creative Learning and Eagleview Middle School.
Young Chautauqua's is a program of scholarship, research, rehearsal and performance in which students (Divisions III-V, grades 3-8 at AcademyACL), bring history to life by immersing themselves in the writings and lives of historical characters. They conduct the research necessary to prepare a first person presentation and carry on a dialogue with the audeince. Students research an historical character, compose and rehearse a first-person monologue from that character's point of view; and portray that character by presenting a brief monologue. The monologue is then followed by Q & A with the audience in character, and then out of character as the young scholar.
The goal of Young Chautauqua (YC) is for students to contextualize history, to understand the role of the individual in society, and to gain research and public speaking skills. In this dynamic program, participants learn how historical research and successful public speaking can go hand in glove. By combining solid research on an historical character, in the context of his/her time, with acting skills for portraying that character successfully, students learn how to revitalize the past as Young Chautauquans in the present.
Why do we call it "Chautauqua"?
"Chautauqua" is the Seneca Indian name for a lake in what is now upstate New York. The Chautauqua movement began there as a way to edify rural teachers, but it further developed as a celebration that included story telling, speakers, and open forums. The word is now also used to identify a movement with adult actors/scholars who present live first-person portrayals of historical characters.
Frontczak, S.M. Young Chautauqua Teacher Handbook. Colorado Humanities.
Program Coordinator: Betty Jo Brenner,
2012-2013 AcademyACL Young Chautauqua General GuidelinesHandout