Have you ever wanted to meet a founding father or learn from an individual who helped shape our current society? The third annual Voices of the Valley Chautauqua Festival, held July 30-Aug. 5, allows attendees to “meet” Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Walt Disney, and Amelia Earhart, all of whom helped shape the western world as we know it today. Voices of the Valley is sponsored by the Pueblo City-County Library District, Colorado State University-Pueblo, and Colorado Humanities.
Free Chautauqua performances will held Aug. 4 and 5 under a tent on the west lawn of the CSU-Pueblo campus, 2200 Bonforte Blvd. Hamilton will appear at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4 followed by Madison at 6 p.m. The Disney and Earhart performances will be held at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively, on Sunday, Aug. 5. Chautauqua attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner.
In addition to the Chautauqua performances, workshops will be held the week prior to the performances to aid youth and adults in transforming a historical figure into a Chautauqua performance. Movies and documentaries will be shown to explore the history of Chautauqua performances and some of the Chautauqua festival characters more in-depth.
Chautauqua workshops will be held for youth and adults. Both workshops will be held Monday, July 30 at the Rawlings Library, 100 E. Abriendo Ave; the youth workshop will be held at 1 p.m. and the adult workshop at 5:30 p.m. Renowned Chautauquan Mary Jane Bradbury will lead this workshop and help individuals develop a Chautauqua performance of their favorite characters.
The Voices of the Valley Chautauqua Festival also will feature documentaries and movies, featuring the art of Chautauqua, story of the Disney empire, and a Hollywood version of Earhart’s story. All movies are shown at the Rawlings Library in the InfoZone Movie Theatre. Summer Sojourn (NR) will be shown Friday, Aug. 3 with a discussion following the movie and lead by the director, Emmy-nominated Jim Sawatzki. Amelia (PG) (2009) will be shown Monday, July 30 at 6:30 p.m.; Waking Sleeping Beauty (PG) will show Wednesday, Aug. 1 at 6:30 p.m.
Chautauqua performances feature humanities scholars who research historical figures and bring them to life through a theatrical performance. After the performance, scholars answer questions as their characters, then as themselves. It’s history brought to life in an entertaining and engaging way that captures the imagination and interest of people of all ages. For more information on this event, call 553-0220.