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What is Chautauqua?

With origins in the late 19th century, Chautauqua combines oratory and lectures with literary readings and musical entertainment. In the past, these touring groups would entertain and inform people living on the plains about political and cultural happenings. Today, Chautauqua upholds the tradition of offering entertainment, education, and community-based heritage. Attendees gather under the "big tent" and enjoy scholars-in-residence presenting first-person portrayals of some of our most important historical figures along with a variety of activities for all ages.

When is this year's Chautauqua?

World War One: Legacies of a Forgotten War is part of a multi-year series presented by Humanities Nebraska debuting in 2016. The 2018 WWI sites are in Wayne (June 7-10) and Sidney (June 14-17).

How much does it cost to attend Chautauqua?

Humanities Nebraska (HN) is able to provide Chautauqua programming free of charge and open to the public thanks to the generous support of a major grant from the NEH, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, the State of Nebraska, and our numerous partner organizations, contributors, and volunteers in the host communities.

Where is Chautauqua held?

All of the events that make up Chautauqua, along with their locations, are available in the Schedule section of this app. Locations can also be found at

Evening presentations will be held at the Ramsey Theatre on the campus of Wayne State College.
Daytime activities are being held at Gardner Hall at Wayne State College, unless otherwise noted.

Evening presentations will be held at the Cheyenne County Community Center.
Daytime activities are being held at Sidney High School, unless otherwise noted.

Where do I park?

Parking this year should be readily available as the evening presentations are indoors in both Wayne and Sidney. Parking spaces for handicapped permits will be available in both locations as well. We will have volunteers available at each location should there be any need for assistance.

What happens if it rains or is too hot?

Chautauqua will continue, rain or shine! There will be less uncertainty this year as the Chautauqua presentations are to be held indoors.

If for some unforseen reason the location is changed, information will be distributed through radio and other media sources, including HN and partners' social media, and will also be posted at the original site.

Humanities Nebraska will still provide hand fans this year, but they should not be as necessary as we will be located in wonderfully, climate controlled auditoriums. However, we would still ask that those in attendance stay hydrated in the case of extreme temperatures.

Can I bring food, a cooler, etc.?

Food and drink are welcome in the commons areas at each building, however, they are not allowed in the auditorium(s). No alcohol is permitted. Food will also be available for purchase at the location(s), courtesy of local organizations.

Can I bring my pets?

We will respect the policies of our host sites regarding pets. If host sites do permit pets, we ask that you show respect to others by keeping your pet on a leash.

Will there be Wi-Fi available?

To be determined.

Will there be restrooms available?

Yes! Indoor restrooms will be available for use.

Is Chautauqua wheelchair accessible?

Chautauqua is presented indoors this year, and so wheelchair accessibility should not be an issue. However, keep in mind that volunteers will be available for anyone who needs assistance.

What time will the nightly program end?

We try to end the evening's activities no later than 8:45 pm.

Are there any activities for children?

Yes, there are kids' activities occurring during Chautauqua! In addition to evening activities, which are all family-friendly, please check the full schedule of events for information about youth programs and the Youth Chautauqua Camp.

The Youth Chautauqua Camp occurs Monday–Friday afternoons in Wayne and Sidney. Pre-registration is required–please email to get connected with those handling registration.

Wayne: The Young Chautauquans will present on Friday night at 6 p.m. at the Ramsey Theatre.
Sidney: The Young Chautauquans will present on Friday night at 6 p.m. at Sidney High School.

How can I find out more about daily workshops?

Adult workshops are scheduled morning and afternoon during Chautauqua week. Each workshop lasts about one hour and will have light refreshments available. Please check the full schedule of events for more information.

Can I volunteer at Chautauqua?

Of course! Please email your contact information to and we will forward it to the local Chautauqua planning committees.