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Nebraska Chautauqua

NEW Chautauqua will put the Fifties in focus.

August 2-3, 2019 • Kearney

Remember the 1950s? It was a decade that is often looked at with a sense of nostalgia and romanticism. But the 50s was also a time of sweeping change that can now be revisited with a more objective eye. Television, hot rods and rock-and-roll changed the way we spent our our free time. However, it wasn’t all idylic. 

The Cold War tensions continued to escalate with the Korean War and flare-ups around the world. Superpowers competed in an unprecedented space race. The U.S. experienced a baby boom that strained domestic resources. Meanwhile, women and minorities navigated an unfriendly labor market, and the Civil Rights movement began to solidify. McCarthyism compromised families, friendships and working relationships. 

Next summer in Kearney, Humanities Nebraska will present a new style of Chautauqua that will explore the social, economic, political, and international changes of this decade. There will be a variety of activities and events for Nebraskans of all ages to enjoy, led by various experts and scholars.  

Join us as we unearth a plethora of stories from the 1950s that might just change the way you look at the 1950s forever. More details are coming soon! 

  • Family friendly
  • Multiple opportunities to explore the 1950s
  • Interact with experts, family members, neighbors, and friends
  • Free for everyone!

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. The name itself comes from a resort community in New York State where in 1875, a summer program of lectures, sermons, and music attracted such enthusiastic audiences that within a few years similar programs sprang into existence for the public in other parts of the country.   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.

Nebraska Chautauqua is sponsored in part by:

Chautauqua Events

Events list coming soon! Many exciting things are being planned.

Friday, August 2, 2019Saturday, August 3, 2019


Humanities Nebraska programming is made possible by:

and generous individuals, foundations, and businesses across Nebraska.