Join us for the next Chautauqua!

August 2 & 3, 2024  •  Norfolk, Nebraska

Free family fun with an educational thread!F


In commemoration of the upcoming 250th anniversary of the United States, HN invites you to explore a selection of lesser-known stories from our country’s rich tapestry of backgrounds and perspectives. It’s a fun, interactive experience that will help people connect with history and each other.

Friday Evening:

Explore History through El Vaquero Cox Activity Center at Northeast Community College


Daytime: Unravel Some of America’s Unheard Stories at Norfolk Public Library

Evening: Meet Abigail Adams & Chief Big Elk Cox Activity Center at Northeast Community College

See the full schedule below!

This festival will include family-friendly events, engaging workshops, and Chautauqua-style presentations that allow audience members to interact with historic figures. 

All events are free and open to the public. HN thanks the many donors who have made this possible.

Chautauqua is a unique opportunity for communities to explore key time moments of history and culture that still affect our lives today.

  • Family friendly
  • Multiple opportunities to explore topics from the past that affect us today
  • Interact with experts, family members, neighbors, and friends
  • Free for everyone!

Humanities Nebraska presented this new style of Chautauqua to give participants multiple opportunities to explore the social, economic, political, and international influence of historic events on today’s society. There was a variety of activities and events for Nebraskans of all ages to enjoy, led by various experts and scholars.

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. Humanities Nebraska has re-imagined Chautauqua to include contemporary experts offering insight regarding how historic events and achievements affect our lives today, along with scholars-in-residence presenting first-person portrayals of some of our most important historical figures. It’s family-friendly fun, history and activities for all ages.
Would you like to know when activities are added and plans are finalized?

Youth Reading Circle: Sign of the Beaver (Book pick-up date)

Norfolk Public Library 308 W. Prospect Ave., Norfolk, NE, United States

Read the exciting survival story by Elizabeth George Speare, then discuss it with your friends! Register by July 3 at Books available for pick-up July 10 at Norfolk Public […]

Youth Film Series: Sarah, Plain & Tall (Screening)

Norfolk Arts Center North 5th Street, Norfolk, NE, United States

Bring a bag chair and blanket/pillow to watch the movie with your family & friends! Register by July 10 at Books available for pick-up July 17 at Norfolk Public […]

Pre-Chautauqua Book Discussions

Norfolk Public Library 308 W. Prospect Ave., Norfolk, NE, United States

One for adults, one for families. Details coming soon!

"Weaving a Nation" Chautauqua is provided with the support of:

Bill & Mary Meyer

Kent & Susan Warneke

Lisa & Jerry Guenther

Jewell & Collins, Attorneys

Charles & Jill SIntex/Charles Sintek DDS