Grand Island hosted Nebraska Chautauqua July 21-22, 2023! "What Connects Us"

Popular Chautauqua scholars from previous events returned to the traditional big tent to explore the theme, “What Connects Us” at Stuhr Museum of Grand Island. This festival included 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.

On Friday evening, July 21, Warren Brown appeared as American humorist and author Mark Twain as he did in 2012-2015’s Nebraska Chautauqua, “Free Land? 1862 and the Shaping of Modern America.” Karen Vuranch joined him as author Edith Wharton, whom she portrayed in “World War One: Legacies of a Forgotten War” from 2016- 2018. Saturday evening, July 22, saw the return of Becky Stone as Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks from 2019-2022’s “The Fifties in Focus.” She was joined by Taylor Keen, reprising his portrayal of Chief Standing Bear from the “Free Land?” Chautauqua. 

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?

"What Connects Us" Chautauqua is brought to Grand Island thanks to these generous sponsors: