Chautauqua News - November 2015
Waxahachie, Texas

Shelbyville, Illinois Tries to  Save 1903 Auditorium

Shelbyville, Illinois has a beautiful 1903 20-sided Chautauqua building that is now being restored while at the same time threatened with being torn down.  "Save Our Chautauqua" is a group of dedicated and passionate people in Shelbyville who have been fundraising and making repairs and now events can be held in the Auditorium.

Does this remind you of the Waxahachie Chautauqua restoration in the 1970s?

Jennifer Biggs from Shelbyville says that "there are many improvements that still need to occur so that the building can be used more often, and so that the city will not tear the building down."
She continues "we would love for Shelbyville's Chautauqua to be able to remain in the community, but as of now, it is under threat to be torn down if not used effectively, and continually restored to better conditions.  Within this small community, there are no venues of its size and historical significance nearby." 

The building is a large icosagonal (20-sided) wooden meeting hall located in the center of Forest Park. It is the largest building of its design and type anywhere in the world. It has a unique system of structural supports, radiating out like spokes in a bicycle wheel. Because of this design, there are no interior pillars to block the view of the stage.
Chautauqua Brainstorms on Thursday, Nov. 5th at 6:30pm

BRAINSTORM  \ˈbrān-ˌstȯrm\
"...a severe outburst of excitement, due to a transitory disturbance of cerebral activity"

" 1890s medical term for 'mental explosion"

"..the generation of creative ideas by unrestrained & spontaneous discussion”

Want to temporarily disturb your cerebral activity? Or just have ideas to share for next year's Chautauqua theme of "water"?  Either way, come help us brainstorm this Thursday, Nov.5th at 6:30pm.

Think of programming ideas from every area of life!  History, Music, Art, Religion, Science, Philosophy, Literature, Current Events, The Future, Demonstrations, Exhibits, and Anything Else!

They say it will be raining Thursday  - but that will inspire us to even better water ideas!

Strategic planner Carlela Vogel will join us again this year to move us through this lively and fun process on on 11/5. Carlela not only has a strong and long resume in Organizational Development, Strategic Planning and Facilitation, but she also has been an ardent supporter of the Waxahachie Chautauqua since 2001.

The meeting will take place Nov. 5th at 6:30pm at the Waxahachie Parks & Recs. Dept. building, corner of Elm and Madison streets in downtown. 

Waxahachie Creek, early 1900s        

Chautauqua History  Full of "Water"
Waxahachie Chautauqua actually had its beginnings with "water".  In 1899, Waxahachie wooed and won the Chautauqua chiefly due to its lovely location along Waxahachie Creek in its West End Park. 

"The park where the encampment will be held contains thirty acres of well shaded ground, through which Waxahachie creek flows. There are beautiful driveways and an ice cold Chautauqua spring.” Waxahachie Enterprise, July 12, 1907

"A dam was constructed across the creek at West End Park and provisions made for swimming and boating". Waxahachie Enterprise, 1905
“The bridge across the creek will serve more than one purpose. Where is a more suitable place for lovesick youngsters to commune with nature and whisper sillied nothings in each other’s ear?” Waxahachie Enterprise, July 25, 1902

A 75-year-old lady arrived at the Waxahachie Chautauqua from Grandbury with several of her grandchildren.  When she was told that "all campers would be expected to occupy the [tent] space allotted them near the creek", she said, "No, sir. I won’t get near that creek. Didn’t you hear of the Coleman flood?"  The argument was postponed.  Waxahachie Enterprise, July 27, 1900
Chautauqua Preservation Society
P.O. Box 126
Waxahachie, TX 75168
Add us to your address book

You may  unsubscribe  if you prefer not to receive future emails from us | Privacy Policy

Powered By MemberPlanet