Chautauqua News - January 2016
Waxahachie, Texas

Fresh from our flight to Outer Space in 2015, we are now ready to plunge deep
into the World of Water!  And we invite you to come along...

Glass Harp
Comes to
2016 Chautauqua

History, Science, and Music will interact on the Chautauqua stage when Brien Engel brings his musical glasses on Sept. 24th.  

Playing music by water-tuning glass bowls and striking them with sticks goes back to Renaissance times and playing sets of water-tuned glasses was popularized in England by in the early 1700's.

Brien is part of an exciting revival of the enchanting art of glass music. His glass harp is comprised of goblets and snifters of various sizes, which he plays by carefully rubbing their rims with moistened fingers.

At Chautauqua, Brien will present this ethereal music and demonstrate and interweave the science and history of the instrument. 

Link to Hear Brien play.


Plans to Demolish NY Auditorium
Lead to Big Battle

“Mother Chautauqua” in NY is famous for its 142 years of Civil Discourse. Recently, however, plans to tear down and rebuild its historic Amphitheater (Amp) have resulted in a contentious debate. Tradition is strong at Chautauqua and change is difficult!   

One big issue is the structural integrity of the building.  The Chautauqua Institution believes that the structure is too compromised to save and that it must be mostly torn down and rebuilt. Critics (including the National Trust for Historic Preservation) believe that the structure can be strengthened and modified and therefore saved.

For three years, the controversy has been intense and often divisive.  Since 2011, there have been numerous seminars, debates, public meetings, backstage tours and a multitude of passionate newspaper articles and emails from both sides of the issue.
The most recent news is that on Dec 30 the Chautauqua Board did vote to initiate the process to demolish and rebuild most of the structure.  
Links to both sides of the debate:  

Save the Amp
Rebuild the Amp


Happy New Year Fellow Chautauquans!

January is already upon us and the 2016 Waxahachie Chautauqua is already in sight - September 24th to be exact.  Circle that date!

In 2016, Chautauqua will celebrate Water!  The keynote speaker and all the programs, performers, demonstrations, and exhibits will educate and enlighten us to the wonders of water. They will dive into the history, the future, and the mysteries
of water in the world and in our own lives.   
As we envision the Chautauqua year
about Water and begin building a
program, we are asking for your help! 

As a small group of volunteers, the Chautauqua Preservation Society needs many helpers and volunteers - in big ways and small ways.  Putting the Chautauqua together has MANY parts and we need YOUR cog the in wheel of Chautauqua to make this a great year.
We have opportunities galore! Something for everyone, from sitting at a table for an hour to joining our Board!  Here are just a couple upcoming examples:   
  • At information tables at various expos: help us set up a table, take down a table, or sit with us at a table.
  • For our spring Membership Drive:  create flyers and brochures, spread the word on social media, or stamp & stuff envelopes the old-fashioned way.
  • For an upcoming membership event:  help with planning, setting up, taking down, refreshments, sitting at a Welcome Table, or even stage management of A/V needs.
  • Many others!  Just ask us...   
If you would like to volunteer or find out more about these opportunities, please email us at
(with Subject: "Chautauqua").

Thanks for your willingness to help!
And don't forget to spread the word about the Waxahachie Chautauqua.

Cheri Adams,
Chautauqua Preservation Society

2016 Board of Directors,
Chautauqua Preservation Society
Cheri Adams, President
John Smith, Secretary
Kirk Hunter, Treasurer
Maureen Moore, Program Chair
Chuck Beatty
Louis Brown
Arlene Heintz
Kevin Strength
Rhonnie Tompkins
Jane Vineyard

YES, called back by popular demand, the Birds of Prey from Last Chance Forever Conservancy will return to Chautauqua 2016, demonstrating their hunting and
flying skills again in Getzendaner Park.

Fabien Cousteau Follows Famous Grandfather's Path

2016 Chautauqua keynote speaker, Fabien Cousteau, is a renowned ocean 
explorer and aquatic filmmaker. He is also the first grandson of the famous Jacques Cousteau. 
At age seven, Cousteau accompanied his grandfather and father on the first of many sea trips aboard the Calypso and Alcyone, the ships that transported the explorers to their dive locations. He officially joined the crew at age twelve; his first job was to remove barnacles from Jacques-Yves Cousteau's boats.

He launched his first solo expedition in 2002, filming sharks for a National Geographic Explorer special entitled "Attacks of the Mystery Shark". That year, he also began work on a children's book and founded an online conservation organization.

Starting in 2004, Cousteau spent three years studying and filming great white sharks in a custom built submarine called Troy. The project led to a documentary, Shark: Mind of a Demon, which aired on CBS primetime in 2006. In 2010, he founded Plant A Fish, a non-profit dedicated to repopulating areas such as the Florida Keys and the Maldives.

In 2014, Cousteau spent 31 days underwater in Aquarius in a tribute to his grandfather. In doing so, he set the record for longest time underwater for a film crew, surpassing his grandfather's 30 days, and collected a large amount of scientific data.

P.O. Box 126
Waxahachie, TX 75168
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