Chautauqua Preservation Society - June 2017

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Many thanks to those who have already supported 2017 the Waxahachie Chautauqua!

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Waxahachie's Newest
Public Space is Very Popular!

Newly installed "Splash Park" on George Brown Plaza - 209 N. Jackson. Ready for summer cooling!


Three Canadian Chautauquas are now part of the  Chautauqua Trail!..

"Chautauqua Canada" has been in the research and development stage since 2014 and officially incorporated in 2016.

 Muskoka, Ontario.
The Muskoka Chautauqua, 100 miles north of  Toronto, began in 1914 and by 1921 had their own resort. It was restarted again about 20 years ago via the Muskoka Lakes Music Festival, and reclaimed their Chautauqua name and heritage in 2010. 

 Halifax, Nova Scotia.
After months in the making, Chautauqua Education and Event Promotions, Inc. launched its "Chautauqua Atlantic" program on November 26, 2016, in Halifax, Nova Scotia!  Their inaugural event, “An Afternoon of Celebration!”, presented the concept and history of Chautauqua and the theme for the 2017/2018 season – Resilience. “We are proud to share that the Chautauqua Trail has made its way to Nova Scotia and taken root, with future outstanding events and opportunities germinating.”

 Prince Edward Island

Summerside, PEI held their annual Arts in Motion Chautauqua event that celebrates, promotes, and builds awareness about the Island’s arts, heritage and cultural community through interactive street demonstrations, performances, talks and nighttime concerts, all held under the big Chautauqua tent on the historic Wyatt Properties.

JULY 26!
Texas House Bill 1254 has been passed by the 85th Texas Legislature & signed by the governor, designating July 26th as "Waxahachie Chautauqua Day" in Texas! This bill honors the first day of the Waxahachie Chautauqua on July 26, 1900.

July 26th will now be celebrated each year as the birthday of the Waxahachie Chautauqua and its cultural and educational heritage.

The bill officially becomes law on Sept 1, 2017 but, of course, we'll start celebrating a little early -  on July 26, 2017!

Here are the plans for that day so far, but stay tuned for more...
  • Mon. July 24, 2017, Waxahachie City Council meeting - recognition and proclamation for "Waxahachie Chautauqua Day"

  • Wed, July 26, 2017, 12-12:15pm - dedication of "Chautauqua Grove" in Getzendaner Memorial Park
  • Wed, July 26, 7pm - Chautauqua birthday celebration - exactly 117 years ago - including a slide show on Waxahachie's own new and future Public Spaces!  

Chautauqua Presents Two Historic Architects

The story of renowned African American architect William Sidney Pittman will come to the Chautauqua on 9/30 to help celebrate sacred Public Spaces. Pittman was the son-in-law of Booker T. Washington and is considered to be the first African American architect in Texas.  His buildings are famous throughout the country, in Texas,  in Dallas and also in Waxahachie, with its own Joshua Chapel AME Church built in 1917, just 100 years ago. 

Speaker  George Keaton, Jr. will tell us about William Sidney Pittman’s life and works.  Mr. Keaton is a retired educator who now devotes his time to preserving and sharing the history of African Americans in the DFW area.  He is the founder and executive director of "Remembering Black Dallas Inc", a non-profit that preserves and promotes the African American life, history, artifacts, and culture of Dallas.

Surprised to see Thomas Jefferson at a Chautauqua about "Public Spaces"?  Well, sure, he was author of the Declaration of Independence and Founding Father and President of the U.S. - but is that enough?  What about being one of the most influential architects of all time? 

It turns out that Jefferson's architecture and political ideas were completely entwined, and his intention was that together they would safeguard liberty and democracy forever. 

Steven Edenbo will come from Philadelphia on 9/30 to bring Thomas Jefferson to life on the Chautauqua Auditorium stage. His special perspective on that day will be Jefferson's architectural vision and his role in America's architecture, landscapes and public spaces to this time. 

Mr. Edenbo is a scholar/actor/historian who has been researching, portraying and immersing himself in Thomas Jefferson for 18 years - all over the country, including Monticello, Independence National Historical Park,  the Smithsonian Institution, the History Channel, and and so many more. Mr. Edenbo is associated with the American Historical Theater through which he often appears with Alexander Hamilton and other founding fathers in conversations and debates.

Be sure to bring your questions for Thomas Jefferson to Chautauqua on Sept. 30!

Heritage Farmstead to Open in Ellis County

The "Ellis County Rural  Heritage Farm" will have its opening event on Sun. Oct. 1st.  Its mission will be to preserve and to promote public awareness and appreciation of the natural and farming heritage of rural Ellis County, Texas.

The Ellis County Rural Heritage Farm will be established in association with the Ellis County Museum, Inc. in Waxahachie, TX.  The 145-acre farm (the Aday Farm) is a remnant of the original 460-acre Marvin W. & Mattie F. Aday Family Farm.  It is physically located 2 miles west of Waxahachie just off FM 66 at 130 Cunningham Meadows Road.

A great new Public Space for North Texas! 

Chautauqua Preservation Society
P.O. Box 126
Waxahachie, TX 75168
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