Chapter Six: Chautauquas—a popular adult education movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Carrying on the tradition of the tent-show, the KANZ Chautauquas lined up a series of live performances and radio shows during the summer of 1981 to help celebrate the first anniversary of KANZ. Three live performances, focusing on a different era in Kansas history, were presented in Dodge City, Garden City, and Liberal and included talks by scholars, poetry and literary readings, and music. Each live performance was broadcast later on KANZ. Two radio series produced at KANZ premiered on Mondays exploring “The Chautauqua Story” and “Growing Places”. Two additional series, produced at KSAC examined “The Future of Small towns in Kansas: and “Kansans on Kansas”. All promised to be as entertaining and thought-provoking as the founders of KANZ had promised. Several of the topics – How has the character of agriculture changed over the years and what effects have those changes had on our lives? and Issues important to small town residents, including housing, life-long learning, medical services, industry and crime - seem just as relevant today.
The summer of 2004, HPPR hosted another Chautauqua. This time in Bushland and Clarendon, Texas. Topics included The Opening of the West, Preserving Water in the West, and Exploring the American Southwest. Proceeds benefited The Thomas Jefferson Hour a weekly radio program dedicated to the search for truth in the tradition of our third President.
Join the celebration with a gift to High Plains Public Radio at hppr.org.