A Day of Young Chautauqua. 25th Anniversary Celebration

Bartley Ranch Regional Park, Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater
6000 Bartley Ranch Road
Reno, Nevada
Sunday, June 11, 2017
1:00 p.m.
9:00 p.m.

Nevada Humanities is celebrating the 25th Anniversary Season of Great Basin Young Chautauqua with A Day of Young Chautauqua on June 11, 2017, starting at 1:00 p.m., at Bartley Ranch Regional Park in Reno. Seasoned Chautauqua performers Frank X. Mullen and Juanita Westbrook will serve as the day’s masters of ceremonies, and will share recollections of the Young Chautauqua and Chautauqua experience throughout the program. Alongside presentations by our Great Basin Young Chautauquans, the day will include performances of Huey Long by Frank X. Mullen and Zora Neale Hurston by Juanita Westbrook.


A Day of Young Chautauqua will feature a series of performances by Great Basin Young Chautauqua scholars centered around the 2017 program theme “Storytellers.” Youth performances will feature historical characters including Chief Seattle, John F. Kennedy, Bruce Lee, Harper Lee, Milton Berle, Carol Ryrie Brink, Gilda Radner, Edwin Hubble, Alice Paul, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Maria Montessori, Mary Shelley, Rod Serling, Lucille Ball, Beatrix Potter, Patty Reed, Bonnie Parker, and Harry Caray. 


Audience members will also be introduced to Huey Long (via Chautauqua scholar Frank X. Mullen), self-nicknamed The Kingfish, the Louisiana Governor who set to upend American politics during the 1930s. The audience will also meet writer and activist Zora Neale Hurston (via Chautauqua scholar Juanita Westbrook), whose most famous work, Their Eyes Were Watching God, celebrated African American culture of the rural South. 


The full program will take place from 1:00 – 8:00 p.m. Doors open at 12:00 p.m. with a musical performance by Sierra Silverstrings. Young Chautauquans will perform throughout the day with Mullen performing Huey Long at 2:00 p.m., and Westbrook performing Zora Neale Hurston at 5:30 p.m. The program is free and open to all. Food will be available for purchase by Taster’s Paradise Mobile Café and Bakery as well as Bibo Freddo Gelato from 12:00 – 6:00 p.m., and picnicking is encouraged. Plenty of comfortable seats are available as well as a lawn area for those who prefer to bring their own blanket or low-rise chair. Limited handicapped parking and seating is also available.


2017 marks the 25th year of Great Basin Young Chautauqua and the Young Chautauqua program in Nevada. Created and founded by Nevada Humanities in 1993, Young Chautauqua is a free, nationally recognized, award-winning program in which young people learn how to research and develop original dramatic Chautauqua presentations. Scholars, ages 8-18, select a historical figure and then spend months researching and rehearsing their characters. In 2002, Nevada Humanities received a Coming Up Taller Award from the President’s Commission on the Arts and Humanities for creating and developing Young Chautauqua. Young Chautauqua has spread to other Nevada communities and has been adopted by other states for use in classrooms and communities around the nation.


This program is made possible with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the City of Reno. The 25th anniversary celebration of Great Basin Young Chautauqua would not be possible without the help of our community partners who hosted public performances throughout the spring, including the Washoe County Library System, Washoe County Regional Parks, Nevada Historical Society, Galena Creek Visitor Center, Sundance Books and Music, Reno Little Theatre, Sierra Arts Foundation, and Swill Coffee & Wine. 


For more information about Nevada Humanities and Great Basin Young Chautauqua visit nevadahumanities.org or call 800-382-5023.