Developing leaders for Nevada
Founded by Nevada Humanities in 1993, Young Chautauqua is a nationally recognized and award-winning youth program in which young scholars research and portray historical figures. Through monologues and question-and-answer sessions, young scholars – in and out of character – engage their audience in lively discussions and provide insight into historical study. The Young Chautauqua program is a valuable way to increase a young person's understanding of, and engagement with, the humanities. In 2002, Nevada Humanities received a Coming Up Taller Award from the President’s Commission on the Arts and Humanities for developing Young Chautauqua. Nevada Humanities celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Young Chautauqua program in 2012. The procontinues to inspire and educate children in Nevada and beyond.
The Young Chautauqua Handbook and Creating a Young Chautauqua Program are available from Nevada Humanities for a nominal fee of $5 each, plus shipping, for anyone wishing to learn more about Young Chautauqua or start a program in their own community. Using Great Basin Young Chautauqua as a model, programs now take place in schools and communities throughout Nevada and the nation.
Great Basin Young Chautauqua
Great Basin Young Chautauqua, which was founded by Nevada Humanities in 1993, is Reno's youth adjunct to the annual Nevada Humanities Chautauqua festival. The Young Chautauqua program in Reno continues to provide a six-month training program each year that culminates in performances during Nevada Humanities Chautauqua. The program is free and open to children ages 8 – 18. For information on this season’s workshop-based program, please access the information in the menu to the left.
Young Chautauqua is an intense program of scholarship, research, rehearsing, and performing. Young Chautauquans commit to developing a theatrical character in late January and spend more than six months reading biographies, learning stories, and rehearsing their character in front of other Young Chautauquans at bimonthly meetings. In April and May, their characters are ready and Young Chautauquans perform in the Truckee Meadows area. They each create a costume and polish flexible 5, 10, and 15-minute monologues that they present to community groups, schools, libraries, and service organizations.
Performances at Bartley Ranch Regional Park during Nevada Humanities Chautauqua are the final event for the Great Basin Young Chautauqua program. Six months of research and practice are shared with the public in a celebratory performance. In addition, Young Chautauquans are available for performances throughout the year.
If you are interested in having a Young Chautauquan perform at an event please contact Nevada Humanities at 775-784-6587.
Parents and young people interested in becoming involved with Young Chautauqua can access all the forms, the FAQ, and resources on the menu to the left, or contact Nevada Humanities for more information.
Underwriting for the Great Basin Young Chautauqua program is provided by the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, NV Energy, the Robert Z. Hawkins Foundation, individual donors, parent and community volunteers, and many other community partners. To contribute to the perpetual health and vitality of this program consider making a gift to Nevada Humanities by visiting our donor page. All contributions are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.
Become a Young Chautauquan
If you are a young person who loves to read, loves to learn, and wants to gain confidence performing in front of an audience of your peers, then Young Chautauqua is for you. Students between the ages of seven and 18 are eligible to participate in this free program. In the process of becoming a Young Chautauquan you will learn a lot, meet kids with similar interests, and have loads of fun. You will spend months reading, doing research, and thinking about your character and his or her times. Young Chautauqua participants do not write and memorize scripts, they learn stories from their characters’ lives, put them together in different ways, and prepare monologues. To become a Young Chautauqua performer call Nevada Humanities at 775-784-6587 or email youngchautauquaintern [at] gmail.com.