History Alive! Colorado West Chautauqua


Friday, October 22:

  • Doors @ 6:00pm Performances Begin at 6:30
  • Young Chautauquan Performance
  • Grand Valley History Players Performance
  • Jeanette Rankin portrayed by Jeanmarie Simpson

Saturday, October 23:

  • Doors @ 5:30 Performances Begin at 6:00
  • Grand Junction High School Jazz Band
  • Young Chautauquan
  • Josephine Baker portrayed by Becky Stone
  • Billy Sunday portrayed by Doug Mishler

Saturday, October 23, 11:30am-3:30pm a daytime panel discussion will be held that is free and open to the public.  The performers who portray Billy Sunday, Josephine Baker & Jeanette Rankin will be discussing their characters with the Grand Valley History Players.

Evening Performance Tickets: $6 per person per night and $10 for two nights - children 12 and under free

    The theme from 2020 will finally be able to take stage later this year, “The 19th Amendment and All that Jazz” performances will focus on just that, Women’s Right to Vote and 1920s era culture. This years Colorado West Chautauqua will be held at the Grand Valley Events Center on October 22nd & 23rd.
     Becky Stone will be portraying Josephine Baker, who was an entertainment star in Europe during the jazz age; and a well known Civil Rights advocate. Jeanette Rankin will be portrayed by Jeanmarie Simpson. The final professional performance will be, Doug Mishler portraying Billy Sunday, who was considered to be one of the most influential evangelists in America for over two decades. The professional performances will be complimented by local youth Chautauqua performers, as well as, the Grand Valley History Players and Grand Junction High School Jazz Band. Look out for ticket sales beginning in September!

Tickets Available at the Door!

Chautauqua takes its name from a movement that began near Lake Chautauqua, New York, in the 1800s. It began with Sunday school teachers gathering for a week of study, but it became a touring program through which local communities could enjoy traveling speakers, politicians, plays, and music. Many communities still have the Chautauqua parks where these outdoor events were held, usually under a big tent. We've been told that at its height in 1924, Chautauqua programs visited over 12,000 towns and entertained over 32,000,000 people nationwide. But new technologies – radio and TV – led to the demise of the old-fashioned Chautauqua.

Today, Chautauqua has been reinvented as a way to bring the humanities, especially history, back to life. Organizations across the country bring in professional scholar-actors (Chautauquans) as historical characters, bringing history to life for their audiences. Local talent provides a great variety of daytime programs. These modern-day Chautauquas are usually sponsored by state humanities councils and other non-profit entities.