History of The Chautauqua

The Chautauqua originated as an adult education movement in the United States, highly popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Named after Chautauqua Lake, in western New York, where the first event was held, Chautauqua assemblies expanded and spread throughout rural America until the mid-1920's. The Chautauqua brought entertainment and culture for the whole community, with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers and specialists of the day. Former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was quoted as saying the Chautauqua is "the most American thing in America."

For more information, check out the Wikipedia page about the history of the Chautauqua.

History of The Big River Chautauqua

The Big River Chautauqua is a festival of American History, and first became a reality in 1995, thanks to the efforts of co-founders Joe Layden and Sherry Greminger, who with their dedication to community involvement brought this unique form of entertainment and education to our area. The Big River Chautauqua has received recognition as being an outstanding example of experiential, interactive learning by the Missouri Humanities Council, and is the longest running privately funded Chautauqua west of the Mississippi River.