In the late nineteenth century a series of adult education programs were held on the shores of Lake Chautauqua in upstate New York. The programs, called Chautauquas, soon spread throughout the country. The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has kept this tradition alive with its annual Chautauqua, which will take place this year from September 9 through the 12.
The theme for this year’s event is “The I’s Have It: Industry, Innovation, and Invention.” The programming will focus on the history of American enterprise and technology, ranging from railroads to Cold War surveillance systems. Each day will feature evening performances by actor-historians portraying, respectively, George Washington Carver, Thomas Edison, Madame C.J. Walker and Alexander Graham Bell.
The first two days of events will be live streamed from the Zwaanendael Museum’s Facebook page and through Zoom. There will be two in-person events held at Stango Park, 114 Third St. in Lewes — a concert by the Smooth Sound Big Band at 6 p.m. on Sept. 9, and an Old-Time Radio Show presented by the Possum Point Players Radio Theatre at 6 p.m. on Sept. 10.
Programming for September 11 and September 12 will be held in-person in a tent adjacent to the New Castle Court House Museum. Visitors may also join these events virtually through the New Castle Court House Museum’s Facebook page.
A full schedule for this year’s Chautauqua can be seen here.