Chautauqua — the original TED Talk

Chautauqua is “the most American thing in America.”– Theodore Roosevelt “He who does not know Chautauqua does not know America.”  — Frank Bohn I’ll just come right out and admit it. Until recently, I had no idea what a Chautauqua was. I thought it was probably an old Native American gathering place that is now memorialized with a park in Boulder and celebrated by Greeley in a yearly festival. I had no idea that it’s a nearly 150 year old national movement. Chautauqua is an Iroquois word meaning something along the lines of “bag tied in the middle” or “two moccasins tied together.” It was used to describe a lake in western New York where the Iroquois Confederacy was located. And it was along the shores of that lake that a Methodist minister, John Heyl Vincent, and inventor, Lewis Miller (who was also Thomas Edison’s  father-in-law), began a training program in 1874 to educate Sunday School teachers. The program included a variety of teaching methods: lecture, music, theater, and movement. (Movement = There was a part of the park laid out in the form of the Middle East so that visitors could learn the geography of the Bible by physically walking from place to place.) … Continue reading Chautauqua — the original TED Talk