Applications are now available for communities who would like to partner with Ohio Humanities to present Ohio Chautauqua 2020, American Voices: The Right to Vote.  

Presented by Ohio Humanities with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ohio Chautauqua is a five-day residential program combining live dramatic performances, music, education, and audience interaction in an exciting cultural event the entire community can enjoy. All workshops and performances are FREE.

Ohio Humanities plans to commemorate the significant anniversaries of the passing of the 19th Amendment, Civil Rights Act, and Voting Rights Act with Ohio Chautauqua 2020, American Voices: The Right to Vote. With this theme Ohio Humanities will explore the stories behind the expansion of suffrage to ever more Ohioans and celebrate a core democratic act, the vote. Ohio Chautauqua 2020 seeks to spark conversations about those moments when access to citizenship and a political voice grew to include American women and people of color.

To receive an application form or to discuss hosting Ohio Chautauqua, please contact Samantha Chase at 614-461-7802 or schase@ohiohumanities.orgApplication deadline is May 3, 2019.  


What is Ohio Chautauqua?

Building on the 19th-century tradition established on New York’s Chautauqua Lake, Ohio Chautauqua is a five-day community residency that combines living history performances, music, education, and audience participation into a one-of-a-kind cultural event the entire community will enjoy.

Chautauqua History

After their debut in 1874 as a summer class for Sunday school teachers, Chautauqua assemblies quickly expanded and spread throughout rural America until the mid-1920s. Chautauqua assemblies brought entertainment and culture for the whole community, with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers and specialists of the day. Former US President Theodore Roosevelt was quoted as saying that Chautauqua is “the most American thing in America.”

At the height of the Chautauqua Movement, about 1915, some 12,000 communities had hosted a Chautauqua. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the movement died out. Most historians cite the rise of car culture, radio, and movies as the causes.

Several independent Chautauquas survived and are thriving again while others are being resurrected. Leading the way, several state humanities councils have organized Chautauquas over the last decades. Ohio Humanities established Ohio Chautauqua in 1999, traveling to four towns in Ohio each summer.

Bringing Communities Together

Ohio Humanities serves as an advocate for the public humanities in Ohio. We promote the humanities through public programs, grants, and community projects with the goal of helping individuals and communities explore, share, and be inspired by the human experience. Ohio Chautauqua, a program of Ohio Humanities, is a memorable event that is sure to enrich, delight, and entertain every generation. Daytime activities feature enriching adult programs and activities for youth hosted by local community organizations. Each evening, as family and friends gather as live music fills the air. Then, a talented performer appears on stage, bringing a historic figure to life, sharing both personal stories and historic detail. With its warm, nostalgic vibe, this truly one-of-a-kind experience is sure to open minds and start conversations.