Former First Lady Highlights Importance of Chautauqua

Posted on June 12, 2013

In January, Lakesiders traveled to DeFuniak Springs, Fla., to participate in the annual Florida Chautauqua Assembly. The historic four-day educational program for families featured famous keynote speakers, educational breakout sessions, performance teas and exhibits.

Christopher Mitchell, Florida Chautauqua Assembly president and program chair, commented, “DeFuniak Springs is home of the original campus of the Florida Chautauqua, which is celebrated by thousands of tourists who converge here for the revived Chautauqua Assembly.”

Like many Chautauqua experiences, the Florida Chautauqua Assembly involved the entire community in the planning and preparation, as well as experiencing the Chautauqua program. Local students prepared their school for keynote speakers, congregations opened their doors to lectures, community leaders prepared centers for evening dinners and local businesses opened cozy spaces for discussions over tea.

The keynote speaker of the Assembly was Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter. During her presentation, she highlighted why the Chautauqua ideal is important and how she and her neighbors plan to revive a Chautauqua community in her hometown of Plains, Ga.

Overall, the event emphasized that the Chautauqua Movement is alive and well in the 21st century. Existing Chautauqua communities across North America are thriving and ones from the past, like Plains Chautauqua in Georgia, are being resurrected.

We invite you to travel the Chautauqua Trail this summer and experience the many Chautauqua communities of North America.