William Stoutamire is director of the Frank House at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. It’s the backdrop for many of the events, including the large tent that hosts the featured nightly performances focused on historical figures.
“What they do is, they bring in a series of scholars to discuss a particular historical topic both as scholars and as first-person interpreters representing figures from the past,” Stoutamire says. Some of those figures being represented include President Ulysses S. Grant, author Willa Cather, inventor George Washington Carver and Native American figure Chief Standing Bear.
Chautauqua events will be set up on campus and throughout the community and there’s a weeklong youth camp for students in 4th through 8th grades.
“The kids get to learn how to be Chautauqua scholars themselves and they get to actually portray a local figure,” Stoutamire says. There are also local events going on, like the 30th annual “Wagons West” program at the Trails and Rails Museum. There’s also the History Harvest at the Frank House on Saturday.
The festival runs through Sunday in Kearney. Learn more at the website: www.nebraskachautauqua.org.
By Brent Wiethorn, KKPR, Kearney