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Nevada Humanities announces 20th anniversary Chautauqua Festival



RENO, Nev. – Nevada Humanities presents the 2011 Nevada Humanities Chautauqua festival – celebrating its 20th anniversary – June 26-30 at the Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater in Reno’s Bartley Ranch Regional Park. Participants will explore the lives and times of legendary characters including Henry VIII, Coco Chanel, painter Thomas Hart Benton, Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Thomas Jefferson, during the evening programs. Each evening begins with a musical performance featuring a local band. Music starts at 6 p.m., and Chautauqua performances begin at 7 p.m.

Nevada Humanities Chautauqua is a living history program that blends the insightful depth of historical research with the fun of theatrical entertainment. The Chautauqua format is simple: A performer, in the guise of a historical figure such as Thomas Jefferson, tells stories about important episodes in his or her life. After the monologue, the audience and historical character engage in a lively give and take. Finally, the performer emerges from character to respond to questions that could not be answered in character.

Always a favorite in the region, Nevada Humanities Chautauqua is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2011. Initially known as Great Basin Chautauqua, the program was created in Reno in 1992 by Nevada Humanities as a fun and educational way to bring people together to explore characters and ideas in history. Northern Nevada has one of the longest-running Chautauqua festivals in the country – after 20 years and presenting more than a hundred Chautauqua characters, the festival remains a key cultural event in northern Nevada.

There will be plenty of comfortable chairs as well as a lawn area for those who prefer to sit on a blanket. Some people bring picnics; food will also be available for sale by Men Wielding Fire. Parking is plentiful and free. Tickets will be available online beginning May 1 at http://www.nevadahumanities.org. For more information contact Nevada Humanities at 775-784-6587 or visit http://www.nevadahumanities.org .

In addition to Nevada Humanities Chautauqua evening performances, community events take place throughout northern Nevada during Nevada Humanities Chautauqua week in June. More information about daytime programs will be posted at http://www.nevadahumanities.org closer to the event.

Nevada Humanities Chautauqua Event details:

When: Sunday, June 26 through Thursday, June 30, 2011. Doors open at 5 p.m. Musical performances begin at 6 p.m., and Chautauqua performances begin at 7 p.m.

Where: The Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater at Bartley Ranch Regional Park, 6000 Bartley Ranch Road, Reno. Parking is plentiful and free.

Tickets: All tickets are available at http://www.nevadahumanities.org beginning May 1; general admission is also available at the gate the evening of the performance.

* General admission is $15/night or $45 for a weeklong pass including all four shows. General admission allows first-come, first-served access to unreserved seats and lawn.
* Reserved seating (available for purchase online only) is $30/night or $90 for a weeklong pass of four shows. Reserved seating tickets allow access to a block of reserved seats in a prime location. With reserved seats you may arrive any time to enjoy a great seat.
* Admission for the Sunday, June 26, Young Chautauqua evening program is free.

Nevada Humanities is Nevada’s nonprofit council affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. With offices in Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada Humanities creates public programs and supports public projects statewide that define the Nevada experience, feature local culture and heritage, and facilitate the exploration of issues that matter to Nevadans and their communities. For more information visit http://www.nevadahumanities.org and http://www.onlinenevada.org .

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