The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 2, 2013

Chautauqua-in-the-Schools begins Monday around area

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Winter Chautauqua returns to Enid on Monday.

The 2013 Chautauqua-in-the-Schools will begin Monday and last through March 15.

Hank Fincken will portray the Spanish conquistador Pizarro at Oklahoma Bible Academy, and Johnny Appleseed and Thomas Edison at Garfield Elementary School on Monday.

In the following days, Fincken will perform at schools in Enid and the region, including Northern Oklahoma College, Waukomis, Enid High School, Pleasant Vale, Pond Creek, Timberlake, Drummond, Hayes, Emmanuel Christian School, Coolidge, Prairie View, Timberlake, Monroe, Kremlin-Hillsdale, Adams, McKinley and Eisenhower.

Meanwhile, high school students in the region are studying historical characters and memorizing their roles to re-enact historical characters in Thursday’s Student Chautauquan contest.

Students will bring Sacagawea, Elizabeth Blackwell, Elizabeth Caddie Stanton, Shirley Chisholm, Martin Luther, Margaret Mitchell, Horace Mann and Amy Carmichael to life at 6 p.m. Thursday on the stage at Northwestern Oklahoma State University-Enid campus.

The winner of the Student Chautauquan contest will be invited to perform Saturday evening during the Winter Chautauqua at NWOSU.

Winter Chautauqua will kick off at 10:30 a.m. Saturday with the workshop, “If Only I Had Been Born an Inca.”

A second workshop, “Peru Today,” will begin at noon. Participants can bring along a sack lunch.

Evening performances will begin at 7 p.m.

John Provine, a member of the Chautauqua council, said Chautauqua happened in Enid during the height of its popularity between 1910 and 1930. As the trend died away, Chautauqua stopped happening in Enid.

The educational and entertaining movement returned to Enid in 1995.

“The events have always been summer events,” Provine said.

In the latter half of the 1990s, Winter Chautauqua was started in Enid.

“We are the only town in Oklahoma that does it as a winter program,” Provine noted.

Chautauqua-in-the-Schools, with presenters making 20 school visits, was launched in 2006.

Student Chautauqua started in 2008.

Provine said the Oklahoma Humanities Council initially provided a lot of funding for the Enid Chautauqua program. As funding from the humanities council has shriveled, Enid businesses have stepped up to the plate to preserve the program.

NWOSU is a major sponsor, Provine said.

“As always, Chautauqua events are free and open to the public,” Provine said.