Ohio Chautauqua bring history to life

Five-day event will be held at various sites.

Featuring a combination of daytime workshops and evening performances, the Ohio Chautauqua 2016 Tour, “The Natural World,” will head to Hamilton on Tuesday through Saturday, June 14-18. The offerings are free, family-friendly events.

“We were looking at trying to bring a family-friendly event to the area that we could use as a cross-generational pull and bring communities together. It’s part of our new alumni initiative on the regional campuses. We know Hamilton has a lot of nonprofits put together, it is all about community, so we were wanting to focus on the community-building aspect of it,” said Sarah Templeton Wilson, steering committee chair.

We came across the Ohio Chautauqua idea, and the fact that it is all about education across the ages. About a year-and-a-half-ago, we decided to try to bring it to our campus, she said.

The programs will highlight living history through performances, music and education. They also encourage audience participation.

“We wanted to reflect Hamilton’s community aspect, and we know there’s a rich history in being interested in historical events,” Templeton Wilson said.

She said the program was also a natural fit with the message of Miami’s campuses, which is life-long learning.

The five-day event will be held at various sites across the county, including daytime programs for youth at 10:30 a.m. and adults at 2 p.m. at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum on June 14; Butler County Historical Society on June 15; Partners in Prime on June 16; Miami Hamilton Downtown on June 17 and Hamilton Lane Public Library on June 18.

Evening performances will be held at Miami University-Hamilton Campus at 1601 University Blvd. There will be food trucks and refreshments available. Visitors can listen to music, and learn about history from the actors, who will put on the evening performances. The performances will be followed by a time of Q & A with the actors.

“The evening events are really the showcase. There will be a big tent out in the central quad. We will have a musical performance, and then we will have the actor/scholar performance. We’re expecting at least 500 people each night,” Templeton Wilson said.

The actors are expert scholars on the people they are portraying. They know everything about the person they are representing, so they can answer anything about their life, or the situation they were in that they are talking about.

Ohio Humanities started Ohio Chautauqua in 1999 as part of its mission to help individuals and communities explore, share, and be inspired by the human experience. The tour travels to four Ohio cities each summer.

For details and a complete schedule of events, go online to www.ohiohumanities.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CHQHamilton/.

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Contact this contributing writer at gmwriteon@aol.com.

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