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DOCUMENT RESUME 



ED 260 204 



CE 042 015 



AUTHOR 
TITLE 

SPONS AGENCY 

PUB DATE 
NOTE 

AVAILABLE FROM 

PUB TYPE 

EDRS PRICE 
DESCRIPTORS 



IDENTIFIERS 



Clague, Barbara; Clague , Michael 

Chautauqua Is Back! How to Organize a Community 

Education Festival. 

British Columbia Dept. of Education, Victoria. Div. 
of Continuing Education. 
Aug 85 
29p. 

Community Initiatives Publications, 2832 West 36th 
Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6N 2R1 ($2.00). 
Guides - Non-Classroom Use (055) 

« 

MF01/PC02 Plus Postage. 

Adults; Art Activities; Community Cooperation; 
*Community Education; Community Organizations; 
*Community Programs; Community Resources; Community 
Services; *Program Development 
Canada; *Chautauquas ; *Festivals 



communities* 
the value of 
with respect 
communi ties . 



ABSTRACT 

For almost 20 years, from 1917 to the 1930s, the 
traveling Chautauqua circuits and festivals brought education , 
inspiration, and entertainment to remote and not-so-remote 

Now in the 1980s, emphasis is once more being placed on 
local community life, on self-reliance and mutual help 
to the social, cultural, and economic well-being of 
A revised 1980s version of the Chautauqua ideal may 
provide one of the catalysts for this movement across Canada. This 
handbook is meant to be used as an aid in planning and conducting a 
community Chautauqua, an event that could become an annual tradition. 
In a narrative format, the booklet covers the following topics: the 
Chautauqua coordinator, the Chautauqua committee, sponsorship, 
program ideas, surveying the community, holding a public meeting, 
assigning jobs, beginning the detailed planning, planning ahead, 
coordinator's checklist, budgeting, concessions and vendors, charging 
admission, promotion and publicity, legal and administrative 
considerations, site management, and wrapping it all up. A contact 
person's name and address are given. Appendixes to the guide list 
resources, provide pointers on site selection, and describe a 
community Chautauqua example. (KC) 



***********************************************************^ 

* Reproductions supplied by EDRS are the best that can be made * 

* from the original document. * 
********************************************* 



ERIC 



CHAUTAUQUA IS BACK! 



HOW TO ORGANIZE A 
COMMUNITY EDUCATION FESTIVAL 



Community Initiatives Publications 

August, 1985 



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CHAUTAUQUA 



On June 28, 1917, the first Canadian travelling Chautauqua opened in 
Mission, British Columbia, Following a route through B.C., Alberta 
(where it played Lethbridge - the first Canadian town to have signed 
a Chautauqua contract) and on through Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the 
circuit concluded its Canadian tour that summer on August 18 in 
Cranbrook, B.C. More than 40 towns had benefited from the six-day 
programs of lectures, dramatic presentations and musical 
productions. 

During the fall and winter of 1917, three-day programs reduced 
versions of the summer circuit -- played in schools, theatres and 
community halls in an additional 100 small towns and villages in the 
four western provinces. For almost 20 years, the travelling 
Chautauqua circuits and festivals brought education, inspiration and 
entertainment to remote and not-so-remote communities (television 
had not arrived !) . 

Now, in the 1980's, emphasis is once more being placed on the value 
of local community life, on self-reliance and mutual help with 
respect to the social, cultural and economic well-being of our 
communities. A revised 1980's version of the Chautauqua ideal may 
provide one of the catalysts for this movement across Canada. 



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CHAUTAUQUA 1980's STYLE 



Unlike the original Chautauqua of the 1920's and 1930's, in which a 
travelling program of artists and entertainers moved from town to 
town on a pre-booked circuit tour organized centrally by the 
Chautauqua headquarters, the 1980's version will feature local 
talent and resources, and be an annual culmination of a variety of 
interests and activities. Imported "circuit'* educators and artists 
may be the "icing on the cake" as a result of several Chautauquas 
being planned concurrently or consecutively in a region, allowing 
resource people to travel economically to a number of such programs. 

A Celebration of Learning in the Community is an example of an 
overall theme for the Chautauqua. Presentations may take the form 
of lectures, hands-on demonstrations, workshops, seminars, drama, 
sing-alongs, and dances. In essence, it is a community eduation 
festival, running from two to six days, as local circumstances 
determine. 

This handbook is meant to be used as an aid in planning and 
conducting a community Chautauqua an event that could become an 
annual tradition, and one that is keenly anticipated by all for its 
contribution to community life. 



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TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Page No. 

The Chautauqua Coordinator 6 

The Chautauqua Committee 6 

Sponsorship 7 

Program Ideas . Dreaming Them Up 7 

Surveying Your Community 8 

Holding a Public Meeting 9 

Assigning Jobs » 9 

Beginning the Detailed Planning 10 

Working Backwards - Plan Ahead 10 

Coordinator's Checklist 11 

Budgeting 12 

Concessions and Vendors 13 

Charging Admission 13 

Promotion and Publicity 14 

Legal and Administrative Considerations 15 

Site Management 16 

Cleaning Up 17 

And Then It's Over: Or Almost 18 

Contact 19 

Appendix A - Resources: How to Find them 20 

Appendix B - More on Selecting a Site 24 

Appendix C - A Chautauqua Example 25 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

Inspiration and ideas for this handbook have been drawn from: 

» Chautauqua in Canada, Sheilagh S. Jameson, Glenbow-Alberta 
Institute, Calgary, Alberta, 1979. 

» Community Festivals Handbook, Community Projects Foundation, 
60 Highbury Grove, London, N5 2AG, England. 

» Ontouring - Guidelines for the Sponsorship of the Professional 
Performing Arts in the Community, Ontario Arts Council, 

Suite 500, 151 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1T6. 

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THE CHAUTAUQUA COORDINATOR 



This Handbook assumes that a community Chautauqua will have a 

Coordinator (quite possibly the person who initiates the idea) and a 

working committee, with a core group at the outset and increasing 

numbers of volunteer helpers as the time of the event draws near. 

Whether paid or voluntary, the Coordinator's role is that of the 
staff person to the Chautauqua Committee. This person must be able 
to take initiative, offer advice and criticism as well as 
encouragement, and allocate tasks. The Coordinator will be the 
central point for administration and information as the planning 
develops. 

THE CHAUTAUQUA COMMITTEE 

A core group of between six and ten individuals is ideal. These 
should be people with enthusiasm, commitment and connections with 
the community's many interests. While formal representation is not 
essential, it is important to constitute the Committee at a meeting, 
where the essential question is asked: "Who is not here who should 
be?" The Coordinator may call and chair this first meeting of the 
Committee. The name of the group and its purpose should be 
established at the outset. Also, the people willing to serve as the 
"core" should be named as soon as possible, together with their 
responsibilities, e.g. chairperson, treasurer, secretary, etc. 
Keeping brief written records of meetings is important. 



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A clear identity and agreed-upon objectives will make the work 
easier in the long-run. 



It is important to combine the formal framework 
and an informal style of working together, to be 
open to new people and to be flexible about ideas. 



SPONSORSHIP 

The Committee may simply be a group of individuals wanting to 
contribute to their community. On the other hand, one of several 
community organizations may officially sponsor the program. This 
offers the advantages of official endorsement and perhaps some 
resources. 

PROGRAM IDEAS ... DREAMING THEM UP 

Early in the planning, ask your Committee to dream a little. What 
is the best mixture of information, education, entertainment and 
participation that will capture, people's interest? 



It is suggested that you: 

» choose an overall theme for Chautauqua something from which a 
good slogan can be drafted; 

» use music, art and theatre to reinforce the theme; 

» select some subjects that are current in the community or region, 
and around which debate, information and awareness can be 
generated; 

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» provide opportunities for "hands-on 11 participation by those in 
attendance; a chance to acquire a new skill, and to join in a 
folk dance; 

» mix structured and unstructured educational opportunitites — 
workshops, courses, exhibits, displays, and drop-in activities; 

» promote direct learning and skill exchanges among participants; 

» strike a balance between the serious and the hokey; 

» give high visibility to people and accomplishments that build 
community spirit; 

» be alert to program ideas that may have some continuing benefit 
to the community after Chautauqua is over. 

May your dreams range far ... and the 
results ring true ... (anon) 

SURVEYING YOUR COMMUNITY 

We are not proposing here a survey or formal questionnaire about 
community interests. We are talking about finding out who is in 
touch with community interests and has a feeling for what might 
capture peopled imaginations. We are also talking about 
identifying the community resources that will be required to support 
the event. 

Consider: 

» What programs, visiting arts, lecturers, film festivals, sports 
events, dramatic or musical presentations are scheduled over the 
next 12 months? Could some of them be part of Chautauqua? 

» What facilities are available, on what dates, and for what cost? 



Remember to be in touch with the community college, library, 
elementary and secondary schools, community centre, churches, and 
service clubs to elicit details of their plans for the coming 
months, and their enthusiasm and support for the Chautauqua idea. 

HOLDING A PUBLIC MEETING 

With at least two weeks' notice, the Committee should hold a public 
meeting to inform the members of the community of the initial plans 
for Chautauqua and to recruit their support. Make a special effort 
to invite individuals who can be a key to the program's success. 
Offer "sample" Chautauqua entertainment and refreshments. 

An outline of the plans and scope for Chautauqua should be 
presented, and then lots of discussion snd brainstorming encouraged. 
Note the new ideas and the concerns. Circulate a sheet to get the 
names, addresses, telephone numbers, and interests of new volunteers, 

ASSIGNING JOBS 

Following the public meeting, the Coordinator should review the 
areas of interest indicated on the volunteers' list, noting those 
which are applicable for help at the actual event, and those willing 
to be involved in the planning as well. The latter names should be 
given to the appropriate core group members responsible for spe. tfit 
tasks (promotion, site arrangements, ticket sales, etc.), ond 
working sub-committees can be established. 



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BEGINNING THE DETAILED PLANNING 



As soon as possible, the core group and various sub-committees 
should start to work. Take care and time to brief the newcomers on 
the v/ork to date, and involve everyone in discussing and revising 
the plans in light of the response from the public meeting. 

Prepare a work schedule and assigi dates to it, particularly the 
date proposed for the Chautauqua! Come to an agreement about the 
desired location. Sketch out the major program themes and the 
events and activities these will require. Plan for a date at least 
months in advance, giving enough time to handle all the work and 
yet not allowing enthusiasm and momentum to wain. 



Remember: Check your community calendar to avoid 
conflicting dates! 



WORKING BACKWARDS - PLAN AHEAD 

A quod way to begin the planning process is to imagine the scene on 
the opening date of Chautauqua. Many questions come to mind that 
indicote how many things need to be considered in advance: 

» Where is Chautauqua being held? (Site booked well in advance ); 

» Ho/i did people find out about the program? (Posters, flyers, 
newspaper ads and stories, radio and television); 



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» Is admission free, or do they have to pay? If so, how much? 
(Controlled entrance ways are very important if there is a fee); 

* What is the program? (Program circulated in advance); 

* How have people come to the site? By car? Is there sufficient 
parking? By bus? Is there a bus stop nearby? 

» Are there washrooms and refreshment stands on site? 

» Are there quiet areas for older people, and play spaces for 
children? What about child-minding? 

» Who cleans up the litter afterwards? 

The more you can anticipate what will need to be done, the better 
organized your Chautauqua will be! A large flip chart of your 
program, with jobs to be done by specific dates, v/ill provide a 
constant reminder. Hake sure there are deadline* for completion for 
each task that has been assigned. 

COORDINATOR'S CHECKLIST 

The following are the main organizational matter* that have to be 
covered, and to which volunteers are assigned: 

» Program content (the largest and most important); 

» Site arrangements — preparation and management; 

» Catering and refreshments; 

> Promotion and publicity; 

» Financial planning and legal matters; 

» Ticket selling 

» Secretarial and administrative tasks 

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Expect the Unexpected "The best laid plans ..." 



BUDGETING 



Have a financial forecast and review it periodically during the 
planning process. Never underestimate the costs — never 
overestimate the revenue! 



Sources of Revenue 

Ticket sales 
Grants 

Special gifts 
Concession sale profits 



Areas of Expense 

Artists 1 fees and travel 
Site rental 
Labour costs 

Piano (moving and tuning) 

Audio and visual equipment 

Other special equipment 

Printing 

Advertising 

Postage/telephone 

Insurance: property and liability 

Contingency (5% of total) 

Security 

Waste collection removal 



8efurt> investing money in services or equipment, check into the 
possibility of donations of expertise or items needed. However, 
make sure this will not be more trouble than it is worth. 



Establish at the beginning of the planning the individuals who are 
entitled to make financial commitments on behalf of the Chautauqua 



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Committee. A written estimate of expenses should be approved by the 
Committee in advance, and all transactions should be carried out by 
one person — the treasurer. The treasurer will keep the financial 
records and report to each meeting. 

A Chautauqua bank account should be established, with all receipts 
being deposited to it, and all expenses paid from it by cheque. This 
ensures accurate record keeping. 

CONCESSIONS AND VENDORS 

Concessions can either be fund raisers for Chautauqua that are run 
directly by volunteers from the Committee, or they can be rented to 
outside groups for a flat fee. Whichever is the case, standard 
price ranges should be established, especially in the food stands. 
Be prepared for uninvited vendors (hot dogs, ice cream, etc.). If 
you are prepared for them to stay at the site, negotiate a flat fee 
payable when they arrive. Be sure to file a receipt in return. 

CHARGING ADMISSION 

Community festivals generally do not charge admission to the site, 
although some special events do carry a fee. The traditional 
Chautauqua model charged for a "season ticket 11 good for all events 
during the three or six day program. The planning Committer irust 
decide policy in this matter. 



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If there are tickets to be sold, the "package deal" is recommended. 
A pyramid plan of captains and sellers can be followed to maximize 
coverage of the potential audience. With each team responsible for 
selling 100 tickets and having 10 sellers per team, each seller then 
is responsible for selling 5 pairs of tickets. Armed with suitable 
information dbout Chautauqua plans, kits and deadlines for reporting 
to their captains, the sellers should be able to accomplish a 
sold-out house. 

The original Chautauqua would not come to town unless citizens of 
tn*dn> were willing to guarantee ticket sales. When such commitments 
are made, they are a powerful incentive to promote sales, 

PROMOTION AND PUBLICITY 

Consistency of design and of information is essential. Check and 

double-check that every poster, advertisement and flyer uses the 

^aaie nahie, place, dates and main attractions. Use one design and 
color theme, reproduced in several sizes for different purposes. 

Ji tubutiun of flyers can often be arranged with the help of local 
youth groups end by getting a group of volunteers together for a 
"promotion party." Libraries, community centres, shopping areas, 
and schools are all obvious places for flyers and posters. A bit of 
^trciet entertainment can add greatly to a positive response from the 
public. 



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Prepare a number of posters that only have the name and logo of 
Chautauqua and which leave space for adding notices and directions 
during the program. Again, consistency in design and color is 
important. 

Don't stint on publicity — it has to be widespread to work! Local 
newspaper and radio coverage should be concentrated during the four 
weeks before the opening date. At the same time, posters should be 
placed and flyers delivered. Tickets, printed and numbered, will 
already have been packaged in kits for the selling teams which begin 
their campaign with a major publicity kick-off. A prize for the 
seller completing the quota first might spur competition among the 
teams . 

LEGAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE CONSIDERATIONS 

The Coordinator should arrange for any official permission (i.e. 
licences) which may be required, and for insurance (i.e. third party 
liability on equipment, props and injury). Security provisions may 
also be required. Approval from health authorities may be needed to 
sell food and refreshments and for installation of temporary 
washrooms. 

Remember to notify local police and fire authorities so that plans 
can be made in accordance with the appropriate regulations (e.g. 
details of a parade route if one is held). 



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SITE MANAGEMENT 



Appoint, as soon as possible, a competent site management team. The 
following checklist should be used in preparing for each section of 
the program, and appropriate details sent out in advance to each 
presenter: 

» measurement of presentation area (stage, hall); 

» audience that is expected (type and size); 

» audio visual equipment available; 

» washrooms ana changing areas locations; 

» exhibit and display areas and arrangements; 

» lighting systems available; 

» rehearsal arrangements; 

» accommodation and eating facilities. 

Appoint a transportation person ideally someone with a van or 
pick-up truck, since many items, large and small, will likely need 
to be acquired for the program and returned afterwards. 



Put al 1 understandi ngs with resource peopl e i n 
writing. 



A site office as "operations central" needs to be located 
conveniently on the grounds and staffed throughout the program. All 
details of the program and work assignments need to be available in 



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the office. A quiet room nearby should be designated for the 
handling of cash. Remember to have receipts available for all cash 
transactions, and keep separate records of which events the money 
came from. 



Arrange for the safe and prompt deposit of all 
cash regularly before the sums become too large. 



There also needs to be adequate resources in case of accidents or 
emergencies. First aid people should be available. Have another 
quiet room for distressed or injured people. Know the community's 
emergency resources. 

An information booth is another 'must.' It should provide program 
details, serve as a lost and found (for people and property!) and be 
a general "help" station for the public (keep some toys to occupy 
lost children !) . 

CLEANING UP 

The physical cleaning up of the site should be well organized in 
advance and involve as many people as possible. "Many hand" make 
light work," and there is no better way to put people orr the 
Chautauqua idea than to have them burdened unfairly with the job of 
cleaning up. 



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AND THEN IT'S OVER: OR ALMOST... 



One or more meetings of the Committee should be held after the final 
day to evaluate the event ~ its failures and successes. 
Participants may be asked to complete an evaluation form during the 
program, or the Committee may elect to confine the evaluation to 
themselves. Financial statements need to be presented to the 
Committee and thank you notes need to be sent to all who 
contributed... and whose help will be counted upon in the future. 

And finally, have a party to celebrate the fact that you and your 
Committee brought Chautauqua to your community! 



CONTACT: let us hear from you 



» About your plans for a Community Education Festival 
» About how your Festival turned out 

We will be happy to help circulate further information and ideas 
among everyone interested in this idea. Your experience can help 
others. 

Community Initiatives Publications 
2832 West 36th Avenue 
Vancouver, B.C. 
V6N 2R1 

Tel : 263-9464 



Sponsored by: 

Funded by: 

Prepared by: 
Production by: 

Price: 

August, 1985 



Continuing Education, Lake Cowichan, 
(School District #66), 
Dorothy CI ode, Director, 

Continuing Education Division, 
Ministry of Education. 

Barbara Clague and Michael Clague 

Community Initiatives Publications 

The Andrews Professional Word Processing Services 

BROADWAY PRINTERS 

$2.00 



Copyright Q Ministry of Education, British Columbia 



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APPENDIX A 
RESOURCES: HOW TO FIND THEM 

1. ORGANIZATIONS: GENERAL 

a. The Affiliation of Multicultural Societies of B.C. 

Among this organization's services and interests are those 
that promote and practice the retention of culture. 

1254 West 7th Avenue 
Vancouver, B.C., V6H 1B6 
Tel: 73B-2724 

b. Assembly of British Columbia Arts Councils 

The Assembly represents more than 80 community arts councils 
and their 100,000 members in British Columbia. It is an 
association of volunteers dedicated to developing interest and 
participation in all forms of the arts. The Assembly has a 
newsletter, and compiles and maintains a resource files 
library. It can provide contact information for local arts 
counci Is. 

314 West Cordova Street 
Vancouver, B.C., V6B 1E5 
Tel: 683-4358 

c. Association for Community Education in B.C. (A.C.E.) 

A.C.E. is concerned with supporting and promoting the 
community school movement. It has an annual conference, 
conducts workshops and training events, publishes a newsletter 
and has an information resource centre. A school can be a 
very good focal point for a community festival or Chautauqua. 

4935 Canada Way 
Burnaby, B.C., V5G 1M1 
Tel : 299-8066 



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B.C. Provincial Secretary and Ministry of Government Services, 
Cultural Services Branch 

The Branch has co-ordination staff for the performing arts, 
the visual arts, community and regional arts programs, and for 
publications and design. 

333 Quebec Street 
Victoria, B.C., V8V 1X4 
Tel: 387-1011 Local 256 

Emily Carr College of Art and Design 

The College has an active touring exhibit and workshop program 
to promote i nterest and i nvol vement i n art across the 
Province. 

1399 Johnston Street 
Vancouver, B.C., V6H 3R9 
Tel : 687-2345 

Folk Music 

Many communities have informal folk song groups. There are 
also established organizations 1 i ke Vancouver Folk Music 
Festival, which runs the annual mid-July weekend program, and 
Folkfest, which provides co-ordi nation for multicultural 
events, i ncl uding the annual July 1 st celebration i n 
Vancouver. 



Vancouver Folk Music Festival 
3271 Main Street 
Vancouver, B.C., V5V 3M6 
Tel : 879-2931 



Folkfest 

1254 West 7th Avenue 
Vancouver, B.C. , V6H 1B6 
Tel: 736-1512 



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g. National Film Board of Canada 



The National Film Board initiates and promotes the production 
and distribution of films concerned with social, economic, 
cultural and scientific developments in Canada. The Board 
staff will actively participate in conferences, seminars and 
workshops. Publications and educational aids are also 
avai lable. 

Pacific Regional Office 

1161 West Georgia Street 811 Wharf Street 

Vancouver, B.C., V6E 3G4 Victoria, B.C., V8W 1T2 

Tel: 666-0716 Tel: 338-3868 



Don't Forget: The art and drama departments in 
local schools and colleges (and universities 
for those near one) can be a valuable resource. 



2. RESOURCES IN YOUR OWN COMMUNITY 

Every community has lots of talent. Sometimes it's a matter of 
uncovering it. In thinking about possible sources of expertise 
and entertainment that you might call on for your own Chautauqua, 
consider: 

a. amateur theatre and arts organizations 

- for drama, art displays and promotional graphics 

b. amateur music organizations 

- for entertainment 

c. hobby groups 

- for displays and instruction in various hobby skills 

d. issue groups 

- from the environment to the arms race. Issue groups can 
promote information, debate and reflection 

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e. people with an expertise to share or a story to tell 

- an amateur archaeologist talking about the first settlements 
in the region 

- a business person who has developed a successful local 
product 

- a young person reporting on her experi ence as a 
parliamentary intern at the legislature 

- a report on a successful workers 1 co-operative by one of the 
members 

- a local economist discusses local economic opportunities 

- a labour historian traces the history of trade union 
activity in the region 

- a local sports fisherman discusses his favorite fishing 
spots and lures 

- a local quiltmaker displays her skills and teaches her craft 

f. the art and drama departments in local schools and colleges 

- for advice and participation 

g. the commercial community 

- for help with organizing, advertising, funding and program 
content (a business information display) 

h. the ethnic, multicultural and native organizations 

- for awareness and understanding of the Canadian mosaic at 
the community level 

i . organized labour 

- for organizational skills, promotional assistance, 
operations volunteers, funds and content (a labour 
information display) 

j. the religious community 

- for information about the religions of the community and to 
foster inter-faith understanding 

k. local government 

- for information about how local government works and what it 
is doing (an information booth staffed by the Mayor and 
Council members !) 



1 . And more ! ! 

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APPENDIX B 
MORE ON SELECTING A SITE 

Here are more factors to consider in selecting the most appropriate 
loc ation: 

» Have some estimate of the number of people you expect. Will they 

be mainly young, seniors, families, or a cross- section? 
» Is the site available for the hours of operation you want 

(evenings as well as day time)? 
» Is the site convenient to public transportation and parking? 
» What is the site's proximity to existing pedestrian traffic (one 

fair was held recently on an abandoned used car parking lot)? 
» Is it necessary to secure permission if tents will be used on the 

grounds? 

» Are there adequate display areas? 

» Are there sufficient rooms for lectures, instruction and other 
presentations? 

» What is the availability of child-minding facilities? 
» Is the^ a theatre or other stage area? 

» Is there administrative office space with a telephone available? 

» Is there space for an information centre? 

» Is there handicapped access? 

» Are there washrooms? 

» Are there adequate electrical services? 

» Are there approved food preparation and eating areas? 

» Are there public telephones? 

» Is there back-up space in case outdoor activities have to come 
indoors? 

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APPENDIX C 



A CHAUTAUQUA EXAMPLE 

CHAUTAUQUA'S IN TOWN 

A summer Friday evening, soft and warm. The setting sun catches the 
color of the banners around the entrance to the community centre and 
the activity tents off to the side. People of all ages, shapes and 
sizes move around the site. Some are pausing to look at the goods 
in the crafts market, laid out on card tables and blankets along the 
walkway to the centre. For bargain hunters a flea-market has 5et up 
shop off to one side, complete with a brilliant archway claiming in 
bold letters that, "We will never knowingly be undersold or 
undertraded!" 

While the market has many of the usual cast-offs and exotica it 
nevertheless is a flea-market with a difference. People are also 
trading and exchanging in skills and ideas. One cottage-crafted 
sign proclaims, "Skills Exchange: Register here for the skills you 
can offer and the skills you need. 11 Another says, "Saturday Morning 
Workshop: Plumbing with Plastic." Still another offers, "Tips on 
inexpensive local holidays." Off to one side a chap with a sandwich 
board exclaiming, "Let's Sing" has rounded-up a bemused but good 
spirited cluster of kids, adults and a stray dog who are launched 
into a spirited rendition of some well-worn song. Fortunately they 



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are safely at a distance from the teenage group that has taken over 
a corner of the park-lot complete with ghetto-blaster. The teens 
are demonstrating the latest contortions of break-dancing. Tucked 
peacefully around the corner from all of this a group of people sits 
on the lawn, deep in discussion. From an overhanging branch a small 
sign reads, "If you ruled the world, what would you do?" 

But all of this is preliminary. The main event is inside. It's the 
opening night of Chautauqua! In two hours, attention will shift to 
the main ha 1 1 . The parade through town will arrive complete with 
high school band and local dignitaries. The oldest person enrolled 
in the local continuing education program and the youngest will ring 
the oversize brass bell and declare the two-day celebration of 
learning to be officially underway. For the remainder of the 
evening the audience will be entertained by a rich mixture of local 
and imported talent. The Native dancers, renowned throughout the 
region will present their spirited songs and dances. The famous 
Bach Choir is in town and will give the type of performance for 
which it is known around the world. Finally, the theatre players 
from the local college will, through drama, focus on the theme that 
has been chosen for this year's Chautauqua: "Remember the Spirit 
of '57" when the community fell on tough times and, despite all 
predictions, pulled itself through. The actors will use their 
talents to entertain and energize, and also to provoke thought and 
debate about the',current issues the community faces, many of them 
concerned, once again, with the economy. 



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Over the next two days the building and grounds of the community 
centre will pulse with activity, and it will all be related to 
people learning, doing, testing, trying and contributing. Two more 
large events are planned. One will be a panel presentation of local 
people and national and international experts on the future of the 
logging industry and its implications for the region a subject of 
great concern to everyone. The other will be the premier of a film 
especially prepared for the event by the local movie club. It's 
part historical and part in the present, portraying residents' 
feelings and views about their community over the years. Following 
the film there will be an open-forum a town meeting -- to discuss 
local issues and interests on renewing the local economy. 

Surrounding the major events will be workshops, demonstrations and 
displays on all manner of topics and themes, but most related in 
some manner to the overall theme, "Remember the Spirit of '57." 
Courses-for-a-day will introduce participants to basic skills of 
auto-repair or carpentry. There will be programs on starting a 
small business or cooperative and other subjects related to local 
economic self-reliance. 

And then Chautauqua will be over. A concluding program on the 
Sunday evening pulls it altogether, highlighting some of the ideas 
and the activities that were born with this weekend celebration of 
learning. It's obvious that many of these will be carrying on in 
the days ahead, each with its own band of interested citizens. The 
Spirit of '57 carries on- 



ER?C 



28 



Choose the size of Chautauqua program that best 
suits your time, energy and resources. 

Start with a realistic scale and then build each 
year on your successes. 



REMEMBER 

THERE ARE ALL KINDS OF WAYS TO PRESENT AN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM: 

» Lectures 

» Panels 

» Audio-Visual 

» Art, Theatre and Music 

» Exhibits and Displays 

» Seminars and Workshops 

» Hands-on Experience 

CHOOSE THE METHODS MOST LIKELY TO GAIN INTEREST AND PARTICIPATION 

LOOKING FOR A CHAUTAUQUA THEME? 

» what currently are the local interests and issues in your 

coMuni ^y? 

» Wndl people and organizations are knowledgeable on these matters? 

» Hod could Chautauqua help promote informed awareness on these 
questi ons? 

» Are there regional, provincial, national and international themes 
that ought to be considered too? 

DON'T FORGET: OUTSIDE RESOURCE PEOPLE CAN DRAW INTEREST AND 
CONTRIBUTE TO THE THEME AS WELL. 



9 

ERIC 



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