Schedule for 19th annual Natural State Chautauqua announced

Arkansas News
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SMACKOVER, Ark. – (5/15/19) The Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources announces the schedule for the 19th annual Natural State Chautauqua to be held on the museum grounds June 6-8.

This year’s theme is “Women’s Suffrage & Prohibition: Win the Vote! End the Drink!” and will feature three interesting characters from Arkansas’s past: Carrie Chapman Catt, Jack Johnson and H.L. Mencken.

A program of the Arkansas of Museum of Natural Resources, the Natural State Chautauqua is in its 19th year of production and is a first-person interpretation of American history by those who shaped the nation. Scholars are chosen from across the county to spend three days in south Arkansas to present their characters and hold additional workshops. They present the character, then take questions as the character and finally step out of character to answer questions as the scholar behind the historic figure.

In addition to the evening performance under the tent in character, the scholars present children’s and adult workshops and speak to civic clubs in the community. This is a unique learning experience as one becomes emerged in the past and learns firsthand about America’s history. Because of these generous sponsors, all events are free: Murphy USA, AMNR Foundation, Arkansas State Parks and Smackover State Bank.

According to Pam Beasley, museum superintendent, “This line up is going to be wonderful! Each of these characters played a very important part in the history of America leading up to and the passage of the 18, 19, and 21 Amendments, and through the Natural State Chautauqua, audiences will learn exactly how.”  

In addition to the evening performances on June 6th, 7th and 8th at 7 p.m., two additional programs will be held in the museum auditorium at 10 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. On June 7, Deleasa Randall-Griffiths will present a children’s program ‘Everyone Has a Voice’ and on Saturday Jim Armstead will present an adult program entitled ‘Prohibition: An American Political Movement 1820-1920.’

On Friday, June 7, the museum will be hosting a fundraiser to support the educational programs. Catfish or chicken plates will be sold by the museum featuring, catfish or chicken, fries, hushpuppies, slaw, and a drink. Tickets can be purchased at the museum before the date. Cost is $12 and the plates can be picked up 4:30-6:30 p.m. on the date of the event.  This event is catered by Dorey’s Catfish. Call (870) 725-2877 for more information.

All Chautauqua programs are free and open to the public. Donations are appreciated. 

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