History lessons end run
Baldwin City's first-ever Chautauqua Days ended Sunday and the week-long flirtation with Kansas history has been deemed a success by local organizers.
"I thought it went very well," said Tony Brown, co-chair of the local effort to bring the Kansas Humanities Council's state-wide event here. "It exceeded my expectations. The feedback we got from the humanities council was good. They were pleased with the attendance and pleased with everything.
"The youth camp was best ever," said Brown. "They should be congratulated for their efforts."
The event started last Wednesday with an ice cream social as a chance to "meet the Chautauquans." The first presentation was Thursday with Carry Nation. On Friday, Langston Hughes was featured, followed by William Allen White on Saturday and Dr. J.R. Brinkley on Sunday. Brown said around 700 people attended.
"We weren't counting noses," he said. "That's a ballpark figure."
He said the same about the 150 that took part in various workshops during the week, but added an interesting twist there.
"Three quarters of them were from out of town and had wonderful things to say about our town," said Brown. "They said how nice the Baker campus was and the people. All the things you want to hear."
The events were on the Baker University campus for the most part, with the exception of the Chautauqua Youth Camp that was conducted at the Baldwin City Public Library and was attended by about a dozen local youths. They put on performances Friday night as well. (See additional story on Web site.)
Brown hopes the history revival will continue.
"I'd rather think of the end of Chautauqua Days as a beginning," he said. "I'd like to see us start a monthly event like this in Baldwin City. We'd like to make a concerted effort to keep this going."