Although Chautauqua may be a relatively obscure term now, the Iroquois term was once labeled by president Theodore Roosevelt as “The most American thing in America.” Named after the banks of the lake on which it was established, the phenomenon of the Chautauqua presented a communal and open space for artists, writers, teachers and entertainers to spread their work with everyday people. Now, the Chautauqua is seeing a resurgence in places like Athens, where the three-day Festival of Freedom is being held. Starring world-class scholar Sonny Kelly, the festival will include storytelling, poetry and dramatic interpretation to illustrate lessons of overcoming oppression. “The Talk” will be held at the ACC Library on Tuesday, May 30, and “Indivisible” will follow at the Clarke County School District’s Headquarters on Prince Avenue on Wednesday, May 31. “The Colored Soldier,” a one-man performance of a Black Civil War soldier, will close out the festival at the Morton Theatre on Thursday, June 1.
WHO: Festival of Freedom
WHEN: May 30–June 1, 6 p.m.
HOW MUCH: FREE!
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