Old Fashioned Chautauqua Series

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Teens, Adults, Seniors
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Program Description

Event Details

Popular in late 19th and early 20th century America—and now nearly forgotten—the CHAUTAUQUA (Shaw-taw-kwa) was a series of community programs featuring noted speakers, music, poetry, and storytelling. They were often held under tents and brought civic-minded dialogue to many rural towns. The name comes from the Iroquois word describing the lake in upstate New York where the movement began.

Please join us for our SECOND ANNUAL CHAUTAUQUA series curated by the Clinton Human Rights Committee as we revive this long tradition through a series of fascinating presentations on topics related to Human Rights issues.



Bring a lawn chair or blanket, your friends & family, and relax on the lawn by our Gazebo! Event may move indoors if weather is unfavorable.

We have invited community leaders involved in issues related to Human Rights to share insights into their work. Each program will offer refreshments and a unique mix of music, poetry, storytelling, and lively conversation:

-Wed. 7/12 at 6:30 PM: "Aging In Our Community," Heather Milardo, Director of Development and Outreach, The Estuary. 46% of Clinton residents are age 50 and older. Heather Milardo of The Estuary—a non-profit organization providing programs and activities to keep seniors healthy, vibrant, and independent—will be discussing the concerns of aging and sharing some ways her organization provides a wide range of senior services to residents of Clinton and eight other towns on the shoreline. Musical guest: Singer-Songwriter Jim Sheehan.

-Wed. 7/19 at 6:30 PM: "Rising Anti-Semitism," Myra Clark-Siegal, Regional Director, American Jewish Committee. Anti-Semitic incidents surged to historic levels in 2022, with a 100% increase in Connecticut. Joining us to address this concern in our state, the U.S., and worldwide is Myra Clark-Siegel of AJC Westchester/Fairfield who will share insights into the work her organization offers through educational programs and advocacy both locally and across the globe. Antisemitism has been called the world’s oldest hatred. It is a tangible threat not only to Jews, but also to democratic societies. Musical guest: Master Guitarist Robert Messore.

-Wed. 7/26 at 6:30 PM: "The Witness Stones Project™," Dennis Culliton, Executive Director, The Witness Stones Project™. Join Co-founder Dennis Culliton to learn about this program whose mission is to restore the history and honor the humanity of enslaved individuals who helped build our communities. It began in Guilford, in 2017 and in five years, the Project has partnered with 103 schools, churches, and organizations across 5 states. More than 11,000 students and their communities have participated in the Project. Storyteller: Denise Keyes Page of Ubuntu Storytellers. Musical guest: Banjo Master Paul Neri.

-Wed. 8/2 at 6:30 PM: "The Impact of Bullying," David Melillo, LPC, Former Director of Clinton Human Services. We are grateful to have recently-retired Human Services Director David Melillo give us some insights into the nature and consequences of bullying. A Licensed Professional Counselor with 47 years working with children and families, David shares some of what he has learned about issues of bullying and how social media has increased the growth in reach and impact. Musical guest: Singer-songwriter Alison Farrell. Poet: Elijah Manning, DEI Educator.

About the Clinton Human Rights Committee:

The purpose of the Human Rights Committee is to promote mutual understanding and respect within the Town of Clinton among all racial, religious, ethnic and other groups, and among individuals of differing genders, sexual orientations, ages and abilities.

The goal of the Human Rights Committee is to facilitate respect, discourse, education and understanding in the Clinton community relating to the backgrounds and identities of its members as well as to encourage equality of treatment of and opportunity for, all members of the community, without regard to economic status, race, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age and abilities.

To learn more, visit: https://clintonct.org/709/Human-Rights-Committee


No registration.

Drop-in friendly.

Series - Drop-In Friendly.

Participants are not required to attend each program in this series.