Chautauqua speakers perform first-person living history portrayals in period costumes to dramatize the experiences of literary and historical figures. By choosing a speaker from our vetted list of scholars, libraries, schools, museums, conferences, churches, professional organizations and other local communities throughout Colorado may offer high-quality humanities programs to their communities.
Host organizations negotiate honoraria and travel with speakers. When planning to host a Chautauqua speaker, please review the list below of possible speakers and contact Colorado Humanities Director of Programs & Center for the Book Josephine Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303.894.7951 x15 for contact and other information.
What Others Are Saying
“What better way to learn about a time in history than to see and hear someone portray a person from a particular place and time. I really liked her posters with pictures and maps. Very informative. Lynne Swanson did a marvelous job!” – audience member from Lynne Swanson as Isabella Bird, Rangeview Library District in Thornton
“Made me cry when she finally finds her daughter” – audience member from Opalanga Pugh as Aunt Clara Brown, Breckenridge Heritage Alliance in Frisco
“I want to go to Rocky Mountain Park” – audience member, 4th grade, from John Stansfield as Enos Mills, Lewis Palmer Elementary School in Monument
El Vaquero, portrayed by Angel Vigil
September 21, 2022 at Front Range Community College Longs Peak Student Center, Presented by Front Range Community College and Poudre Libraries
Diego Martín, el vaquero, the Spanish colonial cowboy, is a true American hero. He was the first cowboy to ride the open ranges and sleep under the stars; the first cowboy to tame the wild horses of the plains and deliver vast herds of cattle across great distances; and the first master of the basic eternal cowboy skills-riding and roping. El vaquero was the repository of highly practical and effective Spanish wisdom and experience in the ways of horses and cattle, developed over generations on the open plains of European Spain and New Spain in the Americas. His language gave us the words we now accept as common cowboy “lingo.” Diego Martín, el vaquero, is a composite character based upon traditional vaquero stories and histories. His story is the living history of the origins and development of traditional cowboy practices in the American West.
An award-winning author, educator, and storyteller, Angel Vigil is Retired Chairman and Director of Drama of the Colorado Academy Fine and Performing Arts Department in Denver. Angel’s. awards include the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education, a Heritage Artist Award, a Colorado Council on the Arts Master Artist Award, the Mayor’s Individual Artist Fellowship, and the Colorado Theatre Educator of the Year Award. He is also the author of six books on Hispanic culture and arts and his book on the cowboy west is Riding Tall in the Saddle, the Cowboy Fact Book.
Erma Bombeck – photo credit Janet Adams
Erma Bombeck, portrayed by Susan Marie Frontczak
December 8, 2022 at Pueblo Country Club, Presented in partnership with Pueblo Historical Society
Erma Bombeck captured with paring-knife-sharp humor the daily life of a new American phenomenon: the suburban housewife. Having figured out from her own personal experience that if you can laugh at it you can live with it, she chronicled the housewife’s daily struggles in her column “At Wit’s End” three days a week. She eventually appeared in 900 newspapers across the country and in books such as I Lost Everything in the Post-Natal Depression and The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank. Bombeck brought to American awareness the life of women whose lives otherwise felt invisible and taken for granted. She let women across America know: You are not alone. In fact, we number in the millions. I, too, am an American housewife, and I will laugh by your side. Find out how Erma got started as a humorist. And chuckle along as she pokes fun at kids, husbands, and especially herself.
Susan Marie Frontczak has given over 850 presentations as Marie Curie, Mary Shelley, Irene Castle, Clara Barton, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Erma Bombeck across 43 of the United States, and abroad in her 22 years as a Living History scholar. She also works with both adults and youth to develop their own Chautauqua presentations. Susan Marie authored the Young Chautauqua coaching handbooks for Colorado Humanities and coaches students 3rd through 12 grades. In 2022 she joined the faculty of the new Chautauqua Training Institute run through North Dakota Humanities that is coaching a dozen new Chautauqua scholars from across the country.
Programs include an in-character presentation, a Q&A with “Marie Curie” and a Q&A with the presenter. Make your reservation by emailing Larry Frank at email@example.com.