2019 sessions

Thursday, January 24, 2019

10am-4pm: REGISTRATION/CHECK-IN

  • St. Agatha's Episcopal Church, 144 Circle Drive.

6pm-8pm: WELCOME PARTY

  • Enjoy an evening of heavy hors d'oeuvres and beverages while meeting fellow Chautauquans and faculty with whom you will be sharing an enlightening weekend together.  The 12 piece band, Hashtag Swing, will be providing  music as we gather to celebrate another year of mind expanding presentations, discussions and camaraderie.  Community Center, 361 North 10th Street. Tickets $15

Friday, January 25, 2019

7am-4:30pm: REGISTRATION/CHECK-IN

  • St. Agatha's Episcopal Church, 144 Circle Drive.  

7am-9am: BREAKFAST AT ST. AGATHA'S

  • Enjoy a full hot breakfast at charming, historic St. Agatha's Episcopal Church in the heart of the original grounds of the Florida Chautauqua.  You may choose from the following: Eggs fried, scrambled or poached; bacon, sausage links or patties; grits or home fries (plain or O’Brien); toast; sausage gravy on biscuit or toast; pancakes; coffee, tea, or milk; orange or tomato juice. Healthy choice selections include: Yogurt or oatmeal; muffin or toast; egg cooked to order; fruit or juice.  St. Agatha's Parish Hall: 150 Circle Drive.  $8

9am-10:15am: FEATURED KEYNOTE PRESENTATION

  • The Movement to Save our Historic Downtowns.  Patrice Frey, President and CEO, Main Street America .   Driven by a belief that everyone deserves access to a vibrant neighborhood, Ms. Frey and the National Main Street Center work to ensure that communities are places with a thriving local economy, rich in character, and inviting public spaces that make residents and visitors feel that they belong. Working together with thousands of organizations, individuals, volunteers, and local leaders, the Main Street America Network helps to breathe new life into the places people call home. Come learn about the evolution of this movement, and discover what you can do to become involved in your own community. First United Methodist Church Sanctuary, 88 Circle Drive. $15.

10:45am-Noon: BREAKOUT SESSIONS & TEA

  • Veterans Lodge - Epicenter for Care in DeFuniak Springs - Julie Smith.  Find out about one of the nation's most unique communities being developed in DeFuniak Springs from the developer herself, Julie Smith!  As president and CEO of a nonprofit organization developing a unique community for veterans called Veterans Lodge, she is helping to create a special place of  love, healing, and support for servicemen and women and their families - a personal mission and life passion.  For  the  last  several  years,  Julie  has  turned  her  boundless  energy  and  relentless  efforts  towards  aiding  returning  and  retired veterans. She conceived Veterans Lodge as an environment where veterans can safely begin transitioning back to civilian life. This special lodge, now under construction, is receiving national attention. First United Methodist Church., 88 Circle Drive . $10   
  •  A Pictorial Visit to Chautauqua, New York - Alex Alexander. Originally founded in 1874 in Western New York State, the Chautauqua Institution is both a historic Victorian village situated in a beautiful lakeside setting and a 9-week summer festival for mind and body. As told through the historic photographs and personal experiences of a regular “Summer Chautauquan”, we’ll visit the gingerbread style cottages, the 5,000 seat outdoor amphitheatre, the bell tower, marina, library, shops, lecture halls, churches, parks, historic hotels, and charming gardens that collectively create an ambiance enjoyed by more than 170,000 people each summer. And if you’re thinking about visiting Chautauqua yourself, you won’t want to miss the practical tips on how to get there, where to stay, what to see and do, and how to enjoy your summer Chautauqua experience to its fullest. First United Methodist Church, 88 Circle Drive. $10
  • Stieglitz: Father of Art on New York's Main Street.  Jan Faubel.  Almost single-handedly, American photographer Alfred Stieglitz introduced and elevated art though exhibits and networking, generated via his 291 Gallery venue on Fifth Avenue, New York City. Among the great names whose work he promoted are his wife, Georgia O’Keeffe; Impressionist sculptor, Auguste Rodin; Expressionists, Henri Matisse and Paul Cezanne; Cubist, Pablo Picasso; watercolorist, John Marin; the Father of Impressionism, Claude Monet; and German Abstract Expressionist, Wassily Kandinsky. Stieglitz also popularized black and white photography, capturing pre-WWII America with his impactful images, thus legitimizing photography as a viable art form. Join Jan Faubel as she guides you on a journey of synthesizing art from the western world to gather in one convenient “Main Street” location at the 291 Gallery. There, America could view and invest in original art of various genres. Stieglitz’s concept parallels our own town where members of the Art League and our retail store, the Art Co-Op showcase 21st century contemporary artists bringing their work to you. First United Methodist Church, 88 Circle Drive. $10
  • Walk and Talk: The Wallace Bruce Dream Cottage - John Murphy. This program will be presented at the original Wallace Bruce home on the Circle. Wallace Bruce was the first President of Chautauqua in DeFuniak Springs. There will be a brief history of Bruce’s early life and his association with the Chautauqua movement and his critical position in the establishment of the DeFuniak Springs Chautauqua in the 1880’s. Bruce will be remembered in story and song with the inclusion of his writings and his poetry in the program. “The Dream Cottage’’ as he named it, will be the subject of a brief walking tour of the interior and the grounds. 404 Circle Drive. $10 
  • VICTORIAN TEA ON CIRCLE DRIVE - Enjoy a Victorian Tea at a home on the Circle. Tea drinkers at the 1894 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago had a chance to revel in the fair’s tea garden.  Chautauquans in 2019 can experience a “Victorian Tea” in a home which is a contributing site to the DeFuniak Springs Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  You will experience authentic turn of the century architecture, history mysteries, costumes, and “Southern Hospitality.”  St. Agatha’s Episcopal Church hosts this tea which is sponsored by the three sisters who are descendants of the Tew and McLeod founding families of Walton County.  Held in the home of the Vicarage:  168 Circle Drive   $20

NOON - 1:15PM: LUNCH IN THE LAKE YARD


1:45pm - 3pm: GENERAL SESSION 

  • Five Famous Floridians Who Created Main Street - Thomas Cloud, Esq. Despite its current population, and long history, what we think of as “Main Street Florida” owes its identity to a handful of individuals. This is an in depth look at a few of those individuals who can justly claim to be creators of “Main Street Florida.” Without cities, there is no Main Street. Florida has the longest municipal history of any state in America with the introduction of Spanish cities dating back to the 16th century. Yet, the vast majority of cities in Florida came into being during a 50-year period from 1920 to 1970. This explosion of city life, centered on Main Street, changed the nature of what it meant to live in the Sunshine State. Join Tom in examining the lives of these famous and not-so-famous Floridians who created Main Street Florida. First United Methodist Church, 88 Circle Drive. $10

3:30pm - 5pm: BREAKOUT SESSIONS

  • Tin Can Tourists Holidays and Highways - Tim Heintz. In 1915, the Dixie Highway Association planned the building of paved roads that would eventually stretch from the US northern border to the south terminus in Miami, Florida. Tourists of the 1920’s and 30’s pioneered camper travel as they began to camp along the highways in tents, their cars, and early towed trailers. As general mobility and automobile tourists increased, Florida’s rural areas and small towns began to change as they catered to visitors who often brought their accommodations with them. At this session, Tim Heintz, CEO of Heintz Designs: Vintage Trailer Restorations, Panama City Florida, will convey the history of vehicle camping from the year 1919 to the present.  First United Methodist Sanctuary. Free 
  • Hometown Communities provide "Healing Tools for Warriors:"  Penny Pinkham.  Healing Tools for Warriors’ mission is to provide the warriors with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and their battle buddies a safe place to gather with other warriors sharing the same condition. The founder of this local organization, Penny Pinkham, will share her experiences in forming a community for these warriors as she works to connect them with local businesses and community organizations that are dedicated to support the warrior. The support of the warrior is not just in monetary donations, but in enabling the warrior to regain their sense of purpose and move past medical restrictions in making available jobs, programs and volunteer opportunities.  First United Methodist Church, 88 Circle Drive. $10
  • My Four Years at the End of the Earth - Antarctica - John Lohr.   From 1974 to 1978 John Lohr served as communications officer aboard the research vessel Hero owned by The National Science Foundation. The Hero was working in the waters around The Antarctic Peninsula and Drakes Passage, and the waters between Tierra Del Fuego and Antarctica.T here were about 30 separate expeditions with scientists from the USA and Europe aboard during that period. He will cover some of these expeditions and introduce some of the scientists and their work along with a discussion of the hazards involved in such an undertaking. History and background of the Antarctic Treaty and the US Gov.’s USARP organization which funds and operates these unique research platforms will be covered. First United Methodist Church, 88 Circle Drive. $10
  • Walk and Talk: Hotel DeFuniak:  Cate Campbell.  The tour of Hotel DeFuniak will include the many changes the hotel has experienced since it was constructed in the 1920’s.   Information regarding the owners and businesses in the building will be highlighted as well as the total hotel renovation beginning in 1998 . Additionally, the haunting era (mainly confined to the upstair suites) will be discussed.  Looking for a paranormal experience in this old building? Look no further than room 8, the Avery Room.  Hotel DeFuniak, 400 East Nelson Avenue.  $10
  • Performance Tea: "Laura Ingalls Wilder: Reflections of Little House on the Prairie" - Bart and Jennifer Moore.  Join Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder (interpreted by Bart and Jennifer Moore) as they reminisce about the days Laura depicted in the Little House on the Prairie books she wrote to share stories of her family's adventures as they joined Westward Expansion.  We all remember the TV show, Little House on the Prairie, but that was just a small part of the experiences of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who once lived a short drive from DeFuniak Springs.  As Almanzo and Laura, Bart and Jennifer will take you on a journey into the life and experiences of Almanzo and Laura that you will not soon forget. This tea is sponsored and hosted by the Walton County Heritage Association. Please visit our museum at 1140 Circle Drive, DeFuniak Springs, Fl.  Northwest Florida State College Chautauqua Center, 908 U.S. Highway 90 West $20.

5pm - 5:30pm: VESPERS 

  • St. Agatha's Episcopal Church, 144 Circle Drive.   Since 1595 a brief evening worship service of prayer and/or song has been called vespers. This evening service will include music and a homily provided by the Reverend Deborah Kempson-Thompson. St. Agatha’s is the only church building from the Chautauqua era. Its survival was possible through grants from the Florida Department of State, Bureau of Historic Preservation, through matching funds from its parishioners and from the generous support of the entire community. The church boasts the only true pipe organ in the county.  Free

5pm - 6:15pm: WINE RECEPTION

  • Enjoy some "down time" at historic Hotel DeFuniak with your choice of a glass of wine just before the evening dinner performance. Sponsored by Chautauqua Vineyards and Winery of DeFuniak Springs.   Hotel DeFuniak, 400 East Nelson Avenue. $15.

6:30pm-9pm: EVENING DINNER PERFORMANCE

  • Panhandle Prophets - Mary and Patrick Hunter will be staging Americana music as they sing us through the roots of folk music in an “infotainment” venue examining their musical roots in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Community Center, 361 North 10th Street. $25

Saturday, January 26, 2019

CHECK-IN

7am-11am: BREAKFAST AT ST. AGATHA'S

  • Enjoy a full hot breakfast at charming, historic St. Agatha's Episcopal Church in the heart of the original grounds of the Florida Chautauqua.  You may choose from the following: Eggs fried, scrambled or poached; bacon, sausage links or patties; grits or home fries (plain or O’Brien); toast; sausage gravy on biscuit or toast; pancakes; coffee, tea, or milk; orange or tomato juice. Healthy choice selections include: Yogurt or oatmeal; muffin or toast; egg cooked to order; fruit or juice.  150 Circle Drive.  $8.

9am-10:15am: GENERAL SESSION

  • The Florida Main Street Program and How it Works - Katherine Beck, Florida Main Street Program Director.  First United Methodist Church Sanctuary, 88 Circle Drive. $10.

10:45am-Noon: BREAKOUT SESSIONS

  •  Main Street Happenings in DeFuniak Springs:  Jay Evans. Main Street DeFuniak Springs believes everyone deserves a beautiful, vibrant downtown - a place that has a thriving local economy, is rich in character, and features inviting public spaces that make residents and visitors feel they belong. We want to celebrate the rich history of our community, while helping breathe new life into our downtown economy. Our mission is to spark community revitalization and economic growth while emphasizing historic preservation.  We strive to promote quality design of public and private spaces, champion economic vitality, and sponsor activities that solidify community pride.  Mr. Evan's will relay to the community the changes coming to Baldwin Avenue and the area around the Circle Drive.  St. Agatha's Episcopal Church Sanctuary at 144 Circle Drive. Free 
  • Hometown Heroes - Walton County Sheriff's Posse:  Chick Huettel & Joe Stanko. Walton County was settled over 150 years ago through development by Pioneers, Settlers, Crackers, American Indians, Immigrants, Outlaws and Villains. They all helped create today’s life in the county. The early posses were formed from farmers and dwellers out of necessity for mutual protection from the marauding lawless. First United Methodist Church, 88 Circle Drive. $10
  • Florida Chautauqua's History:  Alex Alexander.  Subtitled “Winter Chautauqua in the Land of Summer”  this is a pictorial visit to the Florida  Chautauqua .   In the early 1880’s, survey parties from the Pensacola & Atlantic Railroad discovered a perfectly round spring-fed lake in the Florida Panhandle, whose natural beauty inspired the establishment of a small town named in honor of Fred R. DeFuniak, a prominent railroad manager. Soon, scouts from the extremely successful New York Chautauqua Assembly discovered DeFuniak Springs, and named it in 1884 as the new headquarters of the Florida Chautauqua, a resort community attracting large numbers of winter visitors. The Winter Chautauqua assembly was a great success, lasting for almost 40 years until it died out in the early 1920’s.  During that time, thousands of visitors arrived by train, and hundreds of Victorian era cottages, homes, and commercial buildings were constructed, including a Tabernacle, the Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood, The Hotel Chautauqua, numerous churches, several colleges, and a library. Told through a combination of archival and current photos, this presentation will connect both the DeFuniak Springs Chautauqua and the New York Chautauqua into one grand living history. First United Methodist Church, 88 Circle Drive. $10
  • Main Street in the 21st Century - Gayle Powers. The 21st Century will have its own version of Main Street. We can’t stay stuck in nostalgia and mythology if we intend to build for the future. There are new ways to build community and establish social networks. How are towns doing Main Street today? The opportunities are endless.   First United Methodist Church, 88 Circle Drive. $10
  • Walk and Talk: Original Post Office - Tamas Juhasz and  Dr.Hillary Glenn. Tour  T.H.E. Post,  the restored historic former post office building in DeFuniak Springs, Florida with the restorer and co-owners.  This New Deal building was constructed in 1938 with federal Treasury Department funds and operated as the local post office for over 50 years. Explore the newly renovated building’s bottom floor to see how it has been upgraded for 21st Century business offices and enjoy the contemporary approach to preserving the historic details. 445 U.S. Highway 90 East.  $10
  • PERFORMANCE TEA:  "Laura Ingalls Wilder: Reflections of Little House on the Prairie" - Bart and Jennifer Moore.  Join Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder (interpreted by Bart and Jennifer Moore) as they reminisce about the days Laura depicted in the Little House on the Prairie books she wrote to share stories of her family's adventures as they joined Westward Expansion.  We all remember the TV show, Little House on the Prairie, but that was just a small part of the experiences of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who once lived a short drive from DeFuniak Springs.  As Almanzo and Laura, Bart and Jennifer will take you on a journey into the life and experiences of Almanzo and Laura that you will not soon forget. This tea is sponsored by H & M Event Rentals, contact us at 888-889-9105 for your event needs. This tea is hosted by Regency Hospice of Northwest Florida, your local Hometown Hospice for Walton County Northwest Florida State College Chautauqua Center, 908 US Highway 90. $20

NOON-1:30pm:  LUNCH ON THE LAKE YARD

  • Details TBA.  
  • 1:45pm-3pm: GENERAL SESSION Main Street in the American Imagination - Gregory Garland. This is a look backwards at the transformation of the idea of Main Street that speaks to the heart of America. We will start with the present, including real and fantasy Main Streets of today right here in Florida. Then we head to the beginning, the "City on the Hill,"and examine how that idea has shape-shifted over time.  Writers who have influenced our idea of Main Street include Mark Twain, Sherwood Anderson, and of course the man who made the term famous, Sinclair Lewis.  Politicians have mined the image of Main Street at least since William McKinley's front porch campaign of 1896.  It's Hollywood, however, that has done the most to mold our idea Main Street in films ranging from "It's a Wonderful World" and "Wizard of Oz" to the darker "High Noon" and "Last Picture Show," not to mention countless television series. Greg will tie it all together in a way that will help us understand better our neighborhoods, towns, and even the Chautauqua itself. First United Methodist Church Sanctuary, 88 Circle Drive. $10

3:30pm-4:45pm: BREAKOUT SESSIONS & PERFORMANCE TEA

  • An Affair with Plein Air - Painting from the Outside In - Joan Vienot. The practice of painting scenes from life, outdoors, is the biggest art movement in history, and it is happening now! Accomplished artists find that painting outdoors, in the changing light and under changing weather conditions, rapidly improves their perception and artistic decision-making, and this carries over to their studio-practice. Beginners and non-artists find increased levels of present-moment-awareness, satisfaction and serenity akin to the benefits of meditation. Groups of plein air painters are springing up everywhere, providing support and encouragement for like-minded brave souls. Who knows, maybe you too will be a plein air painter! First United Methodist Church, 88 Circle Drive. $10
  • Religion, Spirituality or Both? - Rosemary Pendery.  Meet Rosemary Pendery, an American author, lives in DeFuniak Springs.  A student of the Bible since she was a young child, she questioned the difference between religion and one’s innate spiritually. She will read several selections from her books, “Little Lights for Your Journey” and “Angels Were There” to elucidate her topic. - Rosemary Pendery. First United Methodist Church, 88 Circle Drive. $10
  • Livable and Sustainable Communities for All - Leslie Spencer of AARP.  A recent survey conducted by AARP Research found that 3 out of 4 adults age 50 and older want to stay in their homes and communities as they age – yet many don’t see this happening for them.  Communities are a source of support and engagement for their residents, particularly older adults who desire to age in place. That is why creating livable communities is so important for all generations.  But what is a livable community?  Learn the answer to this as well as useful resources available to help make your community a great place for people of all ages. First United Methodist Church, 88 Circle Drive. $10
  • Small Town America for Health - Dr. Hillary Glenn.  Explore the components of a healthy life and how these components help to equate your health span to your life span.  Often our environment is overlooked as one of these components; Dr. Glenn's personal health story highlights the interplay of our environment and its impact on our health. She discusses how her journey back to Main Street America impacted her health along with the health benefits of historical Main Street communities such as DeFuniak Springs and the New Urbanism as seen in the local coastal community of Seaside, Florida, both of which are located in Walton County.  First United Methodist Church, 88 Circle Drive.  $10
  • Walk and Talk: St. Agatha’s Historic Church and Homes - Mendy Henderson, Ph.D. Tour St. Agatha’s Episcopal Church (1896), a carpenter Gothic edifice and the only church building remaining from the Chautauqua Era. You will learn its history along with facts about its organ and patron saint. A tour of the Parish House, an 1887 Florida Bungalow follows along with its history, its wayward twin and how it operates currently. Last stop on this tour is the Vicarage, an 1887 urban Queen Anne structure that is also known as the Murray House which housed a colorful gun slinging previous lease holder plus its association with Chautauqua and finally how it is currently used. St. Agatha's Episcopal Church, 144 Circle Drive.  $10
  • PERFORMANCE TEA:  "Winston Churchill" - Bruce Collier. Meet "Winston Churchill (interpreted by Bruce Collier, J.D.) in 1945 just when Germany has been defeated.  Adolf Hitler is dead.  British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill is about to return to England to learn the results of a Parliamentary election which will determine whether or not he will remain Britain's war leader and help plan the defeat of Japan and the balance of power in the post-war world.  Over tea he reminisces about his personal and public life, the war, and the possible future.  Moving back and forth from past to present, Churchill recalls his worst and finest hours.  This tea is sponsored and hosted by Grit and Grace, the official Folk Life Production of Walton County.  Northwest Florida State College Chautauqua Center, 908 US Highway 90. $20

5pm-5:30pm: VESPERS

  • St. Agatha's Episcopal Church, 144 Circle Drive.  Since 1595 a brief evening worship service of prayer and/or song has been called vespers. This evening the service will include music and a homily provided by Pastor Tim Burnham of the First Baptist Church of DeFuniak Springs in the historic St. Agatha’s Episcopal Church. St. Agatha’s is the only church building from the Chautauqua era. Its survival was possible through grants from the Florida Department of State, Bureau of Historic Preservation, through matching funds from its parishioners and from the generous support of the entire community. The church boasts the only true pipe organ in the county. Free

5pm-6:15pm: WINE RECEPTION

  • Enjoy some "down time" at the historic Hotel DeFuniak with your choice of a glass of wine just before the evening dinner performance.  Sponsored by Chautauqua Vineyards and Winery of DeFuniak Springs.  Hotel DeFuniak, 400 East Nelson Avenue. $15

6:30pm-9pm: EVENING DINNER PERFORMANCE

  • Guitarist Chris Alvarado - Enjoy your dinner with live guitar music by singer/songwriter Chris Alvarado who is not only known for his purity of his solo performance, but also for the handcrafted instruments he makes with impeccable sound quality coveted by many rock stars. Community Center, 361 North 10th Street.  $25