Under the tent of the
Tulsa Chautauqua
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What is a Chautauqua?
The name "Chautauqua" comes from the Chautauqua Institution, originally a non-denominational educational summer school camp etablished on Lake Chautauqua, New York in 1874 for the purpose of educating Sunday school teachers...
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Origins of Chautauqua

About Tulsa Chautauqua
Tulsa Chautauqua is a not for profit 501(C)(3) corporation co-chaired by Kim Smith and Sandy Moore and supported with an indispensable staff of volunteers, whose devotion and hard work keep living history alive.

History of Tulsa Chautauqua
When audiences attended the first Tulsa Chautauqua at Veterans Park in 1992 and in later years at OSU-Tulsa’s campus, even the stale heat, occasional mud puddles and pit toilets failed to deter enthusiastic fans from enjoying scholarly historical presentations. Those inconveniences disappeared when Chautauqua moved indoors in 2014 and 2015 to the TCC Performing Art Center for Education, in South Tulsa, but at the sacrifice of its tent origins.

Ultimately, Tulsa Chautauqua moved to the Tulsa Historical Society in 2016, a completely renovated historical mansion more suitable to the Organization's historical mission. The Chautauqua's spacious, white, iconic tent is back, but with improvements. It's now staked down against spring storms to a mud-free concrete pad, with numerous pole fans circulating the summer air. Parking is also closer, indoor restrooms are at attendees disposal, and a lush, sloping lawn is open to picnickers for their enjoyment.

All About the Scholars
It would not be a Chautauqua without the intelligent, dedicated scholars recruited from a Chautauqua talent pool for the history-themed summer engagement each year. The Event’s five selected historians are paid a nominal fee to research and prepare for their roles well in advance of the 20 days they will spend in June delivering presentations to audiences at four Oklahoma Chautauqua circuit locations; (1)Altus, (2)Tulsa, (3)Enid and (4)Lawton.

Historical Periods Selected
The Oklahoma Chautauqua Committee selects both the historical period and characters more than a year in advance, recognizing that people of both genders and all ethnicities have made significant historical contributions. Themes include "Cold War: the Early Years", "The Civil War", "The Renaissance", etc.


Tulsa Chautauqua is a FREE living history Event offering family-fun entertainment and education for. But behind the scenes, Event planning, recruitment, coordination and production requires thousands of hours of dedicated work and costs up to $30,000 per season.


Because Tulsa Chautauqua is widely recognized as an historically and culturally significant Event, the following not-for-profit, public and private organizations and philanthropists have generously contributed to ensure this annual event continues to thrive:

MAJOR DONORS- $1,000 & Up

Oklahoma Humanities Council

National Endowment for the Humanities

Anne & Henry Zarrow Foundation

Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P.

The Gelvin Foundation

Gini Fox

Rebecca Holland & Ron Nick

Ed & Sanday Moore

Kim Smith


Tulsa Historical Society

Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa


$250 TO $999

Kathleen Patton Westby Foundation

Ruth K. Nelson Revocable Trust

Mary Adams

Ken Busby

Harry G. Dandelles

Dallas Ferguson

Earl Goodman & Josie Rosenthal Goodman

Michael L. Graves

Julie & Jerry Gustafson

Nancy and Bill Hermann

Marilyn Inhofe and Ralph Tucker

Jane and Dr. Myron Katz

Mary Anne Lewis


$250 TO $999

Patricia L. McNeer

SRO Productions of Tulsa, Inc. (Jon Terry)

Penny and John Tipton

Carol & James Vaughn

Martin Wing

Jane Wiseman & Jim Hodges

can contribute to the health and improvement
of the Tulsa Chautauqua


Tulsa Chautauqua, Inc
P.O. Box 52344, Tulsa, OK. 74152