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Road Scholar: The Chautauqua Trail Experience

It was a cultural, religious, and political education movement that began in the 1870s. Some consider it the first form of mass culture in North America. Theodore Roosevelt hailed it as “the most American thing in America.” Scholars credit it with sowing the seeds of liberal thought in the U.S. and Canada. It holds an honored place in cultural history.

Chautauqua was a social and cultural phenomenon that permeated rural North America until the mid-1920s. At its height, the Chautauqua Movement attracted millions to hear educators, preachers, explorers, travelers, scientists, politicians and statesmen, singers, violinists, pianists, bands, and orchestras. Today only a handful of Chautauqua communities survive.

But Chautauqua is experiencing a renaissance. People are discovering that lifelong learning is one of the keys to living a happy, fulfilling life. The demand for authentic cultural experiences is growing quickly. Existing Chautauqua communities are thriving and ones from the past are being resurrected. Learn More

We invite you to experience Chautauqua. Explore the trail and improve yourself.

The unique destinations represented on this website are part of the Chautauqua Network, a non-profit organization whose members are committed to the idea of building community by supporting all persons in the development of their full potential intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

They are places of family and tradition located in some of the most beautiful natural settings in North America. Learn more about the Chautauqua experience.

Network News: Click here to read the latest news from the Chautauqua Network