"The most American thing in America", according to Teddy Roosevelt. Chautauqua's are part of our country's traditional ways of sharing information and developing civic dialogue. One of the most important roles a community foundation plays is as a neutral convener, and one of the most contentious topics in Utah is our most natural common heritage - our land, water and air.
A Chautauqua is a public forum of lectures, discussion and learning. Popular in late 19th and early 20th centuries, they are nonpartisan events to encourage civic dialogue. President Theodore Roosevelt called Chautauqua "the most American thing in America."It has been more than 40 years since Utah has held a statewide dialogue on issues impacting our natural environment. The purpose of this Chautauqua is to foster new understandings and deeper collaborations among environmental and conservation organizations, foundations, corporations, and government agencies. We have invited a wide range of participants: traditional environmental and conservation focused nonprofit organizations; animal rights, hunting, and fishing groups; the Forest Service; governmental and faith organizations; and corporations whose work has an impact on the environment.
We believe that information is a core community need – as vital as clean air and water. The Community Foundation of Utah is committed to helping our citizens be informed about important issues facing our community and to encourage civil dialogue across traditional boundaries and perspectives. Too often conversations about our state’s unique natural heritage have been clouded by history and fraught with tension. The Fall 2011 Chautauqua is an effort to cultivate new understanding. Download the report here.