New Piasa Chautauqua

What is Chautauqua?

New Piasa Chautauqua has existed on the banks of the Mississippi for more than 130 years. Generations of families have grow up amongst nature, and reconvene each year to learn and enjoy simple, grateful living.

Some describe Chautauqua as a summer camp for families. It is difficult to describe, but people love it and our nearly all volunteer staff work to maintain the spirit of Chautauqua so that new generations will be able to experience its uniqueness.

Nightfall settles onto the valley like a cool blanket after the heat of the day.  Lightning bugs blink just before the street lights ignite, and as the tree frogs and cicadas begin their symphony you forget that you are here with a few hundred other passengers drifting timelessly.  "Who cooks for you," "whip poor will," "bob white" follow as you wander looking for a light in your buddy's cottage to catch up on the same thing you did when you were nine, and life is momentarily as simple and serene as it was then. 

Chautauquas were a post-Civil war social experiment to bring people to a threshold of a utopia where only learning, loving, and belonging held groups together. Chautauqua is not a place, it is a way of relating, a group of differentiated people rowing in a common direction.  New Piasa Chautauqua keeps this transcendent tradition alive and welcomes you to join us.

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Our President 

Bren Deffenbaugh


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