Florida Chautauqua Assembly comes to life Jan. 28 – 31

December 8, 2009

Bonairian seahorse by Jim Wainwright, featured artist.
Bonairian seahorse by Jim Wainwright, featured artist.

Jenna Bush-Hager featured keynote speaker At Assembly

“A Journey into the Caribbean” is this year’s theme for the 15th annual Florida Chautauqua Assembly in DeFuniak Springs Jan. 28-31.

The Chautauqua Assembly is a four-day, conference-style event featuring keynote speakers, performances, special events, and day sessions. The goal of the Assembly is to empower guests/attendees with information relevant to our times through classroom discussions, museum exhibits, and out-of-classroom activities relating to art, education, recreation, and religion— all pertinent to the annual theme of the Assembly which is held at several venues throughout the Historic District of DeFuniak Springs. For a complete listing/schedule, go to www.florida-chautauqua-center.org

Jenna Bush-Hager will be keynote speaker.
Jenna Bush-Hager will be keynote speaker.

Jenna Bush-Hager, daughter of former President and Mrs. George W. Bush, will be the featured keynote speaker at the Assembly. She will speak on her experiences in the Caribbean and work with UNICEF at the presentation scheduled for Friday, Jan. 29.

Along with the sessions, there will be many free exhibits offered as well, including featured artist, Jim Wainwright.

A Mobile, Ala., resident, Wainwright’s spectacular underwater photography exhibit will enlighten you into the world below the waves in the Caribbean and in water bodies in the United States. Wainwright’s underwater adventures have taken him to an array of the worlds best diving locations.  Wainwright’s work will be on exhibit at the Walton County Fairgrounds.

Other featured free exhibits:

Camp Conservation – Live Animals
Walton County Fairgrounds
Brian Staples of Brian Staples Animal Refuge and Rescue will return this year with monkeys, kangaroos, camels and other animals from around the world.  Other organizations displaying species are Winged Ambassadors (birds of prey), Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge, Florida Division of Forestry, Boy Scout Troop 25, Walton County 4-H, and many others.  

Student Museum
Walton County Fairgrounds
Large exhibits by various schools throughout the Walton County School District on each of the island nations of the Caribbean.  This is where the Florida Chautauqua Center challenges schools to learn about various regions of the world and offer cash prizes for the best represented theme.

Muscogee Nation Indian Camp
DeFuniak Springs Lake Yard
Learn about a part of northwest Florida’s local heritage by visiting tented exhibits of the Muscogee Nation.  This educational encampment consists a fish camp, hunting camp, cooking and turpentine areas which reflect various parts of the history of this Nation.  These will be set up as similar to how they would have looked throughout the past two centuries manned by members dressed in period attire.  The exhbit may include storytelling, stomp dancing, stickball, arts and crafts and other phases of Muscogee life.

About the Florida Chautauqua Assembly
The original Florida Chautauqua was held in DeFuniak Springs in 1885. The first 5-day Assembly emphasized religious training and educational activities in such areas as philosophy, theology, art, music, elocution, and cookery.

For more information go to: www.florida-chautauqua-center.org, or contact Chris Mitchell, president at 850-892-7613

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