Athens Chautauqua



Athens Chautauqua has been organized in cooperation with the highly successful History Comes Alive program, operating in Greenville, SC since 1999 and serving thousands of people during those 22 years. Our mission is to bring history to life, through interactive theater, where compelling discussion stimulates critical thinking. We believe “history comes alive” when historical characters tell their stories in their own words.

Greenville Chautauqua creates an original show each year. We want to bring the 2021 Chautauqua show, “Reinventing America” to Athens, Georgia. And we are on our way to accomplishing our goal. On Sunday, June 13, 2021, historical interpreters, Larry Bounds and Becky Stone will portray Ben Franklin and Rosa Parks, respectively, at the historic Morton Theater in Downtown Athens. Rosa Parks will appear at 3:30pm and Ben Franklin at 7:00pm.

A Chautauqua show is a chance to step back into History – to ask questions and go one on one with the people who shaped our country and our world. Our goal is to fill the Morton Theatre’s 480 seats for each performance, thereby serving almost 1,000 people. Admission to both performances will be FREE for people of ALL ages!!!

This historical reenactment of American heroes could become a regional attraction since Athens is the only Georgia venue selected to participate in the program. Besides Greenville, SC, other participating locations are Asheville and Brevard, NC, and Spartanburg, SC.

Local organizers are Dr. Art Crawley and Dr. Peter Balsamo. Both are retired educators who met as active members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at The University of Georgia. They are Athens residents who have a passion for the Chautauqua experience.

How can you help support this new program?

We are seeking sponsors and donors to generate funds for the first ever Athens Chautauqua. Our initial budget is $7000. A $2000 matching grant was approved by the Athens Downtown Development Authority, and a $500 grant was approved by the Athens Area Arts Council.

Since Athens Chautauqua is a brand new program, Greenville Chautauqua (GC) has agreed to serve as fiscal agent. GC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Tax ID 26-0058066. Your tax deductible contribution will be used exclusively for the program in Athens.

To donate

Mail your check payable to Greenville Chautauqua, 11 Rock Side Court, Greenville, SC 29615. Write “Athens Chautauqua” on the memo line.

Or  click on Donate to Athens Chautauqua. You will be directed to a secure PayPal website where you can donate either with your credit card or your PayPal account. You do not need a PayPal account to donate.


Contributions in behalf of Athens Chautauqua are reserved to be used to produce Chautauqua History Comes Alive programs in Athens, GA. You will receive a receipt documenting your tax-deductible support for Athens Chautauqua.

Presenting Sponsor  $1000
Category exclusivity.
Logo on website.
Name announced from the stage.
Logo on the program and promotional materials.
Call to reserve seats.

Curtain Raiser $500 – $999
Logo on the program and promotional materials.
Logo on website.
Name announced from stage.
Call to reserve seats. 

Patron $250 – $499
Name on program.
Call to reserve seats.

Friend $100 – $249
Name on program.

Contributor $50 – $99
Name on program.

Community Partner No direct financial support but agree to provide in-kind contributions to promote Athens Chautauqua to their constituents and members.

Contact Information for Athens Chautauqua:

Peter Balsamo, co-chair or call/text at 803-728-7056

Art Crawley, co-chair or call 706-353-3012