Chautauqua will spotlight industry, innovation and invention September 9-12

American enterprise and ingenuity will come to life in Delaware’s 23rd annual Chautauqua, The I’s Have It: Industry, Innovation, and Invention, which airs live Thursday, September 9 through Sunday, September 12.

Delaware’s Chautauqua programs are produced by the Zwaanendael Museum and the New Castle Court House Museum.

Each day of activities will be capped off with evening performances by actor-historians from the American Historical Theater representing George Washington Carver, Thomas Edison, Madame CJ Walker and Alexander Graham Bell.

Two programs in Lewes will also include live and in-person events held at Stango Park at 114 Third St. Smooth Sound Big Band will perform a concert featuring music from the big band era to classic rock and jazz at 6 p.m., September 9. Possum Point Players Radio Theater will present an old-fashioned radio show at 6 p.m., September 10. Participants must bring their own chairs.

For a complete list of activities, go to

Keith Henley will portray George Washington Carver at 7:15 p.m., September 9. Carver, better known as the Peanut Man, was the inventor responsible for the redevelopment of the Southern agricultural industry after the Civil War. His discoveries with planting peanuts, sweet potatoes, and soybeans changed Southern agriculture. His ideas influenced farmers in the United States and abroad for many years. Carver was a man of strong religious convictions and great tenacity. In her rendition, Henley explains how to succeed in faith and brings out Carver’s strong will and determination.

Bob Gleason will play Thomas Edison at 7:15 p.m., September 10. American inventor, scientist, and businessman Edison developed many devices that greatly influenced life in the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a practical and durable device. electric bulb. Less well known is his genius as a business pioneer. By aligning multiple companies to bring innovation to market, he paved the way for the General Electric of today, the company that continues to ask the question, “Why predict the future when you can create it? ? Edison’s inventions changed the world.

Dr. Daisy Century will play Madame CJ Walker, who founded the Madame CJ Walker Manufacturing Company in 1907, at 5 p.m., September 11. Walker’s company made hair and beauty products for African American women. She was dedicated to teaching African American women that they too could be successful in business.

Bob Gleason will play Alexander Graham Bell at 5 p.m., September 12, in the portrayal of a curious and energetic man who wanted to do good in the world. Bell began using his talents to improve the telegraph and later invented the telephone. He has spent his life exploring, inventing and improving his world.

Chautauqua takes its name from a series of adult education programs that first took place at a campsite on the shores of Lake Chautauqua in New York State in the late 19th century.

Reborn in the 1970s as a vehicle for teaching the humanities, modern Chautauquas are often organized around a core curriculum in which actor-historians portray famous historical figures, speaking and interacting with the audience. They have been presented annually in Delaware since 1999 along with a wide variety of historical figures.

The I’s Have It: Industry, Innovation, and Invention is co-sponsored by the Zwaanendael and New Castle Court House Museums of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, and the New Castle Historical Society. Partial funding is provided by grants from the New Castle Arts Council, New Castle Community Partnership, and Delaware Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.