Sacagawea, Thurgood Marshall and Frederick Law Olmsted Revist Maryland for Chautauqua 2010 in July

“History teaches everything including the future,” according to French poet and politician Alphonse de Lamartine. Each summer the Maryland Humanities Council (MHC) uses the past to shed light on the future—bringing to life famous historical figures who have something to say to us today. Chautauqua 2010, Beyond Boundaries, brings Sacagawea, Thurgood Marshall, and Frederick Law Olmsted to eight locations across Maryland. These three characters exemplify the idea of overcoming barriers—physical, psychological and cultural—which constrain individuals. The theme complements Between Fences, an exhibit which MHC will travel across Maryland from September 2010 through August 2011, exploring Maryland stories about fences, both physical and metaphysical.

Teenaged Shoshone guide Sacagawea led the soldiers and mountain men of the Lewis and Clark expedition across the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific—the only woman (along with her baby in a papoose) and the only Native American on that epic adventure. Thurgood Marshall, renowned civil rights activist representing the NAACP, fought successfully in courts of law to protect individual rights and promote civil liberties—before being appointed the first African American Supreme Court Justice. Frederick Law Olmsted created the idea of public parks and promoted their use by all citizens, and, along the way, established the profession of landscape architecture.

“The awesome achievement of each of these characters speaks not only to the barriers of the past,” says Phoebe Stein Davis, MHC executive director, “but illuminates issues that continue to make headlines today. In the 21stcentury we still celebrate young women with adventurous spirits, protest limitations of individual rights, and thrill in a magnificent vista in a public park. Chautauqua is about our future, as well as our past.”

At each performance, an actor/scholar will portray the life of each historical figure, followed by lively Q&A sessions with the audience, both in character and as the actor/scholar. Lenneal J. Henderson, Jr. (Thurgood Marshall) is Distinguished Professor of Government and Public Administration and Senior Fellow at the WilliamDonald Schaefer Center for Public Policy and a Senior Fellow in the Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics at theUniversity of Baltimore. In addition to his portrayal of Thurgood Marshall, Henderson has also appeared as Martin Luther King, Jr.

Selene Phillips (Sacagawea) is a professor in the Communication Department at the University of Louisville. She is a member of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe Nation. She has portrayed Sacagawea at Chautauquas on public television and in other settings. Gerry Wright (Frederick Law Olmsted) works in the areas of human services, environmental advocacy and international relations. Wright is founder and president of the Friends of Jamaica Pond/Olmsted Park Project and has been portraying Frederick Law Olmsted since 2002.

Chautauqua 2010 will take place during July at six locations in Maryland. The 2010 Chautauqua Schedule for “Beyond Boundaries” is:
Garrett College, McHenry, Maryland.
Monday, July 5, “Thurgood Marshall;” Tuesday, July 6, “Frederick Law Olmsted;” Wednesday, July 7, “Sacagawea”

The College of Southern Maryland, Leonardtown, Maryland.
Tuesday, July 6, “Thurgood Marshall”

The College of Southern Maryland, LaPlata, Maryland
Wednesday, July 7, “Frederick Law Olmsted”

The College of Southern Maryland, Prince Frederick, Maryland
Thursday, July 8, “Sacagawea”

Montgomery College-Germantown, Germantown, Maryland
Wednesday, July 7, “Thurgood Marshall;” Thursday, July 8, “Frederick Law Olmsted; “Friday, July 9, “Sacagawea”

The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), Catonsville, Maryland
Thursday, July 8, “Thurgood Marshall;” Friday, July 9, “Frederick Law Olmsted; “Saturday, July 10, “Sacagawea”

Perryville Outlet Center, Perryville, Maryland
Friday, July 9, “Thurgood Marshall;” Saturday, July 10, “Frederick Law Olmsted;” Sunday, July 11, “Sacagawea”

The Avalon Theatre, Easton, Maryland
Monday, July 12, “Thurgood Marshall;” Tuesday, July 13, “Sacagawea;” Wednesday, July 14, “Frederick Law Olmsted”

All Chautauqua events are free and open to the public! For more information about Chautauqua or a complete schedule of events go to www.mdhc.org/programs/chautauqua/ .

The Maryland Humanities Council is a statewide, educational, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The purpose of MHC is to stimulate and promote informed dialogue and civic engagement on issues critical to Marylanders. For more information about MHC, please visit www.mdhc.org.

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