The first national education and cultural movement in the United States began in 1874. It centered around an assembly that was part educationa and part circus. It was called a Chautaugua. The Chautaugua was the social media of its day. It was an opportunity to share ideas, discuss possibilities, and be entertained. On September 11, 2011 there was a Chautaugua at the First Congregational Church.
In the form of an educational gathering focusing on sustainability in Tacoma, chairman Derrek Rhayn launched Rolling Thunder. Sponsored by Go Local Tacoma, the City of Tacoma's Office of Sustainability and Pull Together Now, the Tacoma Chautauqua featured workshops by Environmental Business Alliance, Tacoma 360, Palmer Scholars, Cascade Land Conservancy, Puget Sound Partnership and others.
Peg and I attended, but couldn't stay very long. A last minute granddaughter's birthday celebration took precedence. We thought Derek did a great job of duplicated the feeling of community that must have been central in the early Chautauguas. People met and discussed issues, shared food, enjoyed entertaining acts, and had a great time.
Rolling Thunder was part one of Derek's plan. Expanded it will become part two on October 29th and then it will expand again for a full flegded community wide gathering near the end of June.
We look forward to the expanded version in October. This event attracted around one hundred people.