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    Chautauqua Newsletters

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    2014 Fall Newsletter | 2014 Year-End Newsletter

    2013 Spring Newsletter | 2013 Summer Newsletter | 2013 Year-End Newsletter

    2012 Winter Newsletter | Fall 2012 Newsletter | 2012 Year-End Newsletter

    Spring 2011 Newsletter | Summer 2011 Newsletter
    Midnight Sun Tour Update | 2011 Year-End Newsletter

    In this time of worry and confusion, we're glad we can offer some mirth, humor and fellowship. Often laughter is a good (and welcome) medicine...

    Download our 2008 Newsletter pdf

    Semi-Circ. Chautauqua Logo

    2007 Annual Report

    Dear Family and Friends:

         I hope this letter finds you warm and cozy as the Solstice marks our journey back to longer days of light - the seasonal reminder that the sun will shine again and warmer days lie ahead...
         Since 1981, we have been presenting tours and residencies, with our signature colorful parades, fun and educational workshops and wacky, rollicking vaudeville variety shows in theaters, parks, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, correctional facilities - gathering places where communities often form. Our fees are on a sliding scale, so that cost does not exclude a financially-strapped community.
         In confusing and challenging times, laughter, friendship and mirth are some of the main ingredients for a nourishing meal for tired and care-worn spirits. We are honored to serve up "soul food".

         In 2007, we continued to deepen our commitment to strengthen community with education, entertainment and laughter. We worked with local non profits that are doing great things in their communities. Our Partners included environmental groups, agencies that support and educate at-risk children and their families, a city wide garden project for low-income residents, a community radio station, a boys and girls club, art and music programs in schools, an Alzheimer's association, and an animal rescue organization.

    • We helped raise thousands of dollars for non profit groups
    • We helped raise awareness of their projects and good works
    • We created and donated 60 baby quilts to infants in Washington, Montana and Idaho. Since 1998, our Community Quilt Project has donated 660 quilts to infants who are medically, emotionally or financially challenged.


        In 2008, we look forward to partnering with a sustainability festival, homeless communities, children's programs, health organizations, elder facilities and correctional facilities.


        Chautauqua is a labor of love, organized and presented by volunteers who believe that laughter is a serious issue and that strong communities nurture and sustain us.
         Our budget for 2008 is $50,000. It will pay for transportation, food, supplies, costumes and props, posters, promotion, insurance, storage, office expenses, website, legal and accounting fees and all the things to keep our show on the road. We will raise two-thirds of the budget with performance fees, benefit shows and on-going annual donations. All donations fund our projects and activities that support them.
         If our mission and projects speak to your heart, we invite you to send us your good wishes and ideas. Some of the best ideas are suggestions from our friends.

        If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, our address is:

    New Old Time Chautauqua
    PO Box 334
    Port Townsend, WA 98368


        Thank you for past support, we couldn't do what we do without your blessings, attendance at our benefit shows, donations and gifts. We hope you will continue to be a part of our family. We are honored to represent you as Ambassadors of Good Will, Friendship and Laughter.
         Best wishes for a happy and peaceful new year.

    Women enjoying drumming workshop
    Drumming workshop

    Photo by: Michelle Bates


    Joannie Murayama
    Vice President
    Board of Directors
    New Old Time Chautauqua

    2007 Non profit partners in Washington, Montana and Idaho:

    KYRS radio * Sunburst Foundation * Family Concepts * Boys and Girls Club of the Blackfoot Nation * Garden City Harvest * Troy Fine Arts Council * Alzheimer's Association of Greater Idaho * Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center * Islands' Oil Spill Association

    2007 Performers

    Alexandria * Amber Tide * Avner the Eccentric * Stephen "Foolio" Bent * David Clay * Godfrey Daniels * Mark Ettinger * Fighting Instruments of Karma Marching Chamber Band/Orchestra * Flying Karamazov Brothers * Tim Furst * Baby Gramps * Hacki * Happenstance * Haute Trash * Jambalaya Brass Band * Jasmine * Juggling Jollies * Kaiyama * Land Phil-Harmonics * Mamazon * Kevin Murphy * Nanda * Super Noodlini and Family * Frank Olivier * One Two * Jim Page * Jasper Patterson * Faith Petric * Joey Pipia * The Planets * Shoehorn * Spike and Boom Boom * Cathy Sutherland * Christian Swensen * Vern and Dream * Vanessa Vortex * Sam Williams

    2007 Workshops

    Juggling * Acrobatics * Instrument-making out of recycled materials * Community Quilts * Samba drumming * Mask-making * Magic * Rope-walking * Song swap * "Inconvenient Truth Slide Show" (about Global Warming)

    Our Band at 2007 Moisture Festival
    Fighting Instruments of Karma Marching Chamber Band/Orchestra
    Photo by: Michelle Bates


    Our 2006 Newsletter


      Our Mission

    • To build community through laughter, entertainment and education

      Our Goals

    • To present programs to diverse communities with a focus on under-served areas
    • To partner with local groups to organize and present community events
    • To promote interaction within communities.

    Who's Who

    Board of Directors

    Heather Weihl

    Vice Presidents
    Paul Magid
    Joannie Murayama

    Nancy Levidow

    Karl Meyer

    Board member
    Chelsea Bearjones

    Friends of the Board
    Tim Furst
    Daniel Neville
    Andrea Williams

    Folks Who
    Make Stuff Happen

    Incredible volunteer staff, performers, workshop leaders and support people


    Dear Friends:

    The New Old Time Chautauqua is alive and well - continuing to grow and flourish. While we are still presenting Vaudeville Extravaganzas, Workshops and Parades to delight and excite audiences of all ages, we are also doing more free community service work to help build stronger and healthier communities.

    You are an incredibly valuable part of this organization. Your support and donations are what keep us going. We thank you and also look forward to hearing your ideas, thoughts and comments. We're always looking for the "next cool thing" to do, and our best ideas have come from members of our huge family. Please write us and let us know about your brainstorms and dreams about how NOTC can help foster community - it's amazing what this large animal can do...

    We have found ourselves wanting to respond to current events - to the people whose lives and homes were devastated by Hurricane Katrina, to an under-funded school arts program, to a community gardens that needed volunteers...

    We have learned that we can do our community service work with our own Chautauqua humor and spirit.

    In 2006, 40 Chautauquans weeded a garden in the hot sun and were serenaded by our live bluegrass band while jugglers tossed gardening implements in the air. On the Jambalaya Tour, 250 heroic relief workers were served supper, Chautauqua-style, while enjoying an evening of juggling, magic, music and comedy. Tools used for relief work in the morning, found their way into a topical skit in the evening show.

    Our group serving food to volunteers for Common Ground, in New Orleans
    Serving Common Ground Volunteers in New Orleans

    Rod at Work in New Orleans' 9th Ward

    Rod & wheelbarrow
    Photos by Michelle Bates

    Past & Present

    In 1981, the Flying Karamazov Brothers (Masters of Juggling and Cheap Theatrics) and Family got together with Dr. Patch Adams and the Gesundheit Institute over a lovely, zany dinner in Arlington, Virginia. The idea that emerged that night was a Traveling Vaudeville Medicine Show and Educational Circus. Our vision was that the entertainment would attract audiences and they'd stick around for educational workshops. We'd make learning fun. We'd bring our workshops and invite the host communities to present theirs, too. We'd share our skills and knowledge with each other.

    We have grown and expanded our program over 25 years of touring. We have seen that through live performance and hands-on workshops, we can act as a catalyst; bringing people together by sharing laughter and creativity.

    From the beginning, our focus has been to bring live entertainment to people in rural areas - places that often only get entertainment through recorded or broadcasted media. These places are often financially challenged or struggling. Donations and grants and Chautauqua Benefit Shows (presented in larger cities) help us make enough money to be able to charge these small communities less than our usual fee. (We have even charged as little as the cost of getting us there!)

    A 2-3 week Chautauqua tour costs between $15-27,000. The expenses are primarily travel and food. Because Chautauqua is a "labor of love", the 50+ performers, workshop leaders and support people are volunteers.

    In April 2006, Chautauqua's Jamabalaya Vaudeville Tour was generously supported by the Oregon Country Fair, Rex Foundation, Fresenius Health Care and many individual donors. The intention of this special tour was to present free shows for Hurricane Katrina survivors and volunteer relief workers in New Orleans and the coast of Mississippi.

    At the end of the tour, we strengthened our commitment to do more service work and free shows. These shows are presented in hospitals, schools, libraries, senior centers, juvenile detention centers, jails - wherever a little extra joy and laughter is welcome. We also hope to shed some light on issues that need attention. This year we presented a Chautauqua show at Sponsors (in Eugene, OR), a facility that assists people while they make the difficult transition from jail back into the community.


    Our experience in the Southern Gulf Coast showed us that individuals can do many things to make the world a better place. Many Chautuaquans were inspired to do volunteer service work when they returned home. We have found that anyone and everyone can make their voice heard and effect change.


    Nanda, airborne
    Nanda in New Orleans


    Waveland, MS. Elementary School
    Delighted kids in audience

    "Watching my grandson, Charlie, smile as he was tickled while having his face painted, laughing as he was juggling balls for the first time and being mesmerized by the Chautauqua Musicians, was an amazing experience for me-knowing that it was his first celebration after losing his home and all of his possessions in Hurricane Katrina. I could not have paid enough for the smiles or repay the Chatauquans for the joy they brought to all of us in Bay Saint Louis."

       Mike Cuevas
    Grandmother and Director of Cultural Affairs, Bay St Louis, MS


    Community Quilts

    Chautauqua's Community Quilts Project, which began in 1992, has donated over 600 quilts to infants in-need. We give Baby Quilts to children who are at risk - physically, emotionally, psychologically or financially challenged. Quilts are created in workshops on tour and by residents of Victoria House, an assisted living facility in Port Townsend, WA. This year we donated 60 quilts to St. Rose de Lima Church (Bay St. Louis, MS), Common Ground Women's Center (New Orleans, LA), Sponsors* (Eugene, OR), White Earth Ojibwe Reservation (White Earth, MN), and Jefferson Healthcare Hospital (Port Townsend, WA).


    Toddler receiving a quilt
    Bay St. Louis recipient
    This photo by: Lorraine Anderson

    * "Sponsors provides transitional living services to ex-offenders in Lane County with most of our clientele coming to us directly from prison. The women's program was presented with handmade quilts as gifts for our women with small children. I do not have the words to describe the beauty & care in these simple pieces of cloth. So far, we have handed out three blankets to new babies and it brings tears to my eyes every time. It symbolizes the hope that a small gift such as this can represent. Someone cares & believes your child is a gift to be treasured."

    Jean Daugherty, Director of Women's Services, Sponsors Inc, Eugene, OR

      New Friends

    We continue to learn the value and strength of partnering with like-minded organizations and individuals. This year's Jambalaya Vaudeville Tour and last year's Hurricane Relief bus (Chautauqua's biodiesel bus transported survivors and delivered goods in hurricaneland) were both ideas "sparked" by the Port Townsend-Bay St. Louis Sister City Project. The Oregon Country Fair and Rex Foundation awarded us grants for the Jambalaya Tour - both organizations share with us the belief that music and laughter nurtures the spirit and soul.

    One of our active members is diabetic. Fresenius Health Care (the dialysis corporation that operates the clinic that he visits 3 times a week) awarded the Jambalaya Tour a grant, and is now interested in other Chautauqua service-work performed in health care facilities.

    Three weeks before the tour, we presented "The Jambalaya Cabaret" in Port Townsend. It was a knock-yer-socks-off vaudeville dinner show (fronted by a dynamite New Orleans style band) served up with an authentic southern jambalaya dinner. Sort of a Teatro Zinzanni with grits... Proceeds and other small donations from well-wishing friends made up half of the funding needed for the Tour.

    Plans are in the works for the upcoming 2007 Summer Tour. We hope to travel through Montana and Idaho, and end with a Vaudeville Extravaganza in Boise. We will partner with city governments, Native American reservations, and community agencies that support at-risk youth, families and children.

    More information will be available on our website www.chautauqua.org

    Once again, thank you for your support and welcome to the family.

    Jambalaya Tour group
    The gang in St Bernard Parish, LA


    Joannie Murayama,
    Vice President New Old Time Chautauqua Board of Directors



    Autumn 2005 Newsletter


    Summer Tour of 2005

    This last summer, we completed a residency in Klamath Falls, Oregon, where - with workshops, shows and our colorful presence - we joined them in celebrating their centennial. During our time there, we camped out at Riverside Elementary, a decommissioned school now being used by various community organizations.

    In keeping with our tradition of community involvement, we gave public workshops in Veteran's Park and brought these workshops, along with an abridged version of our show, to the young people at the Klamath County Juvenile Correctional Facility. We also had time to lend a hand at the local community garden and were delighted to share some great food and entertainment at a potluck with some Klamath Falls natives.

    One particular highlight was the Centennial parade, in which we marched - along with dozens of period horse-drawn carriages, buggies, and residents dressed in early 20th century costumes.

    Another highlight was our main stage Vaudeville Show, given at the beautiful Ross Ragland theatre, to an audience of returning fans and first-timers alike.

    But that's not all! We also had time to bring all these good things to the neighboring town of Lakeview, almost 100 miles to the east, where we spent one extremely full day doing a parade, workshops, and a show.


    Chautauquans in the World

    Here's a letter from Tom Noddy,
    detailing the 90th birthday (that's right, she was born in 1915!) of our very own Official Crone, Faith Petric:

    Photo of Faith Petric
    Faith Petric
    (not Tom Noddy)

    Photo by Nancy Levidow

    Hello Chautuaquans,

     Oh ... you just KNOW that she was all sweet and smiling and near tears at a few sentimental moments and, of course, flipping out tough-gal zingers whenever you least expected it from the sweet looking granny. Even if you know her well and expect it, she still finds a way to lull you into not expecting it just before she delivers it.

    It was Faith's 90th birthday and the celebration event took place at Berkeley's Freight and Salvage, the Bay Area's rock-solid funky folk gathering house. Of course, Faith insisted that her birthday concert be run as a benefit for the club and so it was. Of course, it was sold out.

    Utah Phillips was flippant and funny and deeply serious as the MC. He reminded us that ours was a Faith-based event. He read personal notes sent in by Pete Seeger and Sy Kahn and Jean Ritchie and other famous, infamous, sane and other sorts of folks. He also offered his own asides throughout and you could see the history that Faith and Utah share ... he was real.

    Ronnie Gilbert was there and a whole slew of Faith's friends -- most of them singing songs that they had written for Faith's birthday (although some were written for previous birthdays of hers -- someone pointed out "she's had lots of them").

    People told about her round-the-world trip (begun in the 40's, interrupted by the world's plans and resumed in the 70's), her college days, her work for causes, her hosting of the folk singers through the years, her trips on Chautauqua, her sense of humor, her sense of song, her prodigious age and her practiced memory.

    Certainly Faith was the focus of the evening, the songs were all either sung by her (solo or with friends) or sung about her. It was her birthday but, as is the case with these sorts of things, the real gifts were for all of us who were present. We sat with other people who have shared her in their lives (some only know her onstage but ... that's not a small thing either).

    Aileen Vance wrote a round that included the words:
    A shining star, a thousand songs:
    Our Faith is great, Our Faith is strong

    Ed Bronstein's song complained:
    Faith's 90th birthday demands a great song, But to write one I had a hard time ,For how can a guy write a song about Faith , When to her name, there ain't any rhyme

    Nancy Shimmel sang:
    To the Faith that keeps us going, we hope for a long long time, And the love she gives with cups of tea and hugs and rhythm and rhyme

    Von Rozay (from San Jose) sang:
    As she sings out the wisdom of her four score and ten, Leading the chorus when folks march again, Regales us with Utah, invokes Alice Paul, And flies 'round the planet to sing for us all

    Laurie Story Vela (who arranged for the recording of all of these songs on CD ... you can contact her about whether she'll make more ... they all sold out that night ... she's available via telephone at 800 222 4974) wrote and sang:
    Faith sows gardens of songs, Like seedlings we all sing along

    Bob Reid was there and he sang this:
    Well I knew it was love at first sight, The first time I saw her onstage, About to go hitching to circle the world/And showing us all that her age, Was a springboard instead of a cage

    The words to all of the songs seemed appropriate, I especially like the one by Bob Reid ... but these are the words that the evening reminded me of as I walked out (maybe you've heard Faith sing it):

    A Pleasure to Know You ... Karl Williams

    They say life's a journey a highway from birth to death
    Mapped in despair and traveled in hopelessness
    Well they may believe it but just between you and me
    The trick to the traveling is all in the company

    -Tom Noddy

    From Joannie Murayama--

    The New Old Time Chautauqua's Mission is about building community. One of the ways we do this by interacting with diverse communities, particularly in underserved areas. We are proud to be a part of the grassroots efforts that are helping those who have been affected by Hurricane Katrina.

    Hurricane Katrina Bus Transportation Project

    On Wednesday, September 7, two buses fueled by biodiesel and veggie oil, left Port Townsend, Washington, headed for Houston to shuttle evacuees to safe havens. The Chautauqua Bus and Sunflower Bus are working with Katrina Caravan Rescue, an organization operating a nationwide, volunteer-led transit network. They are transporting people to already committed housing--homes and shelters that are ready to welcome and receive them.

    The buses arrived in Texas, loaded with non-perishable food and supplies donated by the Port Townsend Community. The generosity of the PT citizens, Chatauquans and other friends has kept this project on the road. A group of us at home continue to raise funds and help with any challenges that the buses encounter.

    Our volunteers have worked with Veterans for Peace in Covington, Louisiana transporting people and delivering supplies to evacuees. In hard-hit Waveland, Mississippi they helped prepare meals for over a thousand people a day with Food Not Bombs and the Rainbow Family Kitchen. Through the Bay City Senior Center, they helped seniors with home repair and the removal of fallen trees. The needs in the Gulf area are constant and seem to change by the day. One thing that is true is that the devastation is huge and the process of rebuilding and normalizing lives has just begun.

    Because the buses are fueled by biodiesel and veggie oil, gas shortage is not an issue. There is biodiesel available in many states, and veggie oil is strained and prepared for fuel throughout the journey.

    This project is co-sponsored by the New Old Time Chautauqua and the Port Townsend Peace Movement. This is an all volunteer effort.

    For more information: 360-385-2212

    To read stories and view photos from this relief effort, visit our Katrina Bus page and follow links to stories in the Port Townsend Leader. Also see www.sistercitysupport.net


    Love and Comfort to the Babies in Bay St Louis

    Victoria House and the New Old Time Chautauqua are committed to sending Baby Quilts to all the infants in Bay St Louis, Port Townsend's Sister City in Mississippi. Twenty-five quilts will be sent this month. More quilts will be sent as the population increases. The quilts will be distributed by the Hancock County Child Development Agency.

    Family News

    Our Chautauqua family was thrilled
    to welcome into the world Chelsea Bearjones' baby girl, Halie Alberta Jones. Born on September 12, 2005, at 11:55am, weighing in at 8 pounds 4 ounces, and 20 inches long. Mom and dad were fortunate to have a good night's sleep before the four hour labor - the hospital barely got the admission papers filled out before she was born! Halie was born without complications, with a very good health report, and Mom enjoyed the best Jacuzzi bath ever known. Everyone, Mom, Dad and baby are all still doing very well and those of us who have not already met Halie greatly look forward to doing so.

    Additionally, on the subject of new arrivals, our aerial Starr, Amanda, has just anounced that she and husband Alex are expecting a baby this Spring. Congratulations!

    Other Chautauquans have also been busy. Jasper Patterson and Gavriel De Tarr collaborated with others to bring "D.O.A.: A Primer for the Afterlife" to Portland's Tribe Theatre, September 2nd-17th. Several Chautauquans attended performances and reported the show provided an intriguing story, which was funny, sad, poignant ...and a bit twisted.



    •  New Old Time Chautauqua  •
    •  PO Box 70173   Seattle, WA 98127  •
    •  Phone:  360/ 499-2149  •

    •    Email: info@chautauqua.org    •