to highlight area interests, skills
to participate in weeklong event
By Konnie McCollum
(April 2009) In the late 19th century and into the early
20th century, Circuit Chautauquas were popular community events. These
tent gatherings were a way for communities to enjoy lectures, listen
to sermons or watch a musical or theatrical production. By the mid-1920s
when Tent Chautauquas were at their peak, they appeared in more than
10,000 communities to audiences of more than 45 million.
As part of the Madison Bicentennial Celebration, an old-fashioned Tent
Chautauqua will be held during the week of June 6-14 at Lytle Park on
West Street in downtown Madison. A variety of demonstrations, lectures
and performances by individuals and groups will be held throughout the
We have everything from book authors to belly dancing demonstrations
to Civil War lectures booked for the tent, said Lisa Smitley,
coordinator for the event. We are looking for any person with
a hobby, interest or talent who would like to participate.
Dancer Mike Qi is one of several individuals scheduled to perform during
the event. He will perform several traditional Chinese dance pieces,
including a Chinese sword dance.
Qi danced for a Chinese government dance troupe for more than 22 years
before leaving his home country. His career began when he was 13 years
old. A government talent scout noticed he could dance, so he was taken
to a dance academy where he lived and trained for five years.
It was very hard work and lots of practice, said Qi, whose
son, Sheng Qi, helped translate. When I danced, I traveled all
over China and Asia, including Thailand and Laos.
During his career, Qi earned numerous awards, including a 1986 Traditional
Chinese Dance Award. In 1987, Qi was honored by the government with
the highest award given, the Arts and Morality Award.
Qi took a break from dancing in 2000-2001 to attend college to become
a dance professor. In 2002, when the chance came, he left Tianjin, China
to immigrate to Madison. He came to America because the career opportunities
would be better for his family. America is a good place to raise
a family, he said. The decision to leave China was very
tough but the opportunities here are too good to miss.
Qi lives with his son and wife, Suzie Zhou. Zhou was a former Chinese
rhythmic gymnast who later coached the Chinese National Rhythmic Gymnastics
team. She currently trains young gymnasts at Madison Gymnastics World
and works at Bob Evans Restaurant in Madison.
Weve had Mike Qi perform at the library, said Smitley,
who is literacy coordinator for the Madison-Jefferson County Public
Library. The auditorium was packed and people loved him.
She said she hopes community groups or clubs will also get involved
in the event. It would even be neat if some area musicians that
had popular followings at different time periods could regroup to perform.
A group that has planned to stage a performance during the Tent Chautauqua
is Taylors Tae Kwon Do Academy, owned by Master Jerry Taylor.
He is a World Tae Kwon Do Federation-certified seventh degree Black
Belt. He owns two schools: one in Osgood, Ind., and one in Madison.
His school will perform a variety of skills and exercises. We
will have board and brick breaking, sparring and forms demonstrations,
he said. Our performers will be a mixed group of all levels and
ages. Martial artists from both of his schools will be included
in the performance.
Taylors school performed at the library, too, and delighted the
crowd there, said Smitley.
She emphasized that any family friendly activity, topic or interest
is more than welcome to participate in the Tent Chautauqua. Each performer
will have at least 15 minutes and up to two hours to entertain the crowd.
I cant wait for people to see the amazing array of talent
and topics we have lined up, she said.
For more information on participating in the
Tent Chautauaqua, call Lisa Smitley at (812) 866-3861 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bicentennial Committee accepting entries for Video Contest
entries for video contest
The Madison Indiana Video Festival is now accepting submissions
for its inaugural video festival that is scheduled for Arts Day on June
8. The event includes additional screenings at the Ohio Theatre in downtown
Madison, Ind., during the Madison Bicentennials Old Home
Week, June 6-14.
This new festival will showcase a wide variety of videos during this
celebration of the independent artist. It is an excellent opportunity
for independent and new videographers to showcase their works and talent
in a small-scale video festival. In celebration of the Bicentennial,
all videos must have been shot in or be about downtown Madison.
The festival is open to a wide range of subject matter, genre, and technique.
These include: Narrative, Documentary, Experimen-tal, Animation and
Music Video of own music or music to which you have been granted synchronization
and public performance rights for the purpose of this festival.
The National Deadline is April 24. There are no entry fees. To enter,
mail a DVD and a completed festival form to: Ohio Theatre, 105 E. Main
St., Madison, IN, 47250
All videos must be at or under 10 minutes in length. Family friendly
content is required. All videos must be original or have proper licensing
permission. This festival is open to all video artists in the United
States. Videos will be judged in three primary categories: Adult, 14-18,
DVDs must be clearly labeled with name, contact info, video title, category
and running time. More than one entry may be submitted. Each must be
submitted with its own entry form.
Back to April 2009 Articles.