On the last weekend of August, Bishop Hill will be having its 4th annual Chautauqua. This year’s theme is America’s Story: The Immigrants’ Tale. Learn how immigrants have impacted history and continue to impact modern day society through the stories told by reenactors portraying famous historical characters. This free family oriented event will be held in the village park gazebo on Saturday August 27 and Sunday August 28.

Start the day with a Saturday morning workshop for teachers, actors, storytellers, and students, called Storytelling for Children.” Veteran storytellers Brian “Fox” Ellis and Tersi Bendiburg will explore literacy development with workshop participants. This free workshop will begin at 10 a.m. in the Dairy Building. Starting Saturday afternoon in the park, listen to the stories of a 19th century Irish Immigrant and later the tales of two modern day immigrants. Finish the day listening to the songs of Jenny Lind, the Swedish Nightingale. On Sunday afternoon in the park, Laura Ingalls Wilder will make an appearance, and students from Williamsfield will be portraying a variety of historical figures.

Last but not least, Brian “Fox” Ellis will conclude the Chautauqua by portraying Jonas Olson. This will be the first time Fox has performed as Jonas in public. Jonas Olson was one of the leaders of the Bishop Hill Colony. Fox’s program, sponsored by the Swedish Council of America, will provide viewers with unique insights about the 19th century Bishop Hill Colony.

All programs will be held at the village park gazebo in Bishop Hill, IL. Folks are encouraged to bring a lawn chair. In case of inclement weather, the Chautauqua will be moved indoors to a handicapped accessible building.  This free public event is sponsored by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association, Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Bill and Susan Sherrard Foundation, Swedish Council of America, private donations, and the Twinflower Inn Bed and Breakfast. For more information, call 309 927-3899, visit www.bishophillheritage.org or email bhha@mymctc.net .


The Chautauqua Schedule

Saturday, August 27

10 a.m. A workshop for Teachers, Actors, Storytellers

and Students on “Storytelling for Children” exploring

literacy development with Brian “Fox” Ellis and

Tersi Bendiburg in the Dairy Building.

1:00 pm An Irish Immigrant’s Tale (Brian “Fox” Ellis)

2:15 pm Two Modern Immigrants Cuban Storyteller Tersi Bendiburg &

Tunisian Bradley Professor Souhail Elhouar PhD.

3:30pm Jenny Lind; The Swedish Nightingale (Sherri Mitchell)


Sunday, August 28

1:00 pm Laura Ingalls Wilder; America’s Emigration West (Sarah Uthoff)