Colorado Chautauqua Association

A nonprofit organization

The mission of the Colorado Chautauqua Association is to preserve, perpetuate and improve the site and spirit of the historic Chautauqua by enhancing its community and values through cultural, educational, social and recreational experiences.


"The Colorado Chautauqua is a true Boulder gem; providing the Boulder community, and visitors from around the world, with a unique and memorable experience they will cherish forever. Where else can you dine at an historic restaurant, stay in a cottage with beautiful mountain access, attend a concert featuring world renowned artists, and sit in on a lecture from a mountaineering superstar or NASA scientist all in the same week?"                       - Sara Matthews

"Why bother with a long-haul flight to a "resort" vacation destination when you can pack up the car and head for Boulder's foothills for a self-contained weekend at Chautauqua. Park and explore this National Historic Landmark complex, which provides top-flight entertainment in the auditorium, three elegant squares at the dining hall, cozy accommodations in rustic cottages and access to 48 miles of Boulder's best hiking trails."
-Dana Coffield, Denver Post

"We need to focus on what we have that makes Boulder special. The Chautauqua is something unique that we have to make the most of." - Frank Bruno, Boulder city manager

"The strength in the nomination is that Boulder's is a pristine example of what a Chautauqua is like. It's never been anything else." - Martha Vail, the historian who wrote Chautauqua Park's National Historic Landmark application
-Ryan Morgan, The Daily Camera and Pueblo Chieftain

"The Colorado Chautauqua is listed as No. 5 on "The List of Largest Cultural Attractions" in Boulder & Broomfield counties."
-Boulder County Business Report

"... Another option is the Colorado Chautauqua Landmark Summer Silent Film Series in the beautiful Chautauqua Auditorium, which screens movies every Wednesday night..."
-Jennie Dorris, The Daily Camera

"Head for the hills. Reward yourself. Indulge in a sunset dinner at the 108-year-old Chautauqua Dining Hall, where chef owner Bradford Heap, an America's Best Chefs nominee, creates savory American cuisine. Reserve a table on the wraparound porch. Relax to live music. At the barnlike Chautauqua Auditorium, listen to everything from world music to classical."
-Elisa Bosley and Scott Schumaker, Sunset Magazine


The mission of the Colorado Chautauqua Association is to preserve, perpetuate and improve the site and spirit of the historic Chautauqua by enhancing its community and values through cultural, educational, social and recreational experiences.

Background Statement

One of only 26 National Historic Landmarks in the state of Colorado, the Colorado Chautauqua in Boulder is widely recognized as a national treasure. It was founded in 1898 (we celebrate our 125th birthday in 2023!) and is one of only a few remaining chautauquas in the U.S. Indeed, The Colorado Chautauqua is considered THE western representation of a cultural movement that swept the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Today, Chautauqua continues to use its important buildings for their original purposes and exemplifies its original values: lifelong learning, love of nature, voluntary simplicity and music, oration and the arts.

Beyond its historic significance, The Colorado Chautauqua is unique among Colorado cultural institutions in offering opportunities for cultural residency (it is one of only two National Historic Landmarks to offer on-site lodging). It also stands apart in its commitment to a full range of entertaiment and educational programming (from pop concerts to third grade field trips). This Colorado non-profit is also a leader in sustainable historic preservation and hosts regular, free and diverse community events.

The pandemic and recent wildfires have only heightened awareness of the restorative power of nature and The Arts as well as the risk of wildfire facing the Colorado Chautauqua itself. Colorado Chautauqua has been an essential ingredient in maintaining peace and sanity during this tumultuous time for many people. Never before has the need for Chautauqua's majestic beauty and community support been so apparent.

The Colorado Chautauqua means many things to its many thousands of visitors, guests, patrons, members and donors. It has survived and thrived for nearly 125 years because of the devotion and active support of people who value what it stands for and the many different opportunities it offers to "Discover What Matters."

Colorado Chautauqua Association enriches lives through programs like the following:

VOICES AT CHAUTAUQUA LECTURE SERIES: An exploration of our heritage in fun, free, talks open to the public. From culinary history to ground-breaking women, tours of our gardens and everything in between, this series offers an in-depth look at Chautauqua through the ages.

THIRD GRADE HISTORY FIELD TRIPS: Third graders from area schools are immersed in Chautauqua and Colorado history with costumed actors playing important figures, tours of historic cottages and the opportunity to watch a silent film. This program is being greatly extended in a virtual format to allow much larger numbers of children from further afield and with limited access to funds and transport to experience the wonder of living history.

WINTERFEST featuring ART IN THE PARK: This interactive event allows the public to enjoy a nostalgic, festive family day out (with carriage rides, Santa's Cottage and more) while engaging with the creations of local artists and supporting local non-profits.

FESTIVAL DEL SOL: this free and bilingual event is the only one of its kind in the Boulder area. It features a range of family entertainment, food and activities that celebrate the diversity and cultural contributions of Colorado's vibrant Latino population.

CHAUTAUQUA SUMMER CONCERT SERIES: A Boulder summer tradition since 1980, the Chautauqua Summer Concert Series brings nationally recognized artists to the 124-year-old stage of the Colorado Chautauqua Auditorium. Enjoy performances from music legends such as Joan Baez, Keb' Mo', Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Indigo Girls, John Hiatt & the Combo, Old Crow Medicine Show, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Lyle Lovett, and many more.

EXPLORER SERIES: Colorado adventurers showcase their successes, setbacks and pioneering spirit in the intimate surroundings of the 1918 Chautauqua Community House.

COMMUNITY HOUSE CONCERT SERIES: Up and coming artists (many of them local) in genres ranging from Blue Grass to World Music, are given an intimate setting to perform and be introduced to new audiences.

CHAUTAUQUA SILENT FILM SERIES: classics of another era are brought alive for new generations in one of the first venues in Colorado to play movies (in the 1890s). All films feature live piano or orchestral accompaniment. Popular with multiple generations of families and film buffs alike.

WILDFIRE PREVENTION: The Colorado Chautauqua has well established sustainability and resilience strategies for its buildings and grounds, but fire prevention and mitigation techniques are evolving fast and implementation is ongoing and costly. Sitting as it does at the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), Colorado Chautauqua has recently stepped up its fire prevention efforts. It is also committed to sharing its learning in this area with other historic preservation centers and Colorado home-owners. Carrying out fire prevention effectively and sustainably requires substantial financial support from supporters.

Organization Data


Organization name

Colorado Chautauqua Association

other names


Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Arts, Culture & Humanities


900 Baseline Road
Boulder, CO 80302

Service areas

Boulder County, CO, US