Chautauqua: Modern Legends, Cesar Chavez

Category: Arts - Performing

Event Date:

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


6:30 pm - 8:30 pm


Rossford Veterans Park
300 Hannum Avenue
Rossford, OH

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Julianne Jardine




[email protected]

Event Details:

Cesar Chavez and Baldemar Velasquez to be Showcased at Ohio Chautauqua: Modern Legends in Rossford

An in-character presentation of Cesar Chavez and a talk by Baldemar Velasquez, president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, are two exciting parts of this year’s Ohio Chautauqua: Modern Legends. The event runs from Tues, June 19 to Sat., June 23 at the Veterans Memorial Park on the banks of the Maumee River in Rossford Ohio.   Each evening, under the big tent, a living history expert will portray one of the most memorable and interesting "Modern Legends" who left a larger-than-life imprint on the American psyche.   Following their in-character presentation the audience is encouraged to ask the living history guests questions about their lives in the time frame they portray.  

Cesar Chavez (March 31, 1927 – April 23, 1993) was a labor and civil rights activist and reformer who, with Dolores Huerta, founded the United Farm Workers labor union to protect the rights of migrant workers. Chavez brought national attention to his cause by organizing non-violent protests, boycotts, legislative reform efforts, and hunger strikes in the spirit of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. In 1968 he went on a widely publicized 25-day fast promoting non-violence, which ended with an outdoor Roman Catholic mass. For thirty years Chavez tenaciously devoted himself to the problems of some of the poorest workers in America. The movement he inspired succeeded in raising salaries and improving working conditions for farm workers.

A daytime workshop for adults is scheduled for Tuesday, June 19th at the Rossford Public Library, 720 Dixie Highway at 4 PM.  The topic is the Zoot Suit Riots that took place in Los Angeles in 1943 in which white servicemen attacked Mexican-American zooters and literally tore the clothes off their backs. This lecture revisits the zoot suit riots, and the events that led up to them.  How did these events effect Cesar Chavez and his drive to create a union? This lecture will examine the impact the riots may have had on a young Cesar Chavez and his interest in creating social change through his desire for civil rights in the fields of America.

Mr. Velasquez will give a presentation on Wednesday, June 20th, at 4 pm, also at the Rossford Library. He will speak about his work with Cesar Chavez and his own ground-breaking work on behalf of migrant workers.  Velásquez received the Bannerman Fellowships for helping organize people for racial, social, economic and environmental justice, was named a MacArthur Fellow (known as the “Genius Grant”), and received Mexico’s Aquila Azteca Award, the highest award Mexico can give a non-citizen.  The living history presentation of Cesar Chavez will be that evening, June 20th at 7 p.m. at Veterans Park. The El Corazon de Mexico Ballet Folklorico will perform at 6 pm. that evening.

In addition to the presentation on Cesar Chavez, Ohio Chautauqua: Modern Legends will feature Robert F. Kennedy, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Betty Friedan, and Erma Bombeck during the five-day free family event. The event will include daily adult workshops, hands-on Family Day activities, and food for all to enjoy.

Ohio Chautauqua is based on the populist tradition "Circuit Chautauquas" of traveling speakers, teachers, musicians, and performers who brought entertainment and culture to small towns and rural areas across the United States and is presented by Ohio Humanities in Columbus, Ohio.  For more information watch for updates on the website;

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