Jean Ritchie Chautauqua to be held 9/21


Muhlenberg County Public Libraries has scheduled the next two programs in their popular “Thursdays at Thistle” series.

The library will host two Chautauqua history programs over the next two months.

Kentucky Chautauqua’s Rachel Rogers will present her “Jean Ritchie: Damsel with a Dulcimer” program at Thistle Cottage on September 21 at 7 p.m.

Jean Ritchie was born in Perry County, Ky. Her recording career began in 1952 and spanned more than 30 albums before her death in 2015.

Ritchie’s work, which featured her mountain dulcimer playing, reflected her Kentucky life and her love of the state’s natural beauty. Even as she graduated from college and moved to New York City, where she would spend most of her adult life, Ritchie never lost her Kentucky roots. Instead, she focused on them, using her knowledge of the state and of music to bring attention to issues plaguing the Appalachian region.

Ritchie eventually became known as the “Mother of Folk” in recognition of her contributions to the art form. Her songs have been covered by many famous artists, including Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton. She was recorded extensively by famed folklorist and musician Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress.

Ritchie is portrayed by actress Rachel Lee Rogers. Rogers has worked with the School for the Creative Performing Arts at Bluegrass (SCAPA), the Bluegrass Opera, Woodford Theatre, Actors Guild of Lexington, Lexington Shakespeare Festival, Studio Players, the Lexington Public Library and now the Kentucky Humanities Council’s Chautauqua program.

In October, Chautauqua presenter Kelly O. Brengelman will visit Thistle Cottage to present her “Madeline McDowell Breckinridge: Votes for Women!” program. Breckinridge was an activist in the early 1920s who fought hard for women’s suffrage and many other social improvements.

That program will be held on October 19, 2017 at 7 p.m. at Thistle Cottage.

Both of these programs will be presented free of charge. Light refreshments will be provided.

For more information about either of these programs, contact Muhlenberg County Public Libraries at 270-338-4760.

Kentucky Chautauqua is a presentation of the Kentucky Humanities Council. Local funding is provided by the Felix E. Martin Jr. Foundation.