The Beginning of the Chautauqua Circle
"Mrs. Henrietta Curtis Porter, [founder], had invested much thought, hope and resolution into making her dream of a formal circle of scholars a reality... The founders of the Chautauqua Circle were strong willed, forward-looking women. For the most part, they were products of the historic Old Fourth Ward in Atlanta, moderately prosperous residents of a progressive city already calling itself the “Gate City of the South.” Furthermore, they were citizens of a nation struggling to understand concepts of equality for people of color and for women” (Atlanta Daily World, 2013).
In 1912, Porter formed an exploratory committee of five women. By 1913, a permanent organization was created. The Chautauqua Circle Acrostic articulates the values that the organization stood for, including hope, usefulness, ambition, unity, and more. This Acrostic was developed by the 15 founding members of the Chautauqua Circle as a reminder of their mission and purpose to develop themselves as a group and to change the world with truth as their guide: “Truth is our cherished virtue. We are true to ourselves and to all men.” The Circle’s adopted colors are Green and White and their motto is “Keep Moving: A Standing Pool Becomes Stagnant.” The members were tenacious in their quest for uplift of self and others.