The Lewis Miller Circle recognizes members of the NOW Generation whose leadership gifts help sustain the delivery of the entire CHQ experience, and inspire others to join them in similar acts of generosity.

Comprised of individuals who make an annual gift of $250 or more to the Chautauqua Fund, the Lewis Miller Circle provides an immediate impact on innovations to the annual experience at CHQ, supporting the full range of programming for families and patrons of all ages, as well as scholarships for the majority of students enrolled at the Schools of Fine & Performing Arts.

The Lewis Miller Circle’s dedication and financial support are helping build a stronger that will continue to welcome and nourish young professionals, families and artists for generations to come.

Gifts can be made securely online or by calling 716.357.6404. (Please note the Lewis Miller Circle when making your gift!)

Benefits of Membership in the Lewis Miller Circle

  • Invitation to an intimate Lewis Miller Circle reception at the President’s Cottage
  • Discounted tickets to NOW Generation-sponsored events
  • Special recognition in the annual report on giving
  • Complimentary subscription to PILLARS, a semi-annual publication for community leaders

Lewis Miller

Born in 1829, Lewis Miller was ahead of his times.... An Ohio inventor and industrialist—as well as father-in-law to Thomas Edison, innovator, machinist, later philanthropist, and visionary co-founder of the Chautauqua Movement on the shores of Chautauqua Lake—his legacy endures at Chautauqua Institution, and inspires us to consider the difference one person can make.


Those who are eligible for membership of the Chautauqua Foundation corporation have served or currently serve on the Foundation's Board of Directors or the Institution's Board of Trustees as either an officer, director, or a trustee, and anyone who has made gifts to the Foundation subsequent to June 30, 2002, that in the aggregate exceed $1,000, and who has not declined eligibility by a written statement received by the Foundation declining eligibility for membership.

A member's term expires upon receipt by the Foundation of a written resignation as a member, by action of the Board of Director's if a member has attended, in person or by proxy, none of the duly called meetings of the members held within the three successive fiscal years of the Foundation prior to such action, or within the same period, has failed to make any gift to the Foundation.

2018 Annual Membership Meeting

The annual meeting of the members of the corporation will be Saturday, August 18, 2018 at 9:00 am. Members will be notified by mail not less than ten nor more than forty days before the meeting.


Gifts to the annual Chautauqua Fund provide the main source of philanthropy toward the Institution’s operating budget. Every gift contributes to increasing the quality of programs while keeping ticket prices affordable for families and visitors. The Bell Tower Society has been established to recognize those who make a monthly recurring gift to the Chautauqua Fund, providing consistent and sustainable support. Convenient monthly giving is budget friendly, saves time and resources, and is a testament to one’s enduring commitment to CHQ.

Benefits of Bell Tower Society Membership

  • Invitation to special tour and/or events hosted by artistic directors and program leadership
  • Complimentary subscription to PILLARS, our semi-annual publication for community leaders

To start your monthly commitment today, please select the “Monthly Recurring Donation” option on the secure, online form at or call 716.357.6404.

The Miller Bell Tower

The Bell Tower was dedicated on August 1, 1911 as a memorial to Lewis Miller, one of the founders of Chautauqua Institution. In an address to commemorate him, co-founder John Heyl Vincent provided an overview of Lewis Miller’s life and accomplishments, concluding with:

Let us therefore, as we dedicate this tower to the memory of the generous and honored Lewis Miller, our friend and brother, make it a tribute to his work, a recognition of his invaluable contribution of the Chautauqua Institution; and let us personally resolve that we will sustain to the utmost of our ability the great work to which he devoted himself.

Through this historical lens and symbol of enduring commitment, the society which recognizes those who provide consistent support to CHQ with a monthly gift is named named the Bell Tower Society. These generous, ongoing investments will sustain the future of CHQ and honor the loyal commitments of those who have come before us.

The NOW Generation is comprised of young adults (ages 21-40) who find value and meaning in promoting the CHQ experience and devote their time, energy and resources to ensuring its longevity and continued relevance.

The NOW Generation is a valuable resource for every young Chautauquan to deepen her or his social and civic engagement. Designed to encourage a more vibrant, diverse and robust community, the NOW Generation seeks to cultivate current assets, and to strengthen and develop new networks of individuals and partnering organizations that will build a stronger CHQ… a CHQ that will continue to welcome and nourish young professionals, families and artists for generations to come.

For more information on additional programs, volunteer opportunities or more, please “like” the NOW Generation at To sign up for the NOW Generation e-newsletter and receive invitations to upcoming events, please contact Megan Sorenson at or 716.357.6243.

Objectives of the NOW Generation Initiative

  • Create a network of young Chautauquans who connect year-round and more fully explore the texture and dimension CHQ adds to their lives
  • Encourage creativity and fresh ways of thinking and learning, and share knowledge of emerging interests within the CHQ community
  • Provide organic, grassroots philanthropy at CHQ that is both intimate and far-reaching
  • Provide ways to match young people’s values, social vision, educational pursuits and spiritual ideals with CHQ’s evolving needs and opportunities
  • Prepare and empower young adults for leadership roles

Creating a more vibrant, diverse and robust community, members of the NOW Generation are building upon the rich tradition of volunteerism at CHQ. NOW Generation volunteer activities encompass a variety of capacities that best suit each member’s desires and are aligned with their interests, skills and talents, including:

  • Serving as a community ambassador
  • Assisting with events during the summer season
  • Organizing regional events during the off-season
  • Developing NOW Generation initiatives as a member of the Advisory Council
  • Marketing & public relations
  • Fundraising & development
  • Community planning & design
  • Networking & strategic collaborations

The strength of the NOW Generation lies in its members whose collective intelligence, wisdom and passion for excellence forms a vast network of peers to help each other become informed leaders and engaged citizens both at CHQ and in their home communities.

Benefits of Membership in the NOW Generation

  • Invitation to an annual President's Reception and other summer activities
  • Opportunities to attend regional events in various cities

By making a planned gift to Chautauqua Foundation, Inc., you are entitled to become a member of the Eleanor B. Daugherty Society, a group of Chautauquans who have included Chautauqua Foundation in their will or other estate plans. There are over 300 individuals in the Society, ranging in age from 38 to over 100. Society members receive many benefits and most important, as a member we are pleased to thank and recognize you for your generosity in helping to ensure CHQ’s future.

Benefits of Membership

  • Invitation to the annual “Daugherty Society” luncheon with a selected lecturer
  • Invitations to special tours and/or events hosted by CHQ's artistic directors or leadership 
  • Complimentary subscription to PILLARS, a semi-annual publication for community leaders
  • Invitation to the annual Scholar-in-Residence Program
  • Recognition in The Chautauquan Daily and off-season Chautauquan, as well as the Foundation's annual report (note: a member’s wish to remain anonymous is respected)

Eleanor B. Daugherty

The Society is named in honor of the late Eleanor B. Daugherty, a Chautauquan and retired music teacher from Buffalo, New York. Her major bequest to CHQ's piano and religion departments created an enduring legacy and an indelible mark on the Institution, far in excess of her lifetime giving capabilities. The Eleanor B. Daugherty Society is composed of individuals who have chosen to support CHQ's mission through charitable bequests, life-income gifts and trusts.

If you have already included CHQ in your plans, please let us know so we can recognize and thank you, and welcome you into the Eleanor B. Daugherty Society. (Requests for anonymity are respected.)