Chautauqua Institution News & Announcements

Chautauqua Institution Presents Weeklong Food & Film Festival, Aug. 19–24

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Chautauqua Institution is pleased to host the Chautauqua Food & Film Festival from Sunday, Aug. 19, through Friday, Aug. 24, the second consecutive year Chautauqua has paired a weeklong food festival with its final week of summer programming. Film and food lovers will gather with filmmakers for a festival featuring screenings, conversations, and great food and craft beverages throughout the grounds. The Institution’s town square, Bestor Plaza, will once again come alive with a daily roster of food- and drink-themed events, from cooking demonstrations and competitions to interactive experiences and tastings prepared by the best regional restaurants, farms, wineries and breweries.

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President Michael E. Hill Delivers the President’s Address to the Bestor Society

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Chautauqua Institution President Michael E. Hill addressed a gathering of the Bestor Society on Aug. 5, 2018. The President's Address is traditionally the highest-profile speech the Chautauqua president delivers during the Chautauqua season. His remarks as prepared for delivery, with light edits, are provided below.

My heartfelt thanks to each of you for spending your Sunday afternoon here and for representing some of Chautauqua’s truest friends.

It is an honor to gather with you in this magical environment with this picturesque view of our beloved lake behind us, in the shelter of this tent to shade us from the sun, and serenaded by the exquisite sounds of a chamber ensemble that exemplifies the promise of Chautauqua and of the future of artists and artistry.

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President Michael E. Hill Delivers Remarks at the 10th Anniversary Rededication of the Everett Jewish Life Center at Chautauqua

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Chautauqua Institution President Michael E. Hill addressed a gathering of Chautauquans on July 31, 2018, at the rededication and 10th anniversary celebration of the Everett Jewish Life Center at Chautauqua. His remarks as prepared for delivery, with light edits, are provided below.

It’s a joy to be here with this esteemed group of speakers and all of you. A very special thank you today to Rich and the board of the Everett Jewish Life Center, to my friend and predecessor Tom Becker, and with an abundance of gratitude to Edith Everett and your family for bestowing on the Institution this incredible gift, which has nourished our community for the past decade and stood as a symbol of welcome.

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‘As One’ Community Day at Chautauqua: Works and Life Story of Filmmaker and Librettist Kimberly Reed Highlighted Through Film, Forums, Opera

Works by celebrated documentary filmmaker and librettist Kimberly Reed take center stage for three days at Chautauqua, starting with As One Community Day, Sunday, Aug. 5.

The Aug. 5 half-day program starts at 12:30 p.m. with a free presentation of Reed’s acclaimed autobiographical documentary Prodigal Sons at Chautauqua Cinema, located at 25 Wythe Ave. on Chautauqua’s grounds.

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Sharon Louden Named Artistic Director of Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution

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Chautauqua Institution today announced the appointment of Sharon Louden as the artistic director and Sydelle Sonkin and Herb Siegel Chair of its resident visual arts program, VACI (Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution). In this capacity, Louden will oversee a dynamic department composed of the Chautauqua School of Art, Strohl and Fowler-Kellogg Art Centers, an artist lecture series and growing education and community engagement programs. Louden succeeds Don Kimes, who announced in November his intention to step down following the 2018 Chautauqua season.

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The Revs. Jesse Jackson, Joan Brown Campbell Join 2018 Chautauqua Lecture Lineup

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The Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson to Moderate Amphitheater Conversation 

Chautauqua Institution is pleased to announce that the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Joan Brown Campbell will appear in a conversation moderated by the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, at the Chautauqua Amphitheater, closing a week themed "The Forgotten: History and Memory in the 21st Century."

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Institution Establishes New Podcast Featuring Conversations with High-Profile Guests

Through Partnership With WRFA, Interviews To Be Broadcast On New Program On 107.9-FM

Chautauqua Institution is pleased to announce the launch of its new flagship podcast, “CHQ&A,” featuring interviews with prominent guests who participate in Chautauqua's summer season of programs in the arts, education, interfaith dialogue and recreation. Now with 13 episodes available at podcast.chq.org and on most major podcast platforms, “CHQ&A” aims to provide further insight into the work and thought processes of some of the celebrated individuals who pass through the Institution’s grounds this summer.

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Chautauqua Institution Screens Documentary Film "Mother's Milk: A Film Quilt"

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Talkback with Filmmaker Larry Powell to Follow Film

As Chautauqua Institution concludes a week investigating the theme “American Identity,” the Chautauqua and surrounding communities are invited to attend a special presentation of the innovative film project “Mother’s Milk: A Film Quilt” by Larry Powell. The film (63 minutes) will be presented at 12 p.m. at Chautauqua Cinema, located at 25 Wythe Ave. on the grounds of Chautauqua. A talkback with Powell will follow the film.

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Michael Feinstein and Storm Large 'Shake and Stir' the Chautauqua Amphitheater July 13

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Chautauqua Show Will Be First For Pair This Summer

Five-time Grammy Award nominee Michael Feinstein and Pink Martini’s Storm Large launch their summer 2018 “Shaken and Stirred: Classic Songs Reimagined” tour at Chautauqua Institution on Friday, July 13, 2018, in the Chautauqua Amphitheater.

Accompanied by a five-piece band, “Shaken & Stirred” will pay tribute to a wide range of artists such as Al Green, Frank Sinatra, Bill Haley, Nat King Cole, James Taylor, Chicago, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Donny Hathaway and many others.

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Chautauqua Establishes Dr. Robert R. Hesse Welcome and Business Center

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Named After Institution’s 14th President, Facility to Serve as Important New Community Resource

A gift from Jane Fortune in honor of her late partner, Robert Hesse, the 14th Chautauqua Institution president, will make possible a new business center on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution in time for the organization’s 2018 summer season. The Dr. Robert R. Hesse Welcome and Business Center transforms a substantial portion of the Institution’s existing Main Gate Welcome Center into a modern, adaptable workspace that will allow those on vacation at Chautauqua to stay remotely connected to their offices.

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Poetry Takes Center Stage at Chautauqua

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A new Poetry Makerspace in Chautauqua Institution’s Colonnade will bring poetry to the everyday lives of Chautauquans throughout the entire 2018 season.

Located in the space formerly occupied by the Chautauqua Fair Trading Company, the Makerspace will host Kent State University’s Wick Poetry Center  Traveling Stanzas exhibit.

The technology-infused interactive exhibit includes both analog and digital engagement tools that invite guests to create poetry from core texts selected to complement each week’s theme and arts programming. Using a poetry device similar to found poetry, or blackout poetry, an application called Emerge enables novice and established poets alike to create poems by selecting words or phrases in text that most appeal to them. They can then share their poems on social media, on video or even on a postcard that can be printed on location.

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Nicole Cuffy’s ‘Atlas of the Body’ Wins First-ever Chautauqua Janus Prize

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Author Will Give Public Lecture and Reading at Chautauqua Institution on July 25

Chautauqua Institution is delighted to announce Atlas of the Body (Black Lawrence Press) by Nicole Cuffy as the 2018 winner of The Chautauqua Janus Prize. 

As the author selected from 16 finalists by judge Kazim Ali, Cuffy receives $2,500 and all travel and expenses for a summer residency at Chautauqua from July 22 to 28, 2018. A public lecture and reading will take place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 25, in the Athenaeum Hotel Parlor on the Institution's grounds. Her writing will also appear in a future issue of the literary journal Chautauqua.

Cuffy described her excitement about the prize’s relevance to her work, saying that “in Atlas of the Body, I asked myself what would happen if I treated prose as more pointillistic than linear — if I used narrative to offer brief islands of illumination. I am honored to be the first recipient of the Chautauqua Janus Prize, which celebrates the deconstruction of form and literary convention.”

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The Long Game of Chautauqua Lake Conservation

The following was submitted as an op-ed to Chautauqua-area media outlets on June 1, 2018.

The herbicide permits granted to the Town of Ellery and other lake municipalities recently by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to control weed growth in selected areas of Chautauqua Lake, and the process leading to the issuing of the permits, have raised significant concern among many regional citizens, including Chautauqua Institution and many of the 1,190 private property owners on the Institution grounds. Our concerns center on the general ecology and sustainability of the lake, including our dependence on it for drinking water, recreation and, more broadly, regional economic development. 

The Institution’s leadership team has closely followed and formally responded to the herbicide application process, including the Town of Ellery's application for Lead Agency Status and the related Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). In order to do so in the most responsible way possible, we hired outside scientific experts and legal counsel to advise and support our engagement in this process. Our goal has been to become informed about the perspectives of the various Chautauqua Lake organizations and municipalities, to stay up to date on the NYSDEC’s own research and investments in lake care and management, and to advocate for a collaborative, scientifically supported long-term approach to lake care and management.

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Elevating Civil and Interfaith Dialogue in Communities: Finding Common Ground in an Age of Discord

Chautauqua Institution President Michael E. Hill addressed a gathering of Chautauquans on April 17, 2018, at South Franklin Circle in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. His remarks as prepared for delivery, with light edits, are provided below.

I bring you greetings from a Chautauqua Institution community that is preparing to remove its porch wraps and launch the Institution’s 145th season on June 23. As we busily complete a few remaining lecture and entertainment bookings, we are also in the process of inviting our community members to help us frame the next strategic plan for Chautauqua.

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Seven Finalists Named for 2018 Chautauqua Prize

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Chautauqua Institution is pleased to announce seven exceptional books as the 2018 finalists for The Chautauqua Prize, now in its seventh year:

  • Salt Houses, by Hala Alyan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic, by Glenn Frankel (Bloomsbury)
  • The Futilitarians: Our Year of Thinking, Drinking, Grieving, and Reading, by Anne Gisleson (Little, Brown)
  • The Wanderers, by Meg Howrey (G.P. Putnam's Sons)
  • The Signal Flame, by Andrew Krivák (Scribner)
  • The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir, by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich (Flatiron Books)
  • The Worlds We Think We Know, by Dalia Rosenfeld (Milkweed Editions)

The winning book will be selected from this shortlist and announced in mid-May.

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As We Look Ahead, a Collective Wisdom and Hope

Portraits of all 18 Chautauqua Institution presidents is now on display in the hallway leading to current president Michael E. Hill's office in the Colonnade.

There is a new addition to the hallway leading to my office door in the Colonnade, a tribute to all the men — and I look forward to the day we will say “men and women”! — who have been fortunate enough to serve as president of the Institution. As many of you know, I am fond of referring to myself as the 18th president of Chautauqua as a reminder that 17 others came before me, but there is something about this tribute wall to I find particularly moving. As I glance into the faces of my 17 predecessors, I see both a wisdom gleaned from being formed by our beloved Chautauqua and those who populate it year after year, and also an earnestness, an expression of hope on each face of what is to come for the person who is lucky enough to sit in that unique chair.

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Steven Osgood Outlines Exciting Plans for 2018 Opera Season

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Editor's Note: This is a special preview of an article that appears in the upcoming winter edition of The Chautauquan, Chautauqua Institution's off-season news and updates publication.

This winter, Chautauqua Opera General and Artistic Director Steven Osgood sat down with Sara Noble, company and media manager, to talk all about the 2018 season.

This season we’re starting with Mozart’s Don Giovanni in the Amphitheater. Can you tell me more about why you chose that work?

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Institution Launches Chautauqua Janus Prize

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$2,500 Award for Short Fiction or Nonfiction to be Awarded for First Time During 2018 Season  

Chautauqua Institution today announced the establishment of a new literary prize. The Chautauqua Janus Prize will be awarded for the first time in 2018, celebrating an emerging writer’s single work of short fiction or nonfiction for daring formal and aesthetic innovations that upset and reorder readers’ imaginations, historical narratives, and literary conventions. In addition to receiving a $2,500 award, the winner will give a lecture on the grounds during the summer season and appear in a forthcoming issue of the literary journal Chautauqua. The prize is funded by a generous donation from Chautauquans Barbara and Twig Branch.

Named for Janus, the Roman god who looks to both the past and the future, the prize will honor writing with a command of craft that renovates understandings of both. The 2018 winner will be selected by guest judge Kazim Ali, author of a forthcoming book of poems, Inquisition, and a forthcoming hybrid memoir, Silver Road: Essays, Maps & Calligraphies. An associate professor of creative writing and comparative literature at Oberlin College, Ali will also give a lecture on the Chautauqua grounds during the 2018 summer season.

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Season's Greetings from Chautauqua, 2017

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I've been thinking a lot in recent months about neighbors. Having good, thoughtful neighbors is, I believe, an underappreciated joy in modern life — we're all fortunate in the Chautauqua community to have so many wonderful ones. Neighbors are usually not our family and, for myriad reasons, don't always become our friends, but they are important relationships that require work to establish and maintain a mutual sense of respect and dignity. Our communities are made better when we approach strangers as new neighbors, not as the Other.

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Statement on Gov. Cuomo's Plan to Address Algal Blooms

Chautauqua Institution President Michael E. Hill released the following statement regarding New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal of a $65 million plan to address algal blooms across New York state:

“I applaud Governor Cuomo’s leadership and investment in New York’s lakes, including Chautauqua Lake. His administration clearly recognizes that the health of Chautauqua Lake is critical to the health of our region’s economy.

“We are very pleased to see that this initiative convenes key stakeholders to collaborate with experts in finding solutions to harmful algal blooms that threaten the sustainability of our lakes. As further details unfold, Chautauqua Institution will eagerly and actively participate in the development and implementation of action plans for Chautauqua Lake.”

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