Chautauqua Institution News & Announcements

Prayers and Thoughts on the Equinox

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Periods of transition often inspire us to reflect on that which we leave behind and the new experience ahead.

As we welcome the arrival of the fall season on this day of equal day and night time, I find myself reflecting on that ideal of equality and what it means for our society and the mission of Chautauqua. It conjures memories of our dialogue during the 2017 season on issues of balance, on the nature of fear, on the state of the Supreme Court and so many other inspirational experiences of enlightenment and engagement with the other.

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Closing of the 144th Assembly, Three Taps of the Gavel Address

Three Taps of the Gavel Address
Closing of the 144th Assembly

Michael E. Hill
18th President of Chautauqua Institution
August 27, 2017

 

“When I was a kid, ‘sanctuary’ meant only one thing. It was the big room with the stained-glass windows and hard wooden benches where my family worshipped every Sunday. Church attendance was not optional for my sisters and me, so that sanctuary was where I learned to pray — pray that the service would end and God would release me back into the wild. I also learned that not all prayers are answered, no matter how ardent.”

These words from Parker Palmer, a columnist and founder of the Center for Courage & Renewal, speak to me as we conclude our 144th Assembly.  I suspect that many of us came to these sacred grounds and this hallowed grove to find sanctuary: sanctuary from a chaotic world; sanctuary from political divisiveness; sanctuary discovered in community, in the trademark fellowship envisioned by Vincent and Miller 143 years ago when they first scouted out this place that would become our beloved Chautauqua.

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Chautauqua Interfaith Prayer Vigil: Creating Beloved Community After Charlottesville

President Michael Hill's Remarks for the Charlottesville Vigil

I confess to being at a loss today in the wake of what can only be described as an act of homegrown terrorism perpetrated on good people in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend.

I am at a loss to offer words that might attempt to make sense out of something so senseless.

I am at a loss to provide an adequate expression of sympathy to those who continue to feel beaten down by hatred and ignorance and the cancer that is racism.

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PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS as delivered to members of the Bestor Society on August 6, 2017

Following a selection of Mendelssohn performed by a Student Octet of the Music School Festival Orchestra, Timothy Muffit, Music Director

The invitation for today’s event asked you to join me for my first President’s Address to the Bestor Society.  This has been a season of firsts for me as the 18th President of Chautauqua, and truth be told, as I progress with you through our 144th Assembly, I feel both a briskness in the pace of this season and, at moments, as if time has simply stopped, asking us to pause and to drink in all the blessings this sacred place provides.

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Let Us Begin. And Let Us Be Bold

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President Michael E. Hill Delivers His Three Taps Of The Gavel Address To Open The 2017 Season During Sunday's Morning Worship Service June 25, 2017 In The Amphitheater.
 
Photo by: Dave Munch, Chautauquan Daily
 
 
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Civility in Discourse: The Past, Present, and Future of Adult Civic Learning, Remarks Michael E. Hill President

Civility in Discourse: The Past, Present, and Future of Adult Civic Learning 

Free Lecture - Wednesday, May 17th, 2017, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM 
Jefferson Educational Society

In a world no longer easily defined by religion, occupation or geography, can cultural institutions bridge generational divides, such as those between digital immigrants and digital natives?

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President Michael E. Hill Delivers Remarks at the Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Remembrance Service at Hurlbut Church

President Michael E. Hill Delivers Remarks at the Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Remembrance Service at Hurlbut Church

Good morning, and thank you for assembling in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King. The title of today’s service, “We Still Have a Dream,” is a particularly salient one for the times in which we find ourselves, and, quite frankly, is the right emphasis for where we find ourselves in January 2017.

We gather in this sanctuary to honor the legacy of one of the most important civil rights leaders in recent memory. As many of you know, I count my second home as Washington, D.C. If you find yourself there, you simply must go visit the King Memorial on the National Mall. That monument is rich in symbolism. On the site, Dr. King is a towering figure etched in granite, seen emerging from a mountain, referencing the “I Have A Dream” speech we’ll hear later this morning, in which he foreshadows:

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