WQED documentary provides behind-the-scenes access to Chautauqua Schools of Fine and Performing Arts

A new, hourlong documentary following four students of Chautauqua Institution’s Schools of Performing Arts premieres at 8 p.m. Thursday on WQED-TV, the Pittsburgh PBS affiliate. “Chautauqua: Charting a Life in the Arts” tracks the progress of violinist Adé Williams, singer Jean-Michel Richer and sibling dancers Colby and Christina Clark through their auditions, practices and performances during CHQ’s 2013 season.

“The pre-professional training inside our resident arts programs is some of the most important work CHQ does. Young artists from all over the U.S. and the world come here to hone their skills, make connections and further their careers, and this community embraces and celebrates them. We’re thrilled that WQED is shining a spotlight on these programs.”

~ Marty Merkley, CHQ vice president and director of programming.

Produced by Emmy Award-winning photographer and producer Pierina Morelli and narrated by Emmy-winning producer Michael Bartley, “Chautauqua: Charting a Life in the Arts” will also be available on demand at wqed.org and youtube.com/WQEDPittsburgh. Approximately a dozen other PBS affiliates will also air the documentary throughout the spring. Viewers outside the Pittsburgh area should check their local listings.

The Thursday airing will be preceded at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday with a “conversation@wqed” program on the appeal of CHQ to Pittsburghers. Host Bartley will be joined by CHQ representatives Merkley, George Murphy, vice president and chief marketing officer, and Carolyn Byham, an Institution trustee and prominent member of Pittsburgh’s arts scene.

The longstanding partnership between CHQ and WQED is demonstrated each summer through Public Radio Day, a celebration of shared educational and artistic values broadcast on Classical WQED-FM 89.3 that culminates with a live airing of a Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra performance. Public Radio Day in 2014 will take place July 19.

“There is no place like CHQ, a truly American place, anywhere in the world,” said Jim Cunningham, artistic director of WQED-FM. “CHQ’s focus on the arts, great music, education for artists and lifelong learning aligns the Institution with WQED’s listeners perfectly.”

Chautauqua Institution is a non-profit organization. Approximately 85 percent of students enrolled at Chautauqua’s School of Fine and Performing Arts receive financial aid. Click here to learn more about scholarships for CHQ’s students, or here to make a gift.