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What Does it Mean to be Human?

What does it mean to be human? In 2016, we comprehensively explore facets of the human experience, of the human project. When we say we’re dedicated to “the best in human values,” what do we mean? As human beings, we are capable of great good, and capable of being catalysts for destruction. We are stewards, explorers, healers, thinkers, feelers. We have a body, a brain, a fully-functioning computer of the highest caliber. But we are more than our machine. To be human is to love, to laugh, to hurt. It is to be self-aware if not self-actualized, and that grasping for something more, something higher, is perhaps the greatest expression of the human condition. Human beings are flawed, but we hold fierce potential. In this summer as we explore our history, our future, our hearts, bodies, minds and souls, we look at the state of being human today — offering an unflinching look at humanity at its worst, and celebrating what it means to be a people striving for its best.


A message from Reverand Robert Franklin


“In life, we are all faced with the opportunity to serve. It is at times a hard choice to make but those hard choices yield great rewards. Those rewards are mostly for others and not for ourselves. That’s what service is all about.”
Clementa Pinckney, Pastor of Emanuel A.M.E. Church, Charleston, SC

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Chautauqua Institution today released a set of federal agency recommendations that will support the Institution’s ongoing commitment to the historical vibrancy of its Amphitheater’s place and purpose.

The internationally known center for artistic and cultural expression also announced the creation of a panel of experts who will recommend ways to implement one of the key recommendations put forth by the National Park Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior, regarding the Amphitheater project.