Arts Education

IMG 5817Reaching beyond the gates and the summer season, Chautauqua Institution promotes excellence and creativity in engagement with the arts for the youth of our region.

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Battle of the Books

BOB 008Culminating in a lively academic competition, Battle of the Books improves reading comprehension, builds vocabulary, and teaches teamwork and good sportsmanship for Chautauqua County fifth-graders.

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Education Wednesdays

081418 PenielJoseph RR 3Education Wednesdays at Chautauqua offer current students, teachers and staff from Chautauqua County schools (K–12) a free gate pass (7 a.m. to midnight) throughout the summer season.

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Family Entertainment Series

072518 PekingAcrobats HK 5Each week Chautauqua programs Family Entertainment nights with a single ticket price of $20 for performances in the Amphitheater. The Family Entertainment Series also features free performances in Smith Wilkes Hall that appeal to family members of all ages.

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Children's School + One

ChildrensSchool ArtDay bg MASTER 07.31.15 004Enroll your child in Chautauqua Children’s School for the first time and enjoy each morning at Chautauqua for free. With enrollment, one adult per family is provided five morning passes that are valid from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Family Scholarship Program

07XX16 GreatAmericanPicnic MC 01Each season the Institution offers opportunities for a few families with limited incomes to enjoy a first-time Chautauqua experience.

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Dear Present, Past, or Future Chautauquan,

The Board of Trustees is the principal governing body of the Chautauqua Institution. It consists of 24 members, four of whom are elected by the Chautauqua Corporation (all property owners are members of the Corporation) and the balance of whom are nominated and elected by the Board itself.

The Board of Trustees usually meets five times a year: in July and August during the Season and in November, February and May. The responsibilities of the Board include the hiring of the President of the Institution; establishing policies to guide the Administration in conducting the affairs of the Institution; and overseeing the way those policies are implemented. This last responsibility is largely carried out during our annual evaluation of the President's performance.

The Board is organized into seven committees. Three committees — Budget & Finance, Marketing & Brand Strategy, and the Architectural Review Board — are operational and four committees — Executive, Audit, Human Resources & Compensation, and Nominating & Governance — are administrative. In addition, there exists a Development Council that consists of, among others, three trustees and a like number of Foundation directors. The Council is the principal point of interface between the Institution and the Foundation to address considerations surrounding the philanthropic resources necessary to carry out the Institution's long-term strategic plans.

I invite you to assist the trustees in their work at any time by contacting us with your ideas, recommendations, suggestions, and criticisms. During the season, of course, you can share your ideas with us at the Open Forums in the Hall of Philosophy, at our weekly sessions on the Hultquist Center porch, or by approaching me or any of the other trustees when you see us on the grounds. At any time you may also communicate with us by email at


James A. Pardo, Jr.


Email the Board of Trustees


2018–19 Chautauqua Institution Board of Trustees


pardo DSC 9809James A. Pardo, Jr. · Chair
Atlanta, Georgia
Current Term: 2017–19
Committee Membership: Ex officio member of all committees

Jim Pardo is a retired partner at King & Spalding LLP. At Chautauqua, where he is a property owner and has come with his family since 1991, Pardo serves ex officio as a Chautauqua Foundation Director and Vice-Chair of the Chautauqua Hotel Corporation’s board.


boswell donaldDonald K. Boswell
Williamsville, New York

Current Term: 2015–19
Committee Membership: Marketing & Brand Strategy

Don Boswell is President and CEO of WNED-WBFO, a public broadcasting organization operating two television stations and two radio stations in Buffalo. He fell in love with Chautauqua 17 years ago, "when I realized that Chautauqua is rich in education, history, arts and entertainment. It should be shared not only with attendees but the world."


brady DSC 9811P. James Brady
Alpharetta, Georgia

Current Term: 2016–20
Committee Membership: Budget & Finance (chair), Audit, Executive

Jim Brady is the COO for Grant Thornton LLP, one of the top six largest professional services firms in the U.S. A member of the Chautauqua community since 2003 and a property owner, Brady also serves on the Chautauqua Foundation Board of Directors.


christine bruschkiChristine Nairne Brueschke
Windsor, United Kingdom

Current Term: 2017–21
Committee Membership: Architectural Review Board, Budget & Finance, Executive

Christine Brueschke has worked in Business Development, Equity Research and Financial Planning, and is currently self-employed. Her great-grandmother was born and raised in Mayville, making the Brueschke boys the sixth generation to spend their summers on Chautauqua Lake.


butler hugh 2014 0225 5x7Hugh A. Butler
Chautauqua, New York

Current Term: 2018–22
Committee Membership: Audit

Hugh Butler is Trustee of the Permanent Portfolio of Family Funds, Director of Butler Systems R&D and Chair of Executives of Chautauqua County. Now a year-round resident, he has come to Chautauqua every summer since 1988 and has taught bridge for Chautauqua's Special Studies program since 2009.


Carolyn ByhamCarolyn M. Byham
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Current Term: 2015–19
Committee Membership: Marketing & Brand Strategy

Carolyn Byham is the Executive Vice President and Facilities Planning/Designer of Developmental Dimensions International and an active member and philanthropist within Pittsburgh's artistic community. At Chautauqua, Byham and her husband, Bill, have been coming since 1996, are now property owners, and were involved in the creation of the Chautauqua Dance Circle.


claire judith 2015Judith Claire
Mayville, New York

Current Term: 2015–19
Committee Membership: Audit, Human Resources & Compensation

Judith Claire is recently retired from service as a New York State Family Court Judge. She and her husband have been property owners since 1988, and their children grew up enjoying and working on the grounds every summer from age 14 until they left home.


Nancy GibbsNancy Gibbs
Stamford, Connecticut

Current Term: 2018–22
Committee Membership: Marketing & Brand Strategy

Nancy Gibbs is the Edward R. Murrow Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and formerly was Editor in Chief of Time magazine. She is a lifelong Chautauquan, thanks to her mother Janet Gibbs, who made her concert debut as a pianist with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. Nancy hnd her brother Christopher grew up at Club and both worked for the Daily; he is a former trustee and their father Howard a former chair of the Board of Trustees.


Gwin Bonnie 08 2011 PhotoBonnie Gwin
Gates Mills, Ohio

Current Term: 2015–19
Committee Membership: Human Resources & Compensation, Executive, Nominating & Governance

Bonnie Gwin is Vice Chairman and Co-Managing Partner of the Global CEO and Board of Directors Practice for Heidrick & Struggles. She focuses on CEO and Board succession planning across all industries. Gwin is a property owner and has been coming to Chautauqua with her family for more than 20 years.


haughton john 2014John Haughton
Saverna Park, Maryland

Current Term: 2018–22
Committee Membership: Architectural Review Board, Development Council

John Haughton is a Physician Engineer working to make health care faster, cheaper and easier by sharing patient information throughout the delivery system. Haughton with his wife Jenn, three daughters and their dog are property owners in Miller Park and spend the season at Chautauqua.


jeffrey bobBob Jeffrey
St. Petersburg, Florida

Current Term: 2017–21
Committee Membership: Architectural Review Board (chair), Executive, Human Resources & Compensation

Bob Jeffrey is a Historic Preservation Developer, real estate investor and community activist. He is largely responsible for the resurgence for the Historic Kenwood and Grand Central District neighborhoods in St. Petersburg. Jeffrey's parents had a cottage in Mayville and he has always enjoyed the Institution, attending Boys' and Girls' Club, taking classes and working in the schools department during his college years.


020218 Trustees DM 01Kyle Keogh
New Canaan, Connecticut

Current Term: 2015–19
Committee Membership: Nominating & Governance (chair), Executive, Marketing & Brand Strategy

Kyle Keogh is Managing Director, Google, Automotive Industry. He is a 40-year Chautauquan who started coming as a child and now is a property owner and has three kids in Boys' and Girls' Club.


020218 Trustees DM 07James M. Klingensmith, Sc.D.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Current Term: 2015–19
Committee Membership: Marketing & Brand Strategy (chair), Executive, Nominating & Governance

Jamie Klingensmith's career has spanned the breadth of health care management, having served most recently as the Group Executive Vice President for Highmark, Inc., until his retirement. He is married to Linda K. Klingensmith with two children (Katie and Meade), and is a sixth-generation lifelong Chautauquan, property owner and the great-grandson of a founding member of the Chautauqua Sports Club.


Nancy KylerNancy S. Kyler
Staunton, Virginia

Current Term: 2016–20
Committee Membership: Executive

Nancy Kyler currently serves as the President of the American Medical Association Foundation. She is a past President of the American Medical Association Alliance and Medical Society of Virginia Alliance. A Chautauquan since childhood while growing up in Bemus Point, Kyler and her family have owned property on the grounds since 1990.


Anita LinAnita Lin
New York, New York

Current Term: 2016–20
Committee Membership: Marketing & Brand Strategy, Program Policy

Anita Lin is a retired professional ballerina and former Artistic Director of Ballet Western Reserve. She served on President Obama's Advisory Committee for the Arts and is on the Advisory Board for The Suzanne Farrell Ballet at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Lin and her family have been Chautauquans since 1996. She currently serves as President of the Arcade Condominium on Miller Park.


Michael D. MetzgerMichael D. Metzger
Chautauqua, New York

Current Term: 2017–21
Committee Membership: Audit (chair), Budget & Finance, Executive, Human Resources & Compensation

Michael D. Metzger serves as Vice President of Finance and Administration at the State University of New York at Fredonia, one of Chautauqua County's other premier educational institutions. A 34-year resident of the county, he has for the past two years lived year-round at his property on the Institution grounds.


milosJohn A. Milos
Sarasota, Florida

Current Term: 2015–19
Committee Membership: Architectural Review Board, Marketing & Brand Strategy, Development Council

John Milos is the retired president and previous owner of a national mail-order internet company, selling truck and SUV accessories. He currently mentors business owners in growth strategies. Milos and his family have been coming to Chautauqua for more than 30 years.


Bill NechesWilliam H. Neches, M.D.
Kensington, Maryland

Current Term: 2016–20
Committee Membership: Audit, Budget & Finance

Dr. Bill Neches is an Emeritus Professor of Pediatric Cardiology at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where he is the former director of Pediatric Cardiology, Medical Director of Information Systems and Vice Chair of Pediatrics for Finance. Neches and his family have been Chautauquans for 25 years; he and his wife Ellen have two children and three grandchildren.


Rich OsborneRichard J. Osborne
Charlotte, North Carolina

Current Term: 2018–22
Committee Membership: Budget & Finance

Rich Osborne is retired from Duke Energy Corp, where he worked for 31 years, including service as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Risk Officer and Group Vice President-Public & Regulatory Policy. Having started visiting Chautauqua in 2012, he purchased a home on the grounds in 2014 and has spent each season here since then.


Sheila PenroseSheila Penrose
Chicago, Illinois

Current Term: 2017–21
Committee Membership: Marketing & Brand Strategy, Nominating & Governance

Sheila Penrose is the former president of a global financial services business, currently serving on three corporate boards and five not-for-profit boards, in addition to Chautauqua Institution. A property owner, she has been a regular at Chautauqua for each of the last 15 years.


Marnette PerryMarnette Perry
Naples, Florida

Current Term: 2017–21
Committee Membership: Human Resources & Compensation (chair), Executive

Marnette Perry is recently retired following a 45-year career at the Kroger Company, where for several decades she was the highest-ranking female executive. She and her husband, Paul Perry, a retired attorney, spend their summers at Chautauqua, where their daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren visit for four weeks every year.


david rosen high resDavid M. Rosen
Short Hills, New Jersey

Current Term: 2016–20
Committee Membership: Architectural Review Board, Budget & Finance, Executive

Dave Rosen is a partner in Rosen Kelly Conway Architecture & Design. He has been coming to Chautauqua with his family since 1992, and has been a property owner for 10 years.


Thompson headshotLarry D. Thompson
Sea Island, Georgia

Current Term: 2018–22
Committee Membership: Audit, Nominating & Governance

Larry Thompson is retired as Executive Vice President for Government Affairs, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at PepsiCo and was recently selected by the U.S. Department of Justice to serve as the Independent Compliance Monitor & Auditor for Volkswagen AG. His first Chautauqua experience was in 2004 when he spoke on the Amphitheater lecture platform. He and his wife have been coming to Chautauqua yearly ever since.


Dorothy E. TreftsDorothy E. Trefts · Vice Chair
New Canaan, Connecticut

Current Term: 2017–21
Committee Membership: Budget & Finance, Human Resources & Compensation, Executive, Nominating & Governance

Dede Trefts is Vice President for Services M&A Integration at IBM and in that capacity manages global integration support for the acquisitions undertaken by IBM's $60 billion Services organization. She is a lifelong Chautauquan and property owner whose family has spent summers on the Chautauqua grounds since the 1890s.


Legal Counsel: Samuel P. Price, Jamestown, New York

Honorary Trustees: Paul E. Irion, Willow Street, Pennsylvania; Richard H. Miller, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Trustee for Life: George T. Snyder, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Foundation Chairman: Cathy Bonner, Austin, Texas

Chautauqua Property Owners Association President: Paul Perry, Naples, Florida


The Charter of 1902 enacted by the New York State Legislature established the Chautauqua Institution by, among other things, consolidating into a single not-for-profit corporation the assets and liabilities of the previously existing Chautauqua Assembly, Chautauqua University, and Chautauqua School of Theology.

Under the Charter, the government and control of the Institution is vested in a board consisting of twenty-four (24) trustees. The Charter provides for twenty of those trustees (officially designated in the Charter as “Class A”) to be elected by the trustees and for four (4) of the trustees (officially designated in the Charter as “Class B”) to be elected by the owners of property within the CHQ grounds, which owners comprise the members of the corporation. Regardless of designation, all trustees — whether in Class A or in Class B — are equal and full members of the Board of Trustees, owing the same duties of loyalty and due care to the Institution regardless of how they came to become trustees. Interestingly, although property ownership is required only for member-elected trustees in Class B, nearly all of the current trustees own property on the CHQ grounds.

Today, Chautauqua Institution trustees are elected to a four-year term and typically are eligible to serve two consecutive terms. Upon a showing of unique circumstances, however, a trustee may serve a third consecutive four-year term, although the Institution’s by-laws provide that such an arrangement should be utilized rarely and, in fact, in modern times only a single trustee has served three consecutive four-year terms.

The board chair and one or more vice chair(s) are elected in odd numbered years at the board of trustees’ meeting held in the month of August, for terms of two years. The board chair need not be a member of the board at the time of his or her election as chair. The board chair and vice chair(s) shall not be eligible for election to more than three successive terms as chair or vice chair(s) without the lapse of at least one year after the end of his or her prior service in such roles.


Class A Nomination Process

The Nominating and Governance Committee of the Board of Trustees is responsible for identifying, vetting, and recommending Class A trustee candidates. In practice, the Nominating and Governance Committee seeks recommendations for trustee candidates from current and former members of the board, from the Institution’s president and its senior staff, from the directors and leaders of the Chautauqua Foundation, and from other interested Chautauquans.

Its evaluation of possible candidates includes a desire to maintain and enhance the diversity now found on the board while, at the same time, matching the skill sets of trustee candidates to the needs of the board and its committees. Simply by way of example, the Nominating and Governance Committee often seeks individual candidates who, among other things, have prior, proven experience on other public or private corporate boards and who possess skills in subject matter areas such as marketing and branding, technology, the environment, education, recreation, investment and finance, land use development, strategic planning, the law, the arts, public policy, non-profit management, media, government and public service, religion, financial or strategic consulting, and development and fundraising.

Elections for Class A trustees occur at the board of trustees’ meeting held in the month of August. The Nominating and Governance Committee will advise the Secretary of the Chautauqua Institution in writing not more than thirty (30) and not less than ten (10) days in advance of that meeting of the identity of its to-be-recommended nominee(s) for the position of Class A trustee to provide the Secretary with sufficient time to ensure the compliance by the nominee(s), prior to election, with the requirements of the corporation’s Conflict of Interest Policy as required by New York State Not-for-Profit Law.


Class B Nomination Process

Elections for Class B trustees occur at the annual meeting of the members of the corporation, which pursuant to the Institution’s by-laws takes place on the second Saturday of August beginning at 10:00 a.m. Any member of the corporation (i.e., the owner of property on the institution grounds) is eligible to be nominated for election as a Class B trustee. Typically, the Chautauqua Property Owners Association will nominate a candidate for the position of Class B trustee at the annual members meeting, and it often is the case that the CPOA nominee is elected by acclamation.

All nominees for the position of Class B Trustee must be identified in writing to the Secretary of the Chautauqua Institution not more than thirty (30) and not less than ten (10) days in advance of the the annual meeting of the members of the corporation, to provide the Secretary with sufficient time to ensure that each such nominee is eligible for election as a Class B trustee, to ensure the compliance by the nominee(s), prior to election, with the requirements of the corporation’s Conflict of Interest Policy as required by New York State Not-for-Profit Law, and potentially to make adequate arrangements for the logistics associated with presentation of multiple nominees for the position of Class B trustee at the annual meeting of the members of the corporation.

Potential nominees for the position of Class B trustee are welcome to contact the Secretary of the Chautauqua Institution, Rindy Barmore, for more information on this process.

Chautauqua is committed to practicing responsible environmental stewardship and sustainability in the management of its property and as a member of the broader Chautauqua Lake Watershed community.

Current stewardship practices include recycling, composting, tree management and planting, purchase of electric trams and bio-diesel buses, Green Design standards and rewards, an energy efficiency audit and upgrades to Institution facilities, wildlife habitat preservation, and use of recycled and recyclable products.

In 2003 Chautauqua Lake was listed by New York State as “impaired waters” under the requirements of the U.S. Clean Water Act. Nutrients are the principal cause of the impairment. Storm water delivers nutrients into the lake either as phosphorus or as nitrogen contained within the chemistry of the storm water or as attachments to sediment that flows along with the storm water.

Chautauqua Institution is in a unique position to control our community’s impact on the lake. The Institution controls 100 percent of the stormwater runoff from its land without having to manage water problems presented by others.

Chautauqua Lake is critical to a strong sense of place and community for those at Chautauqua Institution and lake residents, but human impact is taking its toll.

Chautauqua Institution is committed to alleviating the stressors that are impacting Chautauqua Lake. With careful planning and dedication we are striving to minimize our impact on this beloved and important resource. Ours is a long-term commitment to improving the water quality of the lake and the natural environment in which we live.

Strategic Plan


Current Actions

Chautauqua Institution is currently implementing significant efforts to alleviate pressure on the lake. These include:

  • Implementing a comprehensive and detailed Drainage Management Plan to reduce the amount of storm water runoff and nutrients entering the lake
  • Restoring a healthy shoreline through our Sustainable Shoreline Action Plan
  • Composting
  • Updating the Wastewater Treatment Facility
  • Improving codes and regulations to minimize runoff
  • Strengthening links to community environmental stewards
  • Planning for the future

Updates on Lake Stewardship

About the Lake

About the Lake

Chautauqua Lake, at 1,308 feet above sea level, is one of the highest navigable waters in North America. It offers exceptional fishing for walleye, bass, muskellunge and several species of panfish.

Located in the southeast corner of Chautauqua County, Chautauqua Lake is about 17.5 miles long and has a surface area of 13,156 acres.

The lake is divided into two basins of nearly equal size by Bemus Point. The north basin of Chautauqua Lake averages 25 feet deep, with a maximum depth of 75 feet. The south basin is considerably shallower, with an average depth of 11 feet and a maximum depth of 19 feet.

The water from the lake drains to the south, emptying first into the Chadakoin River in Jamestown, New York before traveling east into the Conewango Creek. The creek goes south, entering the Allegheny River in Warren, Pa. and the Ohio River in Pittsburgh and drains into the Mississippi River.

The Chautauqua Lake Watershed has likely been inhabited for 10,000 to 12,000 years. The first significant impacts to the lake and watershed, however, did not occur until the 19th century when deforestation and overfishing were at their peak. Warner Dam was built in 1919 and is currently used to partially regulate lake levels. Chautauqua Lake has a long history of water quality monitoring. The lake was first sampled by the New York State Conservation Department as early as 1937.

According to the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, 90 percent of Chautauqua Lake’s shore is now developed.


Chautauqua Institution is a summer community located in southwestern New York State on Chautauqua Lake. Chautauqua specializes in the arts, education, religion and recreation and hosts over 2,200 events and 100,000 guests each summer.

Chautauqua is dedicated to the exploration of the best in human values and the enrichment of life through a program that explores the important religious, social and political issues of our times; stimulates provocative, thoughtful involvement of individuals and families in creative response to such issues; and promotes excellence and creativity in the appreciation, performance and teaching of the arts.

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onthegroundsThe “On the Grounds” section of the Chautauqua Institution website is designed to keep community members informed on the status of Institution projects, major initiatives considered by the Board of Trustees and environmental issues. Also provided is a menu of resources for property owners, including Institution rules and regulations, Architectural Review Board information, Institution staff contact information and FAQ.

“On the Grounds” will continue to provide updates throughout the off-season.